Cosmos | Chicago Reader

Cosmos

Half a dozen young French-Canadian filmmakers—Manon Briand, Andre Turpin, Marie-Julie Dallaire, Denis Villeneuve, Jennifer Alleyn, and Arto Paragamian—pool their resources to produce a lively comic-sketch film in black and white (1996), imaginative and satirical and sexy; part of its charm is that you can't always tell where one sketch ends and the next begins. A collective spirit and coordinated efforts make this breezy tour of youth culture in Quebec City homogeneous at the same time that each episode has its own distinctive flavor. The two segments I recall most fondly are a nightmarish interview with a filmmaker on a high-tech TV show (Villeneuve's segment) and a very funny chance encounter between two ex-lovers in a hotel (Turpin's segment), but just about everything here recalls the footloose, playful spirit of the French New Wave—not when its directors were trying to make hefty statements, but when they were just having fun.

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