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Denys Arcand (L’âge des ténèbres, Canada/France 2006)
Living in a dystopian, near-future Montreal, Jean-Marc (Marc Labrèche) lives in thrall to elaborate fantasies in order to cope with the indignities of life. In his virile fantasies, he cavorts with a variety of sexy muses and elevates himself into an award-winning author, a chivalrous knight, or a beloved star of stage and screen. But in real life, when not dodging the smoking police and their tobacco-sniffing dogs, he spends his time moping around his dreary McMansion. His wife and daughters, perpetually plugged in to digital devices, acknowledge him with contempt, if at all. As a dispassionate caseworker for a byzantine government bureaucracy called the Ministry of Citizens’ Rights, he listens with ineffectual detachment to heartrending stories of catastrophe by a succession of downtrodden people that have been bound and gagged by red tape and regulations. With the dissolution of his marriage and the painful passing of his elderly mother, Jean-Marc establishes new terms of engagement with his muses and begins to carve out a new life based on integrity and reality. Drawing on politically astute themes introduced in films like The Barbarian Invasions (2003) and The Decline of the American Empire (1986), director Denys Arcand has created a tender evocation of a melancholy future steeped in malaise and one man’s endeavor to find his true self.

Written by Denys Arcand. Photographed by Guy Dufaux. With Marc Labrèche, Diane Kruger, Sylvie Léonard, Caroline Néron (108 min, StudioCanal).
December 14, 2008
Landmark’s Opera Plaza Cinema
DEVELOPER'S NOTE: http://old.sffs.org/content.aspx?pageid=170