After a year of horror, the Cinémathèque Québécoise now welcomes science fiction

After a year of horror, the Cinémathèque Québécoise now welcomes science fiction

Movie buffs, to scuba suits, laser guns, or even your mustache and Speedo Dazzling Orange: Science fiction hits the screens of the Québécois Cinema, in a summer full of interstellar adventures.

From July 2nd to August 25th, more than 100 feature films from here and elsewhere await fans of the genre, as well as newcomers. All in collaboration with the Fantasia Festival, which was already the Cinémathèque's partner in 2023, for a round of horror film screenings.

“Since the beginning of this kind of cycle – it started with eroticism, then with music… we try to have a transversal approach to the history of cinema, either through genre, or through the cinematic dimension,” recalls Marcel Jean, general director of this institution located in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

“It's about taking the whole history of cinema, but from a certain point of view.”

Mr. Jean still believes that the success of last year's horror course justified the organization of the science fiction course this summer. “Horror has been the biggest success of all the summer courses since we started organizing them. The context was a bit difficult last summer, with the action and so on. This helped us to get to the science fiction side, because we said to ourselves that we could move towards pure cinema, again this year. These are two genres that for a long time were considered secondary artistically.”

“These are clichés, and we know it! When we go back to the history of cinema, even to Méliès, we know how present science fiction has already become. There is Metropolis “By Fritz Lang, etc.,” says Marcel Jean.

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Journey to the Moon Classic films from German Expressionist cinema will also be screened during this edition, along with other works from the silent film era.

According to the general manager of the Cinémathèque, “science fiction runs through the history of cinema.” As proof of this, he says, some of the greatest directors, “like Tarkovsky and Kubrick,” have produced exceptional films that are the pillars of the genre.

Very Quebec Sci-Fi

With these works from all over the world that will be on display by the end of August, including the United States (Gattaca, no, Interstellaretc.), but also Europe (Sons of men, World war (One from 1954, but also one with Tom Cruise, New birth, The fifth element), without forgetting Asia (Akira, ghost in a shelletc.), the local cinema managed to infiltrate.

Therefore, the public is entitled to receive offers. Turbo Kidfor truffleexcellent Vikingor even… In a galaxy near you.

“Science fiction is something that was rarely present in Quebec, and has only recently appeared, whether with March and April, Turbo Kidetc. Following the development of fantasy, science fiction became a real dimension of Quebec cinema.

Selection by attrition

Science fiction films have been produced since the silent adventures of the “astronauts” crashing into the eye of the moon at the beginning of the 20th century. To take advantage of this vast repertoire, the Cinémathèque team had to adopt strict criteria.

“We select by attrition,” notes Mr. Jean, who lists “about 250 titles at the beginning.”

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“Then there are things out there that turn out to be impossible to find. There are other films where we realize that the director being everywhere means we have to trim him down… And the idea of ​​what can’t be found can also depend on the restoration process, where the availability of the print is very limited before the film is released. This is a new release. There are also a lot of directors whose films you can show, so you have to limit yourself to just one, or maybe two.”

The Cinémathèque's collections also have an influence on the composition of the programme; it is much easier, after all, to search through archives than to have to make an agreement with distribution houses, studios, or even take out the checkbook to borrow reels, for example.

In this context, we will not find films in the series. star Warsor even Star TrekThese epics were considered too accessible or too visual in some way. The Cinémathèque team preferred to seek out lesser-known works, sometimes films that were “never shown” and therefore generally could not be found on online listening services, for example.

This strategy of selection and organization to please the audience seems to be paying off; Marcel Jean, in his interview on Wednesday, noted that a number of sessions have already sold out. The proof, if there is one, is not only that science fiction is more popular than ever, but also that the appeal of the dark room, the appeal of the shared experience with brilliant strangers, in front of a big screen, is still very strong.

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Science fiction course at the Québécois Cinematheque, From July 2nd to August 25th

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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