Didn’t manage to attend Cannes this year? Adding to the city’s rich film-festival lineup, Cinemania showcases the best francophone films from the past year. Hosted at the majestic Imperial Theatre, this is the most convenient way for anglophones to check out French cinema, with the entire lineup of films conveniently subtitled in English. Sponsored by Air France, it is solely devoted to North American, Canadian, and Quebec premieres of French films. Past years have screened masterpieces including The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, A Prophet, and Poliss.
Cinemania takes place at the Imperial Cinema (1430 Bleury) from November 3 to 13. Listings for the 2012 edition will be published in late October.G
Gardens of Light: The Magic of Lanterns and Aki
No one is too jaded to enjoy the Magic of Lanterns, a hugely popular autumn tradition. Hundreds of lanterns, many of them traditionally produced in Shanghai and painstakingly arranged at the magnificent Chinese Garden, illuminate the evenings at the Botanical Gardens next to the Olympic Stadium. If you haven’t been yet, this is an excellent excuse to see the sprawling and meticulously kept Botanical Gardens. This year’s festival theme is “The Celestial Banquet.” The Magic of Lanterns is held concurrently with Aki, a display of “the interplay of light and shadow” in the adjacent Japanese Garden.
Gardens of Light is open until November 4. The Botanical Gardens will remain open daily until 9 p.m. The student admission rate is $13.50. The Gardens are located at the corner of Pie-IX and Sherbrooke.
Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montreal (RIDM)
The Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montreal (RIDM) festival focuses solely on documentary film. The vision of the event aims to promote Canadian and foreign films. This year, the festival’s fifteenth, is shaping up to be particularly exciting. Organizers are producing a special portion of programming titled “15 Years for 15 Films.” 15 special guests have been invited to the festival to pick a documentary that “changed their lives,” each of which will be screened at the festival. One by one, the special guests are being revealed on the festival website. So far, Gael Garcia Bernal, Lou Reed, and Alanis Obomsawin are among those slated to appear, with five more still to be revealed.
The RIDM runs from November 7 to 18. They are in the process of announcing their 2012 program and ticket prices.
Festival du nouveau cinema
The most contemporary of Montreal’s big film festivals, the FNC has a broad focus with an emphasis on fresh ideas. Impeccable taste and a serious admiration for maverick filmmaking shape the festival’s lineups each year. Among many other great films, last year’s FNC presented Pina, Wim Wenders’ 3D tribute to the late choreographer Pina Bausch; The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodovar’s brilliant exploration of plastic surgery; as well as Monsieur Lazhar, an insightful Quebecois drama that was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.
The festival features several sections, with one devoted entirely to Quebecois and Canadian cinema, one for risqué cinema and another for children’s films, as well as a prestigious short-film series.
The Festival du Nouveau Cinema will run from October 10 to 21 at Excentris on St. Laurent. This year’s program and ticket prices have yet to be announced.
M for Montreal
The other big indie music event in the fall is M for Montréal, Pop’s smaller, more francophone cousin. M generally featuress acts better known in Quebec and Canada than the rest of the world. It is used as a scouting service by the world’s largest festivals, including Glastonbury, Coachella, SXSW, and Les Inrockuptibles. Last year’s fest included Karkwa, Bran Van 3000, Arianne Moffatt, and Peter Peter.
M for Montreal happens from November 14 to 17. More information about lineup, ticket prices, and location will be released in October.
Black and Blue Festival
Having run for 21 years, B and B is a queer institution. This dance party/festival raises money for the BBCM foundation, which supports the fight against HIV/AIDS. Black and Blue will be hosting parties around town, from the “Jock Ball” and the “Leather Ball” to the main event, a huge rave at Palais des Congrès. Most days of the festival start with a long brunch that evolves into an evening of relentless partying at several locations.
Black and Blue prides itself on its inclusive nature, and explicitly incorporates heterosexual participants and DJs. Electronic fans would do well to check out the list of performers. Whether you want to support the cause, celebrate being queer, or just party hard, Black and Blue has a place on the dance floor for you.
Black and Blue takes place in the Village and around town from October 3 to 9. Tickets come in various packages; the main event on October 6 is a $120 for general admission. Other nights offer less expensive parties.