The rainy weather we have been experiencing for the past week or so has not seemed to dampen the spirits of the movie/festival going public in Montreal. Actually it's the perfect weather for movies, people are not tempted to do outdoor activities. Whatever the reason, I think it is because of the excellent films being shown, the attendance for the Nouveau Cinema Film Festival has been way up so far and looks to continue this way. After the lackluster attendance for the New Montreal Film Festival I am sure the co-coordinators are very relieved to see their attendance has been strong for most screenings. Head programmer Claude Chamberlain has been quoted as saying that they are setting attendance records, selling out even daytime screenings and that the demographics include people of all ages and both official languages. Canadian director Clément Virgo (the highly sexual film 'Lie With Me') also stated that this is the best film festival in the world because it is not too big and is able to treat its incoming guests well. Even the short film part of the festival is doing blockbuster business. There has been nothing negative said about the festival by anyone other than maybe those who did not get into the screenings of their choice because of sell outs.
The films that have already been shown that have created a buzz include first time director Bennett Miller's 'Capote' (which was sold out), Israeli director Amos Gitai's 'Free Zone', and Dutch director Lars Von Trier's 'Manderlay'. Upcoming films that are highly anticipated or already sold out include a trio of shorts which include a film by American musician Laurie Anderson, any of the 3 screenings of Japanese directors Tetsuya Nomura and Tekeshi Nozue film 'Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children', Montreal director Frank Vitale's 'Montreal Main', or the closing film by French director Jacques Audiard 'De Battre Mon Coeur S'est Arrêté'. There are also interesting films like Neil Jordan's 'Breakfast on Pluto', a documentary about musician George Michael called 'George Michael: A Different Story', and American John Turturro's 'Romance and Cigarettes' left to see.
I highly advise anyone who is a fan of good films to check out some of the selections at the Nouveau cinema Film Festival, you will not regret it. Just a word to the wise though, because of the popularity of the festival, buy your tickets online or ahead of time so you will not be disappointed if you get there and the film you want to see is sold out. Bon cinema!