WOMEN AT MONTREAL’S 2021 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL – Report by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Mixing on demand and in-person screenings, the 25th edition of Fantasia International Film Festival (August 5 to 25) offers a smorgasbord of genre film treats, particularly for those of us with an interest in women-made and women-centred cinema. North America’s largest genre fest has been called “the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent” by Quentin Tarantino, while Guillermo del Toro has called it “a shrine”. The women’s names associated with this year’s festival may not be as big as these cult film rock stars, don’t let that fool you – women are out here in full force, both in front and behind the camera.

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ALIEN CRYSTAL PALACE – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The film is, to put it mildly, more of a sensory experience than an exercise in character development and complex plot mechanics; to explain the story feels like trying to describe the narrative logic of a lava lamp. A haptic celebration of camp, Alien Crystal Palace loosely follows a deranged scientist obsessed with bringing into the world a new kind of perfect being, marked by its defining androgyny.

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