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Montreal World Film Festival












The 2011 edition of the Montreal World Film Festival, one of the largest film events in North America, is set for August 18 28, 2011. With close to 300 films from all over the world, including premieres of films from the province of Quebec, the Festival is a major cultural event.


Screenings Under The Stars


Friday, August 31------One of the unique (and most popular) programs of the Montreal World Film Festival is its CINEMA A LA BELLE ETOILE (SCREENINGS UNDER THE STARS) series, held each evening on the Esplanade de la Place des Arts. It has become a Montreal tradition to bring one's folding chairs to view a mix of Hollywood, European and Quebec films in an open-air celebration of cinema. The fact that the screenings are free to the public and attract a mix of cinemaphiles, Festival visitors and the requisitive Montreal "street culture" makes the audience as fascinating as the films themselves.

This year, the Festival has run a loose thematic line of showing films that honor some of the Festival's visiting talents, as well as mini-hommages to film greats who have recently passed. To honor the actor Jon Voight, who was here last weekend to promote his latest film SEPTEMBER DAWN and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award, the outdoor screening series presented COMING HOME, featuring Voight's and Jane Fonda's Oscar-winning turns as a disabled Vietnam veteran and the woman he falls in love with; MIDNIGHT COWBOY, the Oscar-winning saga of desperate life on the streets of 1960s New York City that brought Voight international fame and recognition; and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, with Voight in a juicy role as a villian opposite the virtuous Tom Cruise and the seductive Emmannuelle Beart.

Sophie Marceau, who was also honored earlier in the Festival, was represented with screenings of FANFAN (1993), with the actress starring opposite Vincent PerezTHE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999), a James Bond film directed by Michael Apted, with Marceau starring opposite Pierce Brosnan's suave secret agent. The great French actor Michel Serrault is honored with two screenings: LA CAGE AUX FOLLES II (1981),  a follow-up to the original comedy hit, again directed by Edouard Morinaro, with Serrault as the outrageous drag queen performer in a St Tropez nightclub; and GARDE A VUE, an intense thriller directed by Claude Miller, with Serrault playing a mild attorney accused of killing children, with superb support by Lino Ventura and Romy Schneider.  

To mark the passing of cinema giants Ingmar Bergman and Michaelangelo Antonioni, the series presented THE VIRGIN SPRING (1959), Bergman's Oscar-winning tale of a rape in medieval Sweden; and THE MAGIC FLUTE (1975), a visually lush adaptation of the Mozart opera. Antonioni was represented by BLOW UP (1966), his seminal film on swinging Britain, starring David Hemmings as an amoral fashion photographer and Vanessa Redgrave as a mysterious woman with a murderous secret.

The series concludes this weekend for the the Labor Day Weekend (a long weekend that signifies the end of summer) with such contemporary classics as ALICE'S ODYSSEY (2002), a Canadian landmark directed by Denise Fliaraut about a Montreal single mother; HABLE CON ELLA (2002), Pedro Almodovar's marvelous meditation on life, love and death; and CINEMA PARADISO (1988), a valentine to the power and seduction of cinema, directed by Guiseppe Tornatore, with an exceptional performance by Phillipe Noiret (another actor we lost this year).

Sandy Mandelberger, Montreal World FF Dailies Editor


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About Montreal World Film Festival

Sandy Mandelberger
( International Media Resources)








Online Dailies Coverage of the 35th annual Montreal World Film Festival to be held from August 18 to September 28, 2011. 

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