This year the Montreal World Film Festival was quite interesing as usual. There was less Japanese films than the previous years, but it just meant that I would be able to find time to see them all. And I did: I saw all six Japanese movies [Himiko's House, Kamataki, Itsuka Dokusho Suruhi (The Milkwoman), Shonen To Hoshi To Jitensha (Satoru - Fourteen), Umineko, Yumeno] and one Iranian movie [Sima-Ye Zani Dar Doordast (Portrait Of A Lady Far Away)]. We have also met several directors as well as many great actors (Maggie Cheung! Tatsuya Fuji! I have also met Isshin Inudo, director of Himiko's House, who also directed the live-action version of “Touch” but unfortunately I couldn't talk much with him). The movies will be reviewed either in the magazine or on my web pages.
Unfortunately, this year the festival was showing its lack of budget (less movies, less events, etc.). That's because it stopped receiving big governmental subsidies. All this because of bullshit politics and some people who wanted to make big money by creating their own festival. They want this other festival to be more glamorous, like Cannes. So they lobbied enough to get the subsidies yanked from the MWFF. Lots of people are bashing on the MWFF (mostly the press -- probably unhappy because they were not invited to the parties with the big guests), but it is an excellent festival, which is offering a fine selection of international movies to the people. I don't care that its director is an a** or that all the big guests and big business went to Toronto. I just want to see good movies. That's all. I wish good luck to the New Festival (even if they stole the subsidies, copied the name and web page design of the MWFF) and if it is a good festival, it will be good for them and for the movie goers. But they are hurting the MWFF. I don't want two half-festival. I want one good festival. The MWFF has been doing a fine job for nearly 30 years. So my thought is “Don't fix it if it is not broken.” But now it is too late. Hopefully, both festivals will continue to do well.
Also, during the festival, I saw at the cinema Parisien something I had never seen before: they started a movie 20 minutes early! That's an unforgivable mistake. I was told that all people who complained got a refund, but if it was up to me that projectionist would have lost his job!
Here is a selection of our pictures from the festival. Enjoy!