Montrealers love good cinema and that’s a fact. This summer the city hosted The Festival des Films du Monde de Montreal and the Fantasia International Film Festival. Get ready for another collection of some of the best new films at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema. The festival starts this Wednesday and goes until October 20 so you have plenty of time to take a break from studying for mid-terms and see at least one of these fantastic films. Whether it’s well known directors like Jacques Audiard or a recent film grad, you’re gonna see some good stuff.
Catholic priests who abuse their power and a once devout woman on a vigilante mission to cleanse the Church. Think Belgian version of Boondock Saints. This film is the most controversial on our list by far. Au Nom du Fils is about Elisabeth de la Baie, a religious radio talk show host who decides to deliver her own brand of justice when her son commits suicide and she discovers rampant pedophilia within the Church. The film is sure to be an intense bloodbath à la Tarantino.
How would you react if you were about to lose your career and one true passion? Triptyque takes place in Quebec City and tells the story of two sisters. Marie is a Jazz singer who is terrified to lose her ability to talk because of an upcoming brain surgery and her sister Michelle is a bookstore owner in Quebec City suffering from psychiatric problems. The movie won the official selection this year at TIFF so you know it’s gotta some solid cinema cred.
You can’t not come out and support one of our own! Mitchell Stafiej is a recent-grad from Concordia film school showing his first movie at the festival. The experimental film uses the medium of home videos to document the friends and family of a girl named Julie as they try to deal with her murder one year after it was captured on tape. Come out and support a homegrown cineaste.
You'll recognize the icy waters and snowy ground along the St. Lawrence in Diego Star. The movie is the first “Focus” film of the festival, which promotes Quebecois and Canadian films. The film, directed by Frédérick Pelletier, tells the story of Troaré, an Ivory Coast sailor, whose ship breaks down in the river and is stuck at the frigid dock in Lévis. I don't even want to imagine how cold that would be. Troaré is blamed for the breakdown and has to fight to clear his name of the engine room malfunction.
Okay, you can at least get your act together to see La Danse de la Réalité, the film that’ll wrap up the festival. The film, dubbed an “imaginary autobiography” by the director, grapples with his childhood in Tocopilla, a town in the Chilean desert. The film looks pretty trippy with scenes of carnivals and skeleton masks.
This video shows Montreal street names being changed to New York ones. MTL Blog reporter Alex Melki was able to have an individual confirm that it was allegedly part of the filming for Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts.
And from what the following photos show, it's looking like there are all kinds of different cars in whichever film is being shot at the moment, which is very on-brand for a Transformers movie.
More Transformers Rise of The Beasts photos from Montreal today.
More Mirage and MYSTERY BEETLE / NOT GYLPH https://t.co/nEuznGwaAO
— Daniel Arseneault "Protoman" (@Daniel Arseneault "Protoman")
Dorchester Square is seemingly one of the main locations for this current movie shoot.
Quand Montréal se donne des airs de New York en 1990. Tournage du 7e film de la franchise ‘’Transformers’’, ‘’Rise… https://t.co/juPpl9NcDh
We know Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts is for sure being filmed in Montreal, we simply cannot confirm this movie set is for the film — although it's highly likely to be. And if that's true, then that means Anthony Ramos, one of the main actors in the new movie, could be in Montreal. Keep your eyes peeled!
Aujourd'hui 12 et 13 juillet 2021, début à 9h00 pm du tournage de Transformers Rise Of The Beasts au parc Square Do… https://t.co/Tw1X9Z1SC0
— Les Transformers - Québec et France (@Les Transformers - Québec et France)
Montrealer Pier-Philippe Chevigny specializes in depicting real-life social issues on screen. His latest short film, Rebel, is no exception. It tackles the rise of right-wing extremism in Quebec in a unique way — as seen through the eyes of a child.
Rebel has made it into 90 international film festivals, such as TIFF, Busan, and Vladivostok. It won 23 awards, including the Golden Owl Award at Tirana International Film festival, which led to it being long-listed for an Academy Award nomination.
While it didn't make the shortlist, the 15-minute film is available on YouTube and worth watching — especially if you, like Chevigny, have noticed an increase in ultranationalist groups popping up in the province over the past few years.
He used Soldiers of Odin, Storm Alliance and La Meute as examples, and said he was inspired by a photo of a six- or seven-year-old boy waving a La Meute flag at a demonstration.
"That kid doesn't understand the politics behind all of this, he's just following his parents," said Chevigny.
"I thought that would be an interesting idea ... to tell the story through the eyes of someone who was kind of oblivious to what's going on around him. And then he gets to witness something that triggers his understanding."
Chevigny said he used a "nervous handheld camera, always sticking really close to the boy's point of view" at the beginning of the film to signify a lack of awareness.
"As the story progresses, it becomes much more edited ... so the idea was to have the audience go through that same process of having that moment of realization," he said.
What stands out about the film is its nuance. No one is entirely good or bad. The extremist characters are multi-dimensional.
"That was a result of my research. I started following these groups on social media, and I realized they were not the neo-nazis I was expecting them to be. They were everyday normal people ... they were actually family people," Chevigny said.
"It's not surprising to see neo-nazi skinheads march against immigration, but it's very worrying when you see everyday normal people getting sucked into these ideologies. And that's the part that I wanted to raise awareness about."
Rebel has about 20-30 festivals to go. But Chevigny is already planning his next project.
He told MTL Blog he just got the green light from funders to make his first feature film about the exploitation of Latin American workers in Quebec's farming industry, which is set to start shooting this summer.
According to IMDb, the premise reads, "An antique seller and a cleaner clash over how to downsize a magnificent estate right before Christmas. As the two uncover the house's treasures, they find a way to reconnect the reclusive owner with his own Christmases past."