Don’t be scared, hot bartenders will return to these pages next month. I decided to do something a bit different this time. Yes, I could have once again acknowledged the natural powers of babes like Dominique and Maud but instead I want to give props to the now infamous Fantasia festival.
Who cares about Fantasia, you might ask, when there are so many hot chicks around. Come on … Montreal is much more than that. True, our city might not have the kind of money that flows in Hollywood, nor do we have the reputation or sophistication of Cannes. But we have Fantasia, a festival that perfectly embodies the spirit of this messed up city. And that’s worth a bit of recognition, no?
Anyways, following our high journalistic standards, I did not bother meeting or interviewing anybody who is remotely involved with Fantasia. I rather tell my own little story. And I am definitely not scared by possible hate-mail from the festival's organizers. Been there, done that, and as you probably noticed, Rogue is just a pseudonym. So good luck chasing me down.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… aka. high school, I was invited to see a Hong Kong action movie. Having nothing better to do, as usually, I agreed and we headed towards a kingdom yet unknown to me, Le Cinema Impérial. We got there at least five minutes late, but we just walked in because the theatre wasn't even full (that's right, we just WALKED in).
A movie with English subtitles was already playing, to an all too attentive crowd. I, however, was checking out the venue, not really paying attention to the first few minutes of the movie. But I was brutally awakened by the cheering and applause of the crowd, which erupted as a bad ass looking Asian man made his first appearance in the movie. Being raised into the sterility of North American Film culture, I was shocked by the fact that people would react so loudly and emotionally during a movie. Silence is golden, or at least I was always told so. Why all this commotion then? It took me only a few minutes to understand. That bad ass man, known as Jet Li, shattered all my pre-conceptions about action movies.
Believe me or not, but before he sold his soul to Hollywood, and started making movies with rappers, Jet Li actually had a reputation. And rightfully so, cause some of his movies, that I had the chance to see at that first Fantasia, were just insane. Once Upon a Time in China Part 1 and the whole trilogy actually, will blow you off your seat. I also saw a movie (don't remember the name) where Jet Li, a good cop, kills at least 40 people, bad guys only, in the first five minutes of action. You thought Bruce Willis was hard core; think again.
I am probably slowly becoming an old fart, but I miss that first Fantasia. I miss the no-line-ups situation, I miss L'Impérial and I miss that catalog that made me horny just because of the pics inside.
On the other hand, I am happy that Fantasia is a big success (over 78,000 tickets sold this summer). The more people discover good movies, the better this world will be. Only feeding off the verbal diarrhea that Hollywood spits would be disastrous (and lead to accidents like the re-election of Bush).
That's it, I figured it out. I know how to get rid of the line ups. Just rent out The Paramount on Ste-Catherine for the festival. That place only overcharges for shitty movies anyways. Fantasia would do it some good. I am all down for the corporate path, as long as the public gets to discover some more ill shit next year.