JOIN US FOR MOVIES UNDER THE STARS
July 24, 2018
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Every summer for the last 13 years, Place de la Paix has drawn Montrealers and visitors alike to enjoy outdoor movies. For this edition of Cinéma Urbain, which takes place every Tuesday at 9 p.m. from now to September 4, the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) has decided to give the event a new artistic direction, taking its cues from international film festivals. Screening everything from the world’s great classics to local movie-making milestones, Cinéma Urbain is the outdoor film event in Montreal this summer.
We met with Danny Lennon, a programming manager with the SAT and the creator of the Prends ça courts ! short film gala, to learn more about the choice of films to be screened this summer.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES AN OUTDOOR SCREENING SO SPECIAL?
Quite simply, it brings people together. The concept is popular all over the world, something I saw for myself during my travels. For a tourist, stumbling upon a screening as you try to find your way through a strange city is a real attraction in itself, even if you don’t speak the language. For Montrealers, it’s another way to get to know their own city and rediscover this neighbourhood and this very square.
WHAT IS THE PROGRAM’S CENTRAL THEME?
We planned our program according to what’s already showing elsewhere, because—and it’s a good thing!—there are a large number of outdoor screenings again this year. As a result, the films you find at Cinéma Urbain are not being shown anywhere else. The SAT also wanted to create an event along the lines of a real film festival, meaning we have old films, popular, current movies and even special presentations like The Work, a North American premiere!
HOW DID THE PLACE DE LA PAIX SETTING INFLUENCE YOUR CHOICES?
For me, choosing a lineup that was consistent with this neighbourhood and its strong, historic character was a priority. We wanted the program to have a little of the “red light district” feel, which is why it includes a musical like The Last Waltz by Martin Scorsese. We wanted films that captured a little of the colourful look and feel of burlesque shows.
WHAT MORE DOES CINÉMA URBAIN OFFER THE PUBLIC?
To start, the SAT is open during the event. The public can take advantage of its patio, and in the case of bad weather the screening will be moved inside right away. Prior to each screening, Skate Jam! Tuesdays will be back, with invitations to take part going out to all skateboarders interested in putting on a show for onlookers. There’s also our outstanding lineup of shorts ready to open for each evening’s main attraction. And it’s all free!
Presented in collaboration with Fantasia International Film Festival
Tuesday, July 24
Film-maker Robin Aubert’s refreshing take on horror movies makes for a cinematic event you won’t want to miss. Named the best Canadian film at the last Toronto Film Festival, the movie follows a handful of survivors from a village where the inhabitants are being attacked by zombies.
Presented in cooperation with the NFB
Tuesday, July 31
Luc Bourdon paints an impressionistic portrait of 1970s Québec based on archival and National Film Board images. The recipient of the award for the best medium- or full-length documentary at Moncton’s Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (FICFA), the film’s world premiere played to a packed house at the Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montréal, where it received a standing ovation.
Presented in cooperation with the Festival du nouveau cinéma and Montreal Black Film Festival
Tuesday, August 7
An iconic snapshot of American Black culture in the 1980s, director Spike Lee’s third feature film tells the story of a hot summer day in an African-American neighbourhood in New York City. The decidedly urban-flavoured comedy-drama features bright colours, playful camera angles, street art graffiti and popular slang, all set to a hip-hop sound track characteristic of the period.
Presented in cooperation with Film POP and the CINEMANIA film festival
Tuesday, August 14
This year marks the 30th anniversary of this iconic work from French film-maker Luc Besson, which was seen by more than 9 million people when it was first released in France in 1988. Telling the story of two divers from the Greek Islands in Peru, the film remains one of France’s biggest box-office successes to this day, especially among teenage audiences.
Presented in cooperation with Kino00
Tuesday, August 21
This whimsical road movie from Franco-Quebecer Éric Gravel paints a portrait of a young obsessive-compulsive worker whose whole world is her work. When she learns that her factory’s operations are being transferred to India, she decides to go along.
Presented in cooperation with RIDM
Tuesday, August 28
In this documentary, Syrian film-maker Ziad Kalthoum explores the working conditions of Syrian construction workers who have become refugees in Lebanon. With spell-binding images and an engrossing soundtrack, Kalthoum delivers a mesmerizing and profoundly human work.
Presented in cooperation with Film POP
Tuesday, September 4
Canadian-American roots rockers The Band call it quits with a lavish farewell show at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom in November 1976. Joining them onstage are a plethora of special guests who had performed with them in the 1960s and 1970s, including Bob Dylan, the group’s mentor, as well as Neil Young, Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton.
Projections every Tuesday from July 3 to September 4, 2018