Nickel Night 3 by Lauren Power

Lauren reports on the third night of the Nickel Film Festival

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Nickel Night 3

by Lauren Power

Four films were on docket for Thursday’s Nickel screening, before the annual late night horror show: one music video, two shorts, and a documentary.

Un Peu Plus (7 min) – A foxy septuagenarian strolls the streets of Paris, indulging in some beautiful goddamn desserts. So sweet, funny, and surprising. Irish director Conor Ferguson filmed the short in Paris with French New Wave legend Bulle Ogier (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie).

Me2 (13 min) – In writer-director Martine Blue’s biggest film yet, Susan Kent plays Margaret, a harried novelist, who purchases a clone to handle the less fun parts of her life. Soon, Maggie the Clone starts exhibiting the latent fun-loving parts of Margaret and bonding with Margaret’s family. Kent steers the silly plot into deeper, darker, weirder waters, and it pays off big time. The film is reminiscent of Diablo Coady’s United States of Tara, with its tight wordplay, suburban subversion, raunchy bits, and genuine heart. In fact, it plays like a briskly paced pilot for an HBO comedy-drama. I’d watch every episode.

The Beach (4 min) – A music video for the title track of Long Distance Runners’ frontman Chris Picco’s 2013 solo album, and his most recent collaboration with filmmaker Brad Gover. Filmed in one day and shot without a budget, it’s a genuine and nostalgic look at summertime at the cabin with family and friends. The Super-8 footage and grainy black-and-white effects show that everybody can look old-timey with the right Instagram filter.

Sister Morphine (60 min) – When talking about the causes of addiction, things like “coming from a broken home”are way less dramatic than “a lack of infrastructure, supervision and support”. However, the importance of the latter is held in focus for Brad Gover’s documentary on the issue of on-the-job addictions of nurses in the province. The film uses light and shadow to cast its subjects: voices of the establishment are filmed under bright studio lights, and sympathetic informants are cast in shadow, like former nurse Ben Cox. Cox is at the centre of the film, and while he is not always sympathetic, it’s clear that he’s not to blame for the failings of a system that did not recognize his abuses. The documentary premiers on CBC on July 19th, 2014.

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