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La Face cachée de la lune

(The Far Side of the Moon)

Year: 2003
Language: French
Format: HDCAM (NTSC) Colour
Runtime: 105 min
Director: Robert Lepage
Producer: Bob Krupinski, Mario St-Laurent
Executive Producer: Robert Lantos, Daniel Langlois
Writer: Robert Lepage
Cinematographer: Ronald Plante
Editor: Philippe Gagnon
Sound: Louis Gignac, Mario Rodrigue, François Senneville, Pierre Bouchard
Music: Benoit Jutras
Cast: Richard Fréchette, Robert Lepage, Anne-Marie Cadieux, Marco Poulin, Érika Gagnon

Philippe (Robert Lepage) is a nebbishy, forty-something doctoral student who makes ends meet as a telemarketer while struggling to complete his dissertation – a study of how space exploration in the sixties was motivated by narcissism. So immersed is he in his subject that he absentmindedly arranges anything within reach into planetary alignments. Phillipe’s gay brother André (also played by Lepage) is a moderately successful TV weatherman. When their mother passes away and the estranged brothers meet to divide and dispose of her possessions, childhood memories resurface and numerous insights arise into the forces that simultaneously separate and unite them. Phillipe then travels to Russia to present his theories at an academic conference, but the comically disastrous results lead to an inspired existential crisis.

Since his debut feature, Le Confessional (1995), legendary theatre director Robert Lepage has impressed audiences and critics alike with his facility for visual representations of complex thematic matters. In this inventive and thoroughly original film (an adaptation of his stage play of the same name), Lepage interweaves themes of scientific progress and competition, the nature of the cosmos and personal relationships to create a charming and beguiling story of sibling rivalry.

Beautifully filmed on sharp, high definition video, the film demonstrates Lepage’s boundless visual inventiveness by cleverly invoking Phillipe’s unique relationship to the cosmos. La Face cachée de la lune was screened as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival® where it was very well received. Kim Linekin, writing in Eye Magazine, stated that Lepage’s film "distills his typically grandiose ideas and visual quirks into a masterfully cohesive and entertaining film."

La Face cachée de la lune won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for four Genie Awards, including three for Robert Lepage: Direction, Adapted Screenplay and Lead Actor. It was also named one of Canada’s Top Ten of 2003 by an independent, national panel comprised of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals.

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