Montreal World Film Festival

Two thirds of the way through the Montreal World Film Festival and it is evident that despite the huge quantity of films being shown, quality remains a priority.  During the past week, the streets of downtown Montreal have been packed with filmmakers and movie lovers alike from around the globe as they rush from o­ne screening to the next, taking part in the 27th edition of the festival. This year, the films I've chosen to see have been surprisingly refreshing and solidly put together.  For example, 'Die Mommie Die' is a hilariously off-beat parody of the 1960's style soap opera which casts Charles Busch as Angela Arden, a washed up diva with a dark family secret. Alongside Busch, who also wrote the remarkably witty script, are Jason Priestly and Natasha Lyonne, whose talents both thrive in this must-see motion picture. In the European selection, 'Les tiqueurs', from first-time French director Philippe Locquet, is a convincing and entertaining mockumentary about a group of people suffering from Tourette's Syndrom or nervous tics.  (So convincing in fact that it was awarded the first documentary prize in Chicago despite being completely fictional.)  'The Delicate Art of Parking', from British Columbian director Trent Carlson, is another comical first feature as it portrays a crew of amateur filmmakers as they follow mild mannered Grant Parker in his "risky" job of parking enforcer.  Another promising Canadian feature is 'Luck', written and directed by Peter Wellington (Joe's So Mean to Josephine) and starring Luke Kirby and Sarah Polley.  Kirby plays Shane Bradley as he struggles with a budding gambling addiction as well as with his romantic feelings for his best friend Margaret.  From Iceland, 'Salt' is the simple and  beautifully honest film of Hildur's journey to Reykjavik with her sister's boyfriend and her self-discovery along the way.  And finally, there is laugh-out-loud Swedish production Kopps, about a group of small town policemen that are no longer needed due to lack of crime and so decide to become criminals themselves in order to save their jobs.  The films continue until Sunday so why not check out Gus Van Sant's award winining Elephant o­n Saturday at 8pm? Or any other of the many foreign films screening over the weekend.

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