Monday, August 31, 2015

MWFF 2015 Day 3

Another good day despite the fact that I started my festival coverage late because I had other duties to attend. However, I still managed to see two movies: Early Spring (Sakurajima Sosyun) and The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War (Mamoru Oshii introduced the screening!).

Since I had several hours in-between the two movies I was able to write my comments for all the movies I had seen the previous days. It still need some research and polishing, but I should be able to post them soon. For now I'm really too tired to do anything but sleep.

In the meantime, you can check my entry “Montreal World Film Festival 2015” for all the details on this year's Japanese movies.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

MWFF 2015 Day 2

Today was a perfect day. Much better than yesterday.

Just before leaving this afternoon I have put online my first comment, for the movie At Home.

I wish I could write more extensive comments but unfortunately I am a little too busy. Seeing movie after movie doesn't leave enough time to do in-depth analysis. And when you sit at night, after having viewed three movies, it difficult to write in details about each of them. That's why I try to put down on paper my first impression as soon as I leave the theatre. It's easy to do when there's a couple of hours in-between movies, but more difficult when you have to rush from one place to another with just minutes before the beginning of the next show (harder still when there's a Q&A after a screening).

Anyway, my purpose with this blog has always been to simply introduce a work (be it a manga, a book or a movie) with just enough information (and links) to interest the readers and incite them to look further.

Yesterday, I saw At Home and Ninja Hunter.

Today, I've seen Kagura-me, Akai Tama and Blowing in the wind of Vietnam. All ranging from good to excellent. I'll try to write and post my comments on those movies as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you can check my entry “Montreal World Film Festival 2015” for all the details on this year's Japanese movies.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

At Home

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

“A father, a mother, an elder son, a daughter and a younger son. A family of five. To all appearances, a perfectly normal, happy family. However it turns out that none of them have a blood relationship. Each of them has a sad story and separate families of their own. Does being related by blood, make a family? Or if they live together, does it make them a family? When people learn to connect with others, when they are placed in a difficult situation, how do they react for a family? This is a film about people who were hurt by family, but saved by family. ”

(Text from the Festival's program)

Image du chat-medi

(Canon PowerShot S5 IS, 2015-07-26)

Friday, August 28, 2015

MWFF 2015 Day 1

This year the festival is already hard for me because I have to cover it while working full-time (it's difficult lately to get days off at the library) and also while helping my eighty-five year-old mother to move in her new apartment. On top of it, there are twenty-something Japanese movies to watch this year. A though order.

Like the last couple of years, the festival has this feeling of the end of a party. Everybody seems to thinks that it might be the last year, despite Losique's denial (The Gazette, Variety). The festival has always had its critics or doomsayers, and this year again many are asking for change at the top or already planning a replacement. All those talks are casting a shadow on the festival. For my part, as I've said before, I don't really care as long as they continue to show great movies that I cannot see anywhere else. Unfortunately, the lack of funds is showing in the organization of the festival (glitch, scheduling problems, technical problems, communication problems, etc). It seems particularly disorganized this year (but is it really more than usual?).

Unfortunately, my first day at the festival was quite disastrous. The first movie was good. The second movie had so many technical problems (started ten minutes late, microphone problem for the presentation, there was picture without sound, sound without picture, repeatedly) that the screening was interrupted and cancelled a little before the middle of the movie. I had to go to the screening room of the Film Market to see the (disappointing) end. There the copy ran just fine so it's unlikely that the problem was caused by the dvd encoding (the excuse was that since it's a foreign movie the encoding could have been messed up, but usually if this is the case it just either work or doesn't) so the problem must have been with the Quartier Latin's equipment (they were using VLC on a MacBook and a digital projector). It's not the first year that this kind of problem occurs.

And the third movie… was cancelled due to some rescheduling! That's quite annoying. I had made myself a (gruelling) schedule where I could see all Japanese movies, but with those changes it will be impossible. And at least one of the movie that I can't watch is not even available in the Film Market screening room…

Shinjuku Midnight Baby rescheduledDecline of an assassin rescheduled

Anyway, I'll try to post soon my comments on the two movies I've managed to see today, and you can still check my entry “Montreal World Film Festival 2015” for all the details on this year's Japanese movies.

I also noticed in the Quartier Latin lobby a poster announcing the movie “Paul à Québec” for September 18th. Great!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Image du mer-fleurie

De van Gogh à Dali ? / From van Gogh to Dali ?
From Van Gogh to Dali ?
(iPhone 6, 2015-08-22)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Image du chat-medi

Saya, la bédaine rose / Saya, the pink belly
Saya the pink belly
(iPhone 6, 2015-08-21)

Friday, August 21, 2015

MWFF 2015 update

A few new press releases have been posted about the Montreal World Film Festival:

More importantly, the programming information is now available online. On the festival website you can find the full schedule as well as the full index of movies (in PDF format).

If, like us, you are more interested in Japanese movies you can find all the details in our updated entry “Montreal World Film Festival 2015”.

[ Traduire ]

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Image du mer-fleurie

Les jardins de la serre de la bibliothèque publique de Westmount
Westmount Public Library's greenhouse garden
Westmount Public Library greenhouse
(iPhone 6, 2015-08-13)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

One minute relaxation

Relax from clodjee on Vimeo.

Montreal World Film Festival 2015

The 39th edition of the Montreal World Film Festival will take place from August 27th to September 7th 2015, at the Imperial (1430 Bleury - Metro Place des Arts) and Quartier Latin (350 rue Emery - Berri-UQAM) theatres. Tickets will be available from August 22 at noon at the offices of the Imperial (CI) and Quartier Latin (QL) theatres, as well as online through the Admission Network website. Individual tickets are $ 10, Passports are $ 120 and Cinephile Card is $ 250. Booklets of 10 coupons redeemable against individual tickets are available for $ 70. More details on the festival website:

This year there was no real press conference about the programming and instead the festival unveiled the line-up of films in the World Competition and the First Films Competition through press releases and a virtual press conference where both domestic and international media could simultaneously participate in an online Q&A session. So far, since then, the information has been trickling down little by little and we don't know much about the festival programming. They said that “A digital age requires a digital solution,” but I guess it has also a lot to do with the lack of subsidies and the resulting reduced staff. I don't mind a little austerity as long at it gets the festival going and brings us the diversified, quality cinema the festival is renown for.

We know that, this year, a record number of short films were submitted; that the opening movie will be Muhammad, the latest film by renowned Iranian director Majid Majidi; that this year's festival will offer movies from over 86 countries; that the competition line-up will includes 26 Feature films from 31 countries for the World Competition, plus 25 more movies for the First Feature Competition, and that both competitions will include 36 World Premieres; we know the composition of both the jury for the Grand Prize of the Americas and the jury for the First Feature Prize; finally, a couple of days after the virtual press conference, the festival announced that twenty-four features from a score of countries will be shown in the World Greats (out of competition) category.

Here our interest is mostly with the Japanese movies. At first, with the festival press releases and an article in the august edition of Coco Montreal, we determined that the festival would show at least fourteen Japanese movies. However, with the release of the schedule we astonishingly discovered that a record-breaking number of Japanese movies will be shown this year: seventeen (twenty-one if we count a Liberian movie with a Japanese director, a four-minute short and two documentaries)! See the films index for details. (updated 2015-08-21)

Be careful, the schedule of some movies has changed (updated 2015-08-28).

Coco Montreal have put a more detailed article (this time with english and french translation) on the festival's Japanese movies in their September issue (available both in the flash version and on their Facebook page). [updated 2015-09-01]

You can now read some comments about the Festival's Japanese movies (in french) in the first part of the article by my esteemed colleague Claude R. Blouin on the blog Shomingeki. [updated 2015-09-03]

You will find, after the jump, a list of all those movies (plus a few useful links — of course, more details and links will be added as the information become available):

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Image du chat-medi

Chat perdu / Lost cat
Lost cat
(iPhone 6, 2015-08-08)

Quelqu'un reconnait-il cette pauvre bête qui a probablement été perdu/abandonné début juillet et qui hante maintenant ma petite cour arrière (dans l'arrondissement St-Michel)?

Does anyone recognizes this poor animal which was probably lost / abandoned early July and now haunts my little backyard (in St-Michel borough)?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fantasia awards

As usual the 19th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival was a great success. Not only it is now considered North America’s longest-running genre film festival with its 195 screenings over twenty-three days but it also had an attendance of over 100,000 spectators for six consecutive years.

Several Japanese movies won awards again this year:
  • TAG by Sion Sono received the Cheval Noir Award for Best Film
  • Tomoe Kanno (for LA LA LA AT ROCK BOTTOM) received the Cheval Noir Award for Best Screenplay
  • Subaru Shibutani (for LA LA LA AT ROCK BOTTOM) received the Cheval Noir Award for Best Actor
  • Reina Triendl (for TAG) received the Cheval Noir Award for Best Actress
  • Sion Sono’s TAG also received a Special Mention “for its creative, surprising, and monumental opening kill sequence”
  • MISS HOKUSAI by Keiichi Hara received no less than three awards: the Satoshi Kon Award for Best Animated Feature Film, the Prix Séquences, as well as the Best Animated Feature Audience Award (Gold Prize)
  • LOVE & PEACE by Sion Sono received the Best Asian Feature Audience Award (Gold Prize)

Surprisingly, Attacks on Titan, the latest sensation from Japan, didn't win any prize.

The dates for next year festival (the 20th anniversary edition!) were also announced: The Fantasia International Film Festival will take place in Montreal from July 14 to August 2, 2016.

For more details on all Japanese movies you can check our previous entry “Japanese movies at Fantasia 2015”.

For an overview of the Japanese movies you can check Claude R. Blouin's extensive comments “Un vieux fou de cinéma japonais à Fantasia 2015” on the Shomengeki blog (in french).

(Sources: ANN, Dread Central, Fangoria, Fantasia, Twitch)

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Elle s'appelait Tomoji

“L'histoire vraie d'une rencontre signée Taniguchi

“Taniguchi met ici en scène la rencontre entre deux adolescents dans le Japon de l’entre-deux guerres (1925-1932). Tomoji vit dans la campagne au nord du mont Fuji, tandis que Fumiaki fait ses premiers pas de photographe à Tokyo. L’auteur nous fait découvrir avec sa sensibilité habituelle ce qui va unir ces personnages.”

“Une histoire inspirée de personnages réels qui fonderont par la suite une branche dérivée du bouddhisme.”

[Texte du site de l'éditeur; voir aussi la couverture arrière]

Continuez après le saut de page >>

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Images natures du samedi

Z'êtes pas tanné des photos de minous?
A la place, voici une photo de tortue qui se prends pour Gamera et une hideuse araignée!

Aren't you tired of cats' pictures?
Here's instead a picture of a turtle imitating Gamera and of an ugly spider!

Gamera! Ugly spider
(Canon PowerShot S5 IS, Jardin Botanique, 2015-07-05)
(iPhone 6, Jardin familial, 2015-07-31)