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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.


MIDNIGHT SLAM! Guarantees A Fright


Saturday/Sunday, August 25 and 26---------The Montreal World Film Festival is an eclectic mix. It is a showcase for the most auteur of auteur films, and yet has a hankering to involve "tout le public" also. On the same evening, a film from a film master will screen at the same time as an upstart indie project from a director rookie to a pulpish genre film. In that sense, the Festival is an accurate reflection of the city where it takes uneasy mixture of genteel French-influenced culture and popularist hedonism that embraces the kinky and the different. And that is also what makes Montreal a great city, and the Festival a truly democratic event.

That democracy is in full evidence every evening at midnight, when the Festival is screening a genre one can only call "arthouse gore". This is a unique international movement of horror thrillers that are sensationalistic and low-brow, and yet are told using the tricks of auteur filmmaking, to create highly individual takes on fear, anxiety, repulsion and, yes, gory violence. I will freely admit that the pyrotechnics makes me squirm (I look away more than I gaze at the screen), but I definitely do see the artistry in these well-handled genre items. And, just as stimulating, the films are not relegated to any one film industry, but are a truly international movement, ranging from Asian gore masters to North American indie splatterers. Yes, there is lots of blood, but the main tension is psychological, in the shadows of a darkened room, where all manner of evil can be lurking.

Starting at Saturday evening, the Festival promises to scare filmgoers with its MIDNIGHT SLAM! program, comprising ten new films by directors from around the world. All films will be shown at the bewitching hour (midnight) at the Imperial Cinema. Included in the program are three world premieres: SCAR 3-D (directed by Jed Weintrob), PREDATORS (Laurent Courau) and THE CHAIR (Brett Sullivan). Set in the small town of Ovid, Colorado, SCAR 3-D recalls how the town endured a reign of terror involving the abduction of teenagers and their torture in the morgue basement. Now the heroine of that incident is back in town and a new reign of terror has begun. SCAR 3-D will be presented in high definition 3D using the latest technology of the format, REAL D. No red and blue goggles are required and the new platform showcases the 3D movie in its truest form. PREDATORS is a gonzo-style documentary on the vampire sub-culture, which takes  viewers on a disturbing journey of a contemporary underground cult.  In THE CHAIR, a beautiful young psychology student, unknowingly awakens the spirit of a child killer when she moves into an old Victorian house.

The series also includes the Canadian premiere of the latest ghoul-fest from Rob Zombie, a shock director and film programmer with a cult following. For HALLOWEEN, he has spun a new take on the John Carpenter horror classic. This one stars Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Tyler Mane and Kristina Klebe. In SHOOT 'EM UP, distinguished-actor-turned-action-star Clive Owen stars as a knight in shining armour, who protects a pregnant woman who is being chased by bad guys (including a menacing Paul Giamatti). A slimy saga that brought out my personal goosebumps when I read the description was BLACKWATER (Australia, David Nerlich), the story of three tourists and their guide., whose boat is attacked by a crocodile. When they become stuck in a swamp, the crocodile comes back to finish the job (presumably for a human flesh feast). This sounds totally YUK, but totally FASCINATING.

The same can be said for the other films in the series (yet unseen by me, but with great film titles), including DEAD DAUGHTERS (Pavel Ruminov), 7EVENTY 5IVE (Brian Hooks), COLD PREY (Roar Uthang) and THE LAST HOUSE IN THE WOODS (Gabriele Albanesi). I can tell already that nightmares and cold sweats at 4am in the morning are in my future. For more information the series, log on to:

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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