Modern Construction: An MDFF Retrospective
  • March 5, 2021 through April 1, 2021

An elegantly unembellished style that verges on the Bressonian.”

Art of the Real 2018, Film at Lincoln Center

Canadian new wave fixture Deragh Campbell (Anne at 13,000 ft, Never Eat Alone) shines as an inexperienced Toronto caseworker navigating an arduous and impersonal mental-health system in writer-director Antoine Bourges’s understated, formally austere debut feature. Still acclimating to her new job, Isolde (Campbell) is assigned to a despondent, middle-aged man (Nathan Roder) awaiting a court hearing for petty theft. As Isolde grapples with inadequate resources, bureaucratic protocols, and professional insecurity, she struggles to foster a trusting bond with her client. Bourges, returning to the frontlines of social safety net services previously explored in his Downtown Eastside trilogy, frames the quiet drama in measured, uninterrupted, mostly static shots. Campbell impresses with a remarkably lived-in performance; chief MDFF cinematographer Nikolay Michaylov lenses.

Campbell is a naturalistic revelation.” Marsha Lederman, Globe and Mail

Watch a pre-recorded Q&A between writer-director Antoine Bourges and Cinematheque Programming Associate Shaun Inouye.