MONTREAL -- The baby brother of Montreal's film festivals is under way again, with a major retrospective of Michael Snow's films, a Gena Rowlands tribute, a wide assortment of documentaries, and some really new things I've definitely not seen yet.
The Festival de Nouveau Cinema et Medias also takes slight advantage of its scheduling position -- the World Film Festival in August may have the glamour position in the local media and on the world map, but it's also positioned awkwardly to be a major competitive festival -- the big guns go to Venice rather than Montreal, which starts earlier than Venice, then skip over to play Toronto. They get their Montreal premieres here, and just try getting a ticket for The McMullen Sisters or Divine Intervention, which for some reason bypassed the WFF entierly.
Gorgeous weather, if you don't mind the Quebec autumn, which I prefer to the 'maybe it's still summer, but maybe it's fall' indecision that had been plaguing Toronto weather the last couple of weeks.
Disadvantage of the Festival de nouveau cinema is that it's stuck using the Cinemas du Parc as its secondary venue -- a repertory three-plex in the basement of a shopping mall which feels like a classic 80s shoebox multiplex, and has tiny screens to boot. (How quickly we've been spoiled by stadium seating,)
Surprisingly uncrowded, at least, the documentary screenings I've been hitting are uncrowded, but I'll be checking some of the bigger name pictures later in the week, if my press pass allows me in. (Another festival, another press pass system, and I won't bore you with an explanation of this one.)
But the size of a festival can be guaged, in part, by what they give the press to write with -- the all-press and everything else room, over a restaurant on St. Laurent Blvd, has one computer with internet access for the press. And there's never a line for it. This is a festival for local consumption. And more fun for it.