By STEVEN HOWELL Press-Republican
---- — MONTREAL — Unique film festivals, indie movie offerings and Imax 3-D adventures take to the Montreal big screen.
On now is the Fantasia International Film Festival, one of Montreal’s more original festivals that offers a unique lineup of international independent films, Asian anime features, classic cult faves, action-packed adventures and the occasional Hollywood blockbuster.
The fest offers dozens of screenings held at eight or so downtown, Latin Quarter and Plateau movie houses, including Ex-Centris, the Imperial Theatre and Cinematheque Quebecoise.
Of note, “I am Divine” is a documentary that pays tribute to Harris Glen Milstead, aka Divine, John Waters’ most famous actor, on Tuesday, July 30.
“Rewind This” is a unique documentary that pays homage to the videocassette. Yes, VHS and beta get all the glory with a look at videocassette-industry heyday. The documentary is on Monday, July 29, and Saturday, Aug. 3.
From Mexico comes “Halley,” an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival that follows the last days of Beto, an unassuming, disintegrating zombie that attempts one last hurrah. “Halley” is on Saturday, Aug. 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 6.
“Go Down Death,” which will be hosted in person by writer/director Aaron Schimberg on Monday, Aug. 5, brings to life the six-page body of prose written by poet Jonathan Mallory Sinus.
“We Will Live Again” follows Ben Best and Andy Zawacki, the caretakers of 99 deceased human bodies stored at below-freezing temperatures in cryopreservation. This is not a work of fiction; it’s a documentary based on real people, presented on Monday, Aug. 5.
Fantasia continues through Tuesday, Aug. 6. Single admission costs $8 per screening. A 10-ticket discount is also available. Visit www.fantasiafest.com to learn more.
CINEMA DU PARC
In the Plateau neighborhood, Cinema du Parc offers a wide array of art-house, cult and foreign films.
Beginning Friday is “Storm Surfers 3-D,” a high-energy documentary that follows surfers Ross Clarke-Jones and Tom Carroll on the quest for the perfect wave.
Starting Tuesday, Aug. 20, is “20 feet from Stardom,” a documentary that “shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century,” according to the press release. The film features Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Bette Midler and Sting.
Beginning Friday, Aug. 23, is “Museum Hours,” a moody psychological drama that features two strangers who find refuge in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Art Museum.
Cinema du Parc is at 3575 Park Ave. Screenings cost $11.50 for adults, $8.50 for youth and seniors, and $8 for all-day Tuesday admission. Call (514) 281-1900 or visit www.cinemaduparc.com for details.
For those who prefer a really big screen and true-to-life 3-D fare, the Cinema Banque Scotia downtown multiplex is currently offering “Pacific Rim: An Imax 3-D Experience,” “Man of Steel 3-D,” “The Wolverine 3-D” and “World War Z 3-D.” The multiplex is at 977 Ste. Catherine St. W. Call (514) 866-0111 or visit www.paramountmontreal.com for details.
Showing on the Imax screen at the Montreal Science Centre is “Great White Shark 3-D,” an original Imax adventure that takes viewers to the depths of the oceans face-to-face with the great white shark, a ferocious predator that’s actually on the verge of extinction. The Science Centre is at the King Edward Pier in the Old Port. For more information and a schedule, call (514) 496-4629 or (800) 349-4629, or visit www.montrealsciencecentre.com.
WORLD FILM FEST
Rounding out the summer is the prestigious Montreal World Film Festival, which runs Thursday, Aug. 22, through Monday, Sept. 2.
In all, some 700 feature and short films representing 80 countries will screen over the 12-day fest. Themed categories include World Competition, Documentaries of the World, Focus on World Cinema, an evening outdoor film series called Cinema Under the Stars, Tributes, Student Film Festival, First Films and World Greats.
Individual film admission costs $10. A 10-screening booklet costs $70. A festival passport costs $100 and includes admission to all screenings and discounts on festival catalogs and posters. Many films screen at Cinema Imperial, which is located at 1430 Bleury St. Visit www.ffm-montreal.org for details.
Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at iTunes.com.