A speedy update to announce that a brief article of mine has been published in Cinema Scope's Winter 2008 Issue #33. Unfortunately the text isn't available online, but you can check out a copy of the magazine at your local bookstore or Film Reference Library.
Here's the article's intro:
"Cinema is as much about disappearance as it is about presence; after all, “persistence of vision”—the mind’s subconscious determination to bridge the image that has just vanished to the one that is arriving—is as much about that which has departed as that which remains. On a broader scale, Stéphane Lafleur’s Continental, un film sans fusil is inspired by that process, by how we bridge the gap that comes after loss. Its loosely knotted narrative is initiated by a single, specific and yet baffling disappearance: a businessman who dozes off on public transit wakes to find himself alone on the bus on a deserted roadside. He steps off, peers into the near-absolute darkness of the adjacent woods, then walks—purposefully? timidly?—into the trees and is gone.
"While the man’s vanishing is the ostensible glue between Continental’s four protagonists, it is merely the analogue of their deeper commonalities: loss, disappearance and emptiness. It is a film of myriad absences, proceeding from the second half of its title (“a film without guns”). Watching Continental is like spying on the Quebecois cousins of the grey-faced, typically despondent protagonists of Swedish iconoclast Roy Andersson’s films. Like Songs from the Second Floor (2000) and You, the Living (played TIFF 2007), Continental focuses upon modern dissociation and disconnect."
I go on to explore the film in relation to my theorization of networked narratives. It was a short article, but one that I really enjoyed writing, in part because the film itself is so lovely. (It was declared one of Canada's Top Ten by TIFFG for 2007.)
You should check it out.