Volume 14, Issue 9 / September 2010

Film Festival Big Boys

In this issue

In this issue Offscreen presents reports on two of the biggest and most important (in terms of industry clout, market sales, and prestige) film festivals, Cannes International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film festival (TIFF). As a Montrealer I must say that while this city may not boast a festival to match one of the “Big Boys” (Venice, Sundance, Telluride, and Berlin being among the others), what we lack in ‘star’ quality we more than make up for in quantity (which is not to say that we don’t have some excellent film festivals, because we surely do). The sheer number of annual film festivals in Montreal is dizzying. For the record, here is a list of active, annual Montreal film festivals, with approximate month of operation: The Montreal World Film Festival (September), Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (October), The Fantasia International Film Festival (July-August), Festival image+nation (October), Just For Laughs Film Festival (July), RIDM – Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (November), Festival Spasm (October), Pop Montreal (September), Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (February), International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA, March), Cinemania Film Festival (November), The Montreal Jewish Film festival (May), Cine Gael Montreal (February), YoungCuts Film Festival, Montreal First People’s Film Festival (August), Montreal Festivalissimo Film Festival (March), Greek Film festival (November), Montreal International Black Film Festival (September-October), The Montreal Stop-Motion Film Festival (October), Montreal Underground Film Festival (May), Montréal International Children’s Film Festival (March), Vues d’Afrique (May), The Brazilian Film Festival (November-December), and a plug for my university’s film students, The Mel Hoppenhiem School of Cinema Film Festival (MHSoC Film Festival, April-May). That’s twenty-four in total, two film festivals a month (and I’m sure I’ve missed a few)! If there is another city in the world that can boast more film festivals than Montreal, I’d love to know about it. For the particulars of this issue, in Wexman’s thoughtful report on Cannes 2010 she steps back from the common festival method of scouring for patterns to reconsider the age old (and still thorny) issue of authorship, and more specifically the auteur theory as it has been practiced, eulogized, and then practiced again over the past many decades. Wexman looks at Cannes, which lives and dies by the great auteurs, and the consequences, merits, and problems which can occur when an artwork’s driving creative presence is assigned to the ‘name above the title.’ The issue of auteurism also factors into Pierre Pageau’s report on Cannes, which concentrates on this year’s Asian contributions. Pageau also contributes a report on Canada’s contribution to the Festival Big Boys (if you can excuse me this momentary bit of gender language bias), TIFF. The final two articles in this issue review two new DVD releases from one of our favorite DVD/BD companies, Severin Films, the first is the sequel to the Canadian teen comedy cult classic Screwballs, Loose Screws: Screwballs 2, and the erotic gem, Joy. (ed. Donato Totaro)

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