catapult magazine

catapult magazine


The Barbarian Invasions


Jun 11 2003
09:42 am

I have no idea if this movie has been released yet in the U.S., but I highly recommend it (and not just because it’s set and filmed in Montreal). It’s directed by Denys Arcand whose previous work includes “Jesus of Montreal” and “The Decline of the American Empire.”

The plot centers around a 50 year old professor dying of cancer, and his tortured/distant relationship with his successful son. He’s the sort of man who has always asked what the meaning of life is, and by the end of the film, he has a pretty good idea. It’s a dark film, especially with its indictment of both American and Canadian healthcare, but hope shines through strongly. Perhaps it’s the same optimistic spirit grant was talking about in his article about Billy Corgan and the polophonic spree.

In Jesus of Montreal, the end of the film is hauntingly pessimistic. Jesus was dead, his followers were selling his legacy for a bit of cash, the church singers were now singing in the metro station. In the Barbarian Invasions, the end gives hope for the junkie; estranged faminly members and friends are able to love each other again; a bad marriage has glimmers of happiness; and a nun can be a three dimensional character!

That’s all i’ve got for now. Lots to think about after this one.