C’est dommage. Despite the fact that the summertime Montreal World Film Festival is 35 years old it continues to be eclipsed by its (year) older, bigger and bolder, Anglo relative’s annual gala in September. Nevertheless – and even if Catherine Deneuve hadn’t been honored with MWFF’s lifetime achievement award – the fest has much to buzz about. For one thing it’s headquartered at the Quartier des spectacles, right in the entertainment heart of a gorgeous Paris of the North (America) that made this bi-continental critic miss Europe a little bit less. Secondly, this UNESCO-appointed City of Design has a vibrant cinephile culture, evidenced by both the Cinémathèque québécoise, which maintains an international collection of 35,000 films from all eras and hosts free exhibitions, and the National Film Board’s (also free to the public) sci-fi-like CineRobotheque, which makes 10,000 movies available on its 21 touch-screen-accessed “personal viewing stations.” Thirdly, both of these institutions are located mere minutes away from the Cinéma Quartier Latin and the Cinéma ONF (also housed in the NFB building on colorful St.-Denis), two cozy venues that screened a handful of selections that, like the host city itself, transported me completely to another world.
To read the rest of my coverage visit Filmmaker magazine.