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There’s nothing better than outdoor movies on a summer night!

June 15, 2017

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There’s something simply magical about seeing a great movie outdoors, and that’s why the Downtown Screenings Under the Stars series is still going strong in the Quartier des Spectacles after 13 years.

Once again this year, Place de la Paix is Montreal’s favourite outdoor movie theatre, from June 12 to August 24. Everyone is invited to come enjoy movies picked by some of Montreal’s best film-event organizers. The weekly series – every Monday at 9 p.m. – will be doubled up in August with Thursday screenings.

There will be everything from documentaries and cult movies to topical features and auteur films. Movie lovers rejoice: you’re in for a lot of fun summer nights!

MONDAY, JUNE 19

Something Wild

Presented by FILM POP

The great American director Jonathan Demme passed away a few weeks ago; here’s a chance to honour him by revisiting his crackling 1987 comedy starring Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels, a movie long since ascended to cult-classic status. The loopy tale puts Griffith and Daniels on the run from jealous bad-boy Ray Liotta.

MONDAY, JUNE 26

Dieumerci! 

Presented by the Montreal International Black Film Festival

This French comedy is directed by Lucien Jean-Baptiste, who also stars in the title role. Dieumerci is a 40-something who’s just been released from prison. He decides to get his life on track by taking up acting, but his young sidekick, the hilarious Baptiste Lecaplain, keeps getting in the way.

MONDAY, JULY 3

DJ XL5’s SUPERHERO ZAPPIN’ PARTY

Presented by the Fantasia Festival

Marc Lamothe, a.k.a. DJ XL5, is the undisputed champ of film-clip compilations, much to the delight of festival audiences. Drawing on a wealth of genre movies, the Z series, foreign films and even a few ads, he finds the best bits and splices them together in wondrous ways. In this comp, he pays tributes to the superheroes of the world, going all the way back to the 1940s.

MONDAY, JULY 17

Théâtre de la vie

Presented by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Peter Svatek’s poignant documentary follows chef Massimo Bottura and more than 60 colleagues and collaborators as they reclaim wasted food to cook delicious, healthy meals for the needy. Filmed in 2015 during the Milan Universal Exposition, the film documents the powerful bonds formed by the people involved in the project.

MONDAY, JULY 24

FOOD COOP

Presented by Cinema Politica

An inspiring documentary directed by Tom Boothe, all about the Park Slope food coop. Located in the heart of Brooklyn, the self-managed independent supermarket helps its 16,000 members buy high-quality food at affordable prices, in exchange for three hours of volunteer work every month. It’s a socialist experiment inside the beating heart of capitalism, and it leaves no one indifferent.

MONDAY, JULY 31

Spaceballs

Presented by SPASM

It’s the 40th anniversary of the first Star Wars movie – which means it must be the 30th anniversary of the classic spoof, Spaceballs. Sure, this Mel Brooks number is a little bit dated, but it’s still hilarious. Worth watching just to see the late, great John Candy as the delightfully unhinged Chewbacca surrogate, Barf.

MONDAY, AUGUST 7

Angry Inuk

Presented by the Montreal First Peoples’ Festival

This passionate defence of the indigenous seal hunt – a Canadian feature written and directed by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril – demonstrates the importance of the traditional hunt in Inuit culture. We follow the director and lawyer Aaju Peter through Nunavut and Europe as they fight to save an ancient activity that supports and sustains entire communities.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 10

Raving Iran

Presented by the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM)

This documentary by Susanne Regina Meures takes us into the heart of a secretive Iranian youth culture, where we meet DJs Anoosh and Arash. In a country where Western music is forbidden and artists are closely monitored, freedom and art come at a steep price. With a European festival invitation in hand, the two young DJs face a life-changing decision.

MONDAY, AUGUST 14

Projection sur l’herbe

Presented by KINO

The KINO movement emerged in the late 90s, and it has steadily grown and thrived ever since. It should come as no surprise that some of its young filmmakers, like Stéphane Lafleur, have graduated from no-budget, quickie shorts to popular, award-winning features. If you like surprises, this is the movie night for you – a dazzling parade of unique short films.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 17

Talent tout court

Presented by Prends ça court

The Prends ça court gala is an exceptional promotional venue for short films, followed by short-film fans around the world. This selection of 10 Canadian films between 5 and 20 minutes long will delight everyone, from diehard fans to complete newbies. Among the films is Mario Jean’s very fresh and topical La police de Montréal gâche le 375ème.

MONDAY, AUGUST 21

Mal de Pierres

Presented by the Cinemania Film Festival

The latest film by French actress and director Nicole Garcia is a big critical hit. The drama, set just after the Second World War, stars Marion Cotillard and Louis Garrel. Cotillard is in particularly fine form in this atypical love story based on a novel by Milena Angus.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24 

No Country For Old Men

Presented by the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC)

It’s hard to believe it’s already been ten years since the Coen brothers’ creepy neo-western hit the big screen. Probably because Javier Bardem is so grimly unforgettable as Chigurh, the relentless assassin, a performance that earned him the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2007. This superb film, based on an equally gripping novel by Cormac McCarthy, won three more richly deserved Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Downtown Screenings Under the Stars

June 12 to August 24

All films will be shown in their original language, with French subtitles where French is not the original language. Downtown Screenings Under the Stars are presented by the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) in collaboration with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and the borough of Ville-Marie</em

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