Screening Dates
  • March 14 (Thursday) 6:30
  • March 23 (Saturday) 8:30
  • March 25 (Monday) 6:30
Vancouver Premiere

It’s a performance piece, and a meditation on loneliness. It’s theatrical, and wholly cinematic. It’s about the isolation we’ve all just shared, embodied in one person … It’s downright haunting.”

Norm Wilner, TIFF

A slept-on gem at Locarno and TIFF, Quebec cineaste Denis Côté’s ghostly study of barren spaces and human isolation deserves recognition for its committed, if confounding, formal swings. As much an anatomy of an architectural no-place as it is a portrait of the loneliness inside it, Mademoiselle Kenopsia is set almost entirely within the confines of a derelict building, empty but for the endlessly-on-duty custodian (Larissa Corriveau) drifting through its incongruous interiors. The appearance of a mysterious sound prompts investigation and philosophical phone conversations—and an opportunity for the outside world (maybe phantom world) to enter. Côté, the subject of a 2013 Cinematheque retrospective, locks us into a spare, structuralist aesthetic (James Benning is a clear touchstone) before slashing the canvas with disorienting tonal turns. The kenopsia” of the title describes the eerie atmosphere of an abandoned place once bustling with life, a neologism seized upon during the pandemic.

In French with English subtitles

The film exemplifies the thrilling possibilities of liberating vision, sound, and movement from narrative constraints … arguing for a cinematic language that embraces formal experimentation. The result is a necessary return to the image, an affirmation of its power to mesmerize, disrupt, and inspire.”

Winnie Wang, Cinema Scope

A multifaceted reflection not only on solitude and a kind of nostalgia but also on how we see the world, time, other people, and ourselves … [A] film that defies categorization and labels.”

Hubert Sabino-Brunette, RIDM

A haunted-house adventure evacuated of action … An exemplary pandemic film, though stripped of that ostensible subgenre’s cutesy footholds.”

Beatrice Loayza, Film Comment