High Concept: The Films of Denis Villeneuve

Cosmos

Multiple DirectorsCanada100 minutes199614AB&WFrench

Taking off from Jim Jarmusch's Night on Earth, this black-and-white anthology film features six segments directed by emerging Québécois directors, all linked by the character of a Montreal cab driver. Villeneuve's segment "Le Technétium" is the clear comic highlight, stranding a pretentious art-film director (David La Haye) on a MuchMusic-style interview show, where he's assaulted by inane questions and subjected to an on-the-spot haircut that turns him from artiste to fashion victim. The auteur ends up taking matters into his own hands — literally — via a sight gag that slyly satirizes the very '90s concept of "cutting edge." Villeneuve's gift for immersive, detailed onscreen environments arrives fully formed here, and La Haye's performance bristles with paranoid anxiety.