Movie Lovers Rejoice!
For 21 years, Montreal has hosted, arguably one of the largest genre film festivals of all time. The festival in question? “The Fantasia International Film Festival”. Year after year the festival brings in countless movie lovers from around the world to the Concordia auditoriums from July 13th – August 2nd to come and share in one thing, their love of cinema. Every single year the festival continues to surprise me with their vast and diverse selection of films, handpicked by their staff, and this year was absolutely no exception.
Right from the get-go, audiences were treated to a free program launch, in which trailers from every single film being screened at the festival was shown, to give people a taste of what they might want to check out during the festival. The staff introduced themselves as well and discussed some of their favorite films being shown, the environment felt very welcoming and informal, which I liked very much. This is great for first timers who are not sure how everything works.
I had the privilege of seeing a handful of films being presented, if time permitted I would have gone to see more but alas, I was not able. Though I am very thankful for the films I was able to see. Some of the highlights included, legendary Japanese filmmaker “Takashi Miike’s” absolutely insane yet astonishingly faithful live action adaptation of the widely popular anime and manga series “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” with “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: Chapter 1” (It’s a mouthful, I know); David Lowery’s beautiful and deeply personal “A Ghost Story” ; Ana Asensio’s gripping and tension filled “Most Beautiful Island”; Daigo Matsui’s hilariously progressive J-Drama “Haruko Azumi is Missing” also known as “Japanese Girls Never Die”; Jeff Baena’s historical period comedy “The Little Hours” and Masaaki Yuasa’s wonderful animated film “Night is Short, Walk on Girl”. If these films are to ever get a wider release I highly recommend checking these out.
Despite “Fantasia” specializing in presenting smaller independent films, there are certain occasions in which much larger productions are also screened, in this case, this year we got to see not only the Canadian premiere of Luc Besson’s sci-fi passion project “Valerian: and the City of a Thousand Planets” but also David Leitch’s spy thriller “Atomic Blonde”.
One thing “Fantasia is notorious for is, the audience itself, regardless of what type of film you see, you Korean bowl noodles. It was truly a sight to behold.
Overall, the “Fantasia International Film Festival” was an incredible experience, and I feel it is something that should be experienced at least once in a lifetime, and I am very much looking forward to going back in years to come.