Cinema lovers and anyone looking for new perspectives on our ever-changing world flock to the Montreal World Film Festival to discover new, challenging and artistically-inclined film, all screened in the heart of downtown Montreal…
After 38 years of bringing hundreds of feature films and shorts to Montreal every August, the Montreal World Film Festival, this August 21 to September 1, continues its mission to share recent and rarely-seen international and Canadian cinema with a curious Montreal audience. The festival opens with a new film by prolific French filmmaker Claude Lelouch – his We Love You, You Bastard (Salaud, on t’aime) stars Johnny Hallyday and Sandrine Bonnaire as lovers seeking a quiet retirement in the Alps and finding that it doesn’t suit them quite as well as they’d imagined. The late French filmmaker Alain Resnais, perhaps known best for 1961 drama Last Year at Marienbad among numerous other successes throughout the 1960s to present day (see his Hiroshima Mon Amour and Mon Oncle D’Amérique at this year’s festival as well), lightens up with Life of Riley (Aimer, Boire et Chanter), the festival’s closing film.
Even more well-known art-world filmmakers grace the World Film Fest’s program alongside dozens of talents coming to the festival with their debut features. Italian director Pupi Avati adds A Golden Boy (Il ragazzo d’oro), a drama starring Sharon Stone, to his long career. Russia’s Alexander Mitta tells the story the wife of great painter Mark Chagall and his conflict with Kazimir Malevich in aptly-named Chagall-Malevich. More Italian fare comes courtesy of comedy The Mafia Only Kills in Summer and Mauro John Capece’s art film La Scultura starring Corrina Coroneo. American director Christopher Ashley returns to feature-film making from the stage with Lucky Stiff (his 1995 Jeffrey depicted one of the few stories of the AIDS crisis at the time). See Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong in Romanian director Nae Caranfil’s heist film Closer to the Moon. The Japanese countryside springs to the screen in Yukiko Mishima’s A Drop of the Grapevine. Polish filmmaker Lech Majewski, who co-produced 1995 film Basquiat starring Benicio del Toro, returns with love-story and tragedy Field of Dogs. And Greek legend Pantelis Voulgaris screens his newest, Little England.
Among the many more films coming to Montreal from distant shores: Polish war-drama Jack Strong; Argentine director Maria Victoria Menis’s quirky Maria and the Spider; German-Sudanese co-production about child soldiers, We Were Rebels; award-winning Serbian director Dusan Milic’s Las Vegas-based Travelator; Filipino director Joel Lamangan’s Greed, Mexican director Horacio Alcaláand’s circus doc Grazing the Sky; all the way from Kyrgyzstan, epic period piece Kurmanjan Datka: Queen of the Mountains. Naturally, Canadian film finds itself at the festival too – among the Canadian-made feature films, see director and actor Dan Zukovic’s new comedy Scammerhead, Toronto writer-director Mars Horodysk’s Ben’s at Home, Mark Raso’s debut feature Copenhagen, Vancouver filmmaker Ross Ferguson’s Primary, Lukas Huffman’s tale of a familial cross-country journey When the Ocean Met the Sky, Patricia MacDowell’s curling film Sweeping Forward, and more. Canadian filmmakers also count themselves among the numerous short film programs, always a good idea to check out, whether to discover up-and-coming talent or quickly sample what’s new in local film today – film festivals remain the best way to see plenty of great short films all in one place.
And throughout the festival, celebrate Montreal’s warm summer nights at the fest’s Cinema Under the Stars, nightly free screenings at 8:30pm on the esplanade of Place des Arts. Among the classic films adding their artistry to the city’s nightlife over twelve evenings: the director’s cut of the Woodstock documentary on August 23, the Oscar-award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, starring Jack Nicholson, on August 24, Ettore Scola’s history of France as told through ballroom dancing, Le Bal, on August 25, François Truffaut’s 1968 love-and-revenge film The Bride Wore Black on August 28, Quentin Tarantino’s 90s oft-quoted hit Pulp Fiction on August 29, Ang Lee’s gorgeously-shot Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on August 31, and more. From features to shorts to films that have made their indelible mark on the industry, the Montreal World Film Festival seeks to enlighten as well as entertain.
The Montreal World Film Festival, August 21 to September 1, 2014
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