Fantasia 2019

Fantasia-2019-bannerThe 23rd edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, the top genre film festival in North America, will be held (mostly) at the Concordia Théâtre Hall from July 11 to August 1st 2019. The festival will open with Hideo Nakata latest movie, Sadako. It will also showcase over an hundred feature films & shorts in horror, sci-fi or fantasy genres and many filmmakers and actors will be attending to introduce their production — including Yamamoto Kiyoshi (Director of Brave Father Online – Our Story of Final Fantasy XIV), Yaguchi Shinobu & Kanekoa Ryon (director and producer of Dance with me), Makoto Tezuka (dir. of The Legend of the Stardust Brothers), Takahiro Umehara (dir. & writer for Moon in the hidden woods), Nao Yoshighai (retrospective), Oshiyama Kiyotaka (dir. of the short Shishigari) and Keita Amemiya (dir. of Garo and speaker of the Master Class on Wed July 31, 2019 7:00 PM at the York Amphitheatre). Tickets will be available at Concordia’s box office and online starting July 6th.

Movies from all over the world will be presented (including five from China, five from Hong Kong, twenty-four from South Korea and two from Taiwan), but here we are interested mostly in the forty-five production from Japan:



This year there’s lots of horror and lots of shorts, many anime and a few titles to watch closely (like Human Lost, The Relative worlds, Garo, Gintama 2, and The island of cats).

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Ottawa Tulips Festival 2019

This year, my visit at the festival was VERY disappointing. It was more of a festival of unopened tulips!

[Not] Pretty Woman

Several flower beds had almost no flowers in bloom!

In the past, I have always visited the festival toward its end and many tulips were past their prime to say the least. This time, I wanted to see the tulips at their best so I had decided to visit more at the beginning (like four days after it had started). Considering that we had to coordinate the availability of three persons (my wife, my sister and myself) and that I had to request my day off weeks in advance, it left us with little choice and flexibility. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate at all. First, the late spring (it has been generally cold and rainy in the last month) delayed the growth of the tulips and the festival had to offer mostly unmatured flowers. Second, like last year, it was raining on the day of our visit!

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the organizers of the 67th annual Tulip Festival were saying that the “Visitors (…) didn’t seem deterred by warnings of later blooms.” The article, published after the opening week-end, explains: “The wet, cool spring has pushed back the tulip blooms. Glenn [Janna Glenn, a spokeswoman for the Tulip Festival] said the gardens are between 50 per cent and 60 per cent blooming right now. While that means the gardens might not be at their most stunning on opening weekend, there will still be blooms for visitors to see later into the festival, she said.” This is clearly false advertising since five days later, at best, 40% of the tulips were blooming. In this Trumpian era I understand that a spokesperson would lie to promote their event, but a respectable journalist should know better than to repeat and validate such blatant lie (but, hey, it’s the Ottawa Citizen… unprofessionally hiding the truth in order to favour a profitable event and please the local merchants association is really not beyond them!)


Which is which ?

My main complain (beside the weather, obviously) is that many varieties of tulips are mixed inside each flowers beds (to make nice, colourful arrangements) and the identification tags are spread along the beds in a manner that makes it impossible to know which flower goes with each tag. Therefore we cannot know the name of each tulips for sure. This problem seems to have always plagued the festival. I am sure it could be possible to make labeling tags that include a small picture of the tulip so it could easily be identified in the flower bed — or at least provide a brochure that list all the tulips displayed with a picture and a small description. It would be so much nicer to be able to name each tulip (particularly when you take pictures) — without having to spend hours afterward googling each one!

Anyway, even if I took less pictures than in the previous years, we found ways to make the visit interesting despite the disappointment (and deception). There was still some tulips to be enjoyed (even if many had not bloomed) so it was not a total waste of time (although taking a six hours trip — roughly three hours of driving to go and three hours to come back — for a three hours visit is certainly not an optimum use of my time; but the landscape on the way [flooded in some places] was interesting to look at and I had made a good playlist of classic French pop songs to listen to on the way)…

CTF-Master-Logo-Vertical-ED-350pxThe 67th edition of the Ottawa Tulip Festival is centred on only one venue: the Commissioners Park near Dows Lake. The park’s 30 flower beds are offering more than 250,000 tulips to enjoy. There is also many other activities like the Tulip legacy walking tour, or visiting the Tulip Plaza’s marketplace, or the Heritage pavillon with its Canadian Tulip Festival Museum, etc. The festival, which was established to celebrate the historic Royal gift of tulips from the Dutch to Canadians in the wake of the Second World War, is held until May 20th. stars-2-5


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Solde de livres 2019

abm_2019_affiche_vf_tgpComme tout les ans, les Amis de la Bibliothèque de Montréal organisent leur solde de livres pour offrir à petits prix aux Montréalais les livres dont les bibliothèques ne veulent plus (mais qui sont encore en très bon état). Vous y trouverez tout les genres de livres (plus de cent milles romans, documentaires, bandes dessinées, magazines, pour adultes, pour enfants, en français, en anglais et même parfois dans d’autres langues!) à très bon prix: 0,50 $ (livres jeunesse et magazines), 1,00 $ (livres adultes), 2,00 $ (BD et manga), et 3,00 $ (Dictionnaires, encyclopédies et « beaux livres »).

Le Solde de livres 2019 se tiendra du samedi 25 mai au dimanche 2 juin, de 13h00 à 19h00, à l’aréna Martin Brodeur (300, boulevard Robert, Montréal, juste à côté de la bibliothèque de St-Léonard). Les quantités sont limités sur certains types de documents (BD, dictionnaires). Le paiement doit être comptant seulement; il y a pas d’échange ou de remboursement possible. Et, S.V.P., veuillez apporter vos propres sacs. Pour plus d’information vous pouvez visiter la page Facebook.

Le but de cet événement est “de prolonger la vie utile de ces livres, d’aider à répandre le goût de la lecture et de permettre aux citoyens de Montréal d’enrichir leur bibliothèque personnelle à faible coût.” De plus, les revenus de la vente serviront à financer des activités d’animation dans les bibliothèques. Les documents invendus seront ensuite offert à des associations sans but lucratif et organismes communautaires, puis à Renaissance et finalement à la Fondation des parlementaires / Cultures à partager (qui les expédie dans des pays en voie de développement — comme en Afrique francophone et en Haïti). Ultimement, les livres qui restent après tout ça sont recyclés pour le papier. Rien ne se perd! Quelle entreprise louable…

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