Kino Lorber announced this past week that the Canadian French-language winner of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Nuit #1, will be making its domestic DVD debut on Feb. 4.
Montreal-based filmmaker Anne Émond, making her feature-length directorial debut here, delivers an interesting “romantic” drama that pretty much defies being lumped into any particular category.
Clara (Catherine de Léan — The Depraved, Twice a Woman) and Nikolai (Dimitri Storoge — Through the Mist, Les Lyonnais, etc.) are thirty-somethings, single, educated and drifting. They hook up at a very loud rave concert/party and end up heading over to his place for some casual sex … something to do. Nothing more than a one-night stand with no expectations.
Films at this point would normally move onto the next day or date, drop one of the participants (not needed for the storyline) or develop the storyline from this “meet cute” set up. Filmmaker Émond takes an entirely different tack … just as you expect the evening to end with Clara’s departure a conversation begins and before the final credits the two work their way into some fairly heavy reveals.
They each have secrets — issues — that have isolated them; alone and deeply flawed. In a social commentary sense, Nuit #1 begins with noise, lights and crowds — life without living — and builds through intimacy and quiet conversations — in a sort of a round-about way — to friendship and a basic human need for someone just to listen.
Will there be a future for Clara and Nikolai together? Hard to tell, but this first encounter is certainly one worth exploring.
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