TIFF 2010: Patrick Demers Improvises Thrills In JALOUX (SUSPICIONS)

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
That improvisation can be fertile ground for comedy is a given at this point, both in live settings and in the feature film world as the works of Christopher Guest will readily attest. Get yourself some quality performers with a high degree of trust in one another and magic can happen. But what about employing improv in other areas? That was the task director Patrick Demers set himself with Jaloux (Suspicions), an intimate thriller largely improvised over a sixteen day shoot. It worked well enough that the film received a world premiere at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival and now it's coming how to take a North American bow in Toronto. Here's how Karlovy Vary described it:

Thomas and Marie are not exactly going through the happiest period of their long-term relationship, so they decide to spend a couple of quiet days at a cottage in the country. There they meet a stranger pretending to be the owner of the neighboring cabin. Who is this unknown man? And what does he want? The mutual encounter changes the lives of all participants. Director and screenwriter Patrick Demers has shot a film powerful in a variety of ways: his leads' performances, the sensitive camerawork emphasizing the cool palette of the largely inhospitable landscape, the nonlinear narrative, and the suspenseful atmosphere created by numerous portents and uncertainties. Due to the film's ingenious structure, the viewer is obliged to piece together the dramatic events that took place over two days originally intended for relaxation and mutual understanding. But instead they turn the young couple's life upside down and lead them to a place from which there is no way back.
Check the stills below for a taste of the look and feel of this one. Wonder what he's doing with the shovel?

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