Montreal, 2011

Another year, another Fantasia film festival. :)
This time we had a huge group interested, but it whittled down to 5 and then to 4 due to hotel room sharing limitations. Michael and Amanda had never gone up for the festival, but had visited Montreal before, so Chris and I were hoping to show them the movie buff side of the city and they were determined to show us the Go Big Or Go Home side of the city. :)

Thursday July 28, 2011

I'd skipped on going out clubbing the night before in favour of attempting to get enough sleep - and to catch up on reading, I'd picked up the new GRR Martin book and was intent on finishing it as soon as possible - I brought my copy and so did Chris and we kept them apart so we knew who's was whose. :) Michael was a tiny bit early, getting to my new place just before 8am, but I was almost ready. Got my stuff loaded, and we had a quick drive over to Amanda's new place. Bit of a wait for her and then Chris as well, since we were getting earlier each stop, but eventually we were all packed in the car and on the road. We hit a bit of traffic heading down 16 to get Chris, but leaving the city was pretty smooth, hooray for the reverse commute. Up through NH and into VT, and we stopped for a bathroom break and then a quick meal. The guy serving us gave Amanda a bit of grief for bringing in her own food, the rest of us had had some confusion over take out or eat in I think, or that might have been on the way back. The weather was good and the drive easy, up through Franconia Notch, and once we reached the border they just scanned all of our passports and waved us through.

Chris and I jumped out to pick up tickets while Michael found parking near the Hall Theatre. There was a bit of a wait, they'd moved the box office downstairs and there was one woman having problems getting her tickets and then another station slowly working through the line. I had a fistful of tickets (30 in all), and M&A came in as we walked toward the line moving into the theatre. I quickly found the tickets for 13 Assassins and we found seats in the fairly crowded theatre for our first movie at 3pm. It started off a bit slowly but built quickly, I enjoyed it. We found the car right outside and drove it over to the Cantlie Suites and I got us checked in and everyone's name on the room. They only could give us two keys so we had to juggle a bit, but it worked out okay. Unpacked and then walked back to the theatre all together for Gantz (once they learned to fight, very enjoyable). Chris had another film right away, so we agreed to met up at Peel Pub and then head over to Passport after. M&A went back to the hotel to chill for a bit, while I dropped into Le Taj for dinner. I was seated by myself in the window, and the tables all had carved figures holding tea lights, as well as carved screens with Indian deities. I was a tiny bit nervous due to the final climactic battle in Gantz having featured a deadly golden statue of Shiva, so I kept a close eye on the carvings to make sure they hadn't moved. :) I had a delicious meal, I'd eat there again, though the per dish price was a bit higher than expected.

From there I went around the corner to the hotel and they let me into the room. I changed my t-shirt to a fresh top and we walked down the block to Peel Pub. There was a huge line, but it kept thinning as people would give up and I convinced the other two to stick it out. We kept an eye open for Chris but didn't spot him. We finally got in and were seated at a table in the window where we could watch the street, but we were quickly distracted by the bevy of shots we ordered, starting off with 24 (they had to be ordered in multiples of 4). Somehow Chris ended up sneaking past us and getting his shots at the bar, while we ordered another round of 16 or so. I ended up taking 13 and could still walk out of there (though we ended up all holding hands so as not to get separated in the clubbing crowds). I led them over to Karina for one more drink (I had a G&T and ogled a guy with the Best Cheekbones Ever, and I think Michael got a Manhattan). Amanda and I danced to a couple of songs, it was pretty empty in there, but there was some nice reggaeton that got me moving. We'd given up on Chris by this point, turned out that he'd popped over to Passport and didn't see us then found another bar near the hotel. We all met up again in the hotel room and chilled for a bit before sleep, we up until around 3am I think?

Friday July 29, 2011

Chris and I were up early enough to grab breakfast at Universel on Peel, just around the corner from the hotel. It was delicious, we sat on the patio and fresh juice, strong tea and good food revived us after the night before. Then we walked over to Concordia to the de Seve theatre for Some Guy Who Kills People. I think M&A met us there. I loved this one, a great black comedy that ended up being heart warming. I think we waited in the lobby since our next movie was in the same theatre. Absentia was creeeepy! I was shaking when I came out, not staying for the Q&A or the short film afterward.

I got the room key from Chris, who'd met me outside the theatre, and headed there quickly to change into a dress. A quick call to let my aunt and uncle know I was on the way and I hopped on the Metro to get up to Laval. I tried to read but it was so hot on the trains that I mostly just sat and sweated. :/ Luckily their new condo is up high and breezy and they got me a glass of ice water as soon as we came in. I love their place, it's very bright and much bigger than I expected. The open plan kitchen/living room/dining room was great for chatting while Aunt Mons was preparing dinner and Uncle Roger and I were on the couch in the living room. It was great to catch up with them, I'm glad that I had kept a nice slot free to make the trip up - it took about an hour to get there on the Metro.

I had to leave at around 8 to head back for my next movie, and I walked into the Hall Theatre and easily found Chris for Rabies. It was an unconventional slasher film, the first Israeli horror film as the director said in his remarks. I enjoyed the twists and turns. Back to the hotel room and did a quick change before heading out by cab to Saphir. I was happy to debut an outfit I got at Hubba Hubba's sale, my $5 skirt holding up well all night with lots of dancing and lounging, only losing one bow. :) I went light on the alchol, rehydrating as much as possible as I sweat it out on the dance floor. A woman blotted me when I was at the bar at one point, and then pulled me to dance in the centre when I was on the edge of the floor. Amanda found an interesting couple who were visiting from Amsterdam and wanted to party with us the next night as well. Chris and Michael were a bit more subdued socially. :) I think we stayed almost to the end, past 2am anyway, and then grabbed a cab down to Ste Catherine St to try and find a strip club that Amanada remembered. We had to tip the doorman, and then I had an expensive weak glowing under black light G&T while we watched I think only a couple of dancers before they closed up shop. I think we walked back to the hotel from there.

Saturday July 30, 2011

I had my morning fairly free and sorted out a change of address at the Scotiabank nearby then took myself to Universel again for breakfast. Again it was delicious. From there I walked over to the Montreal Museum of Fine arts for their Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit. It was a bit of a hike due to the construction, starting on one side of the street where I paid admission adnmaking my way through a tunnel under the street to the building across the way and up to the exhibit. It was worth it though the talkign/singing/laughing faces projected onto the mannequins freaked me out a bit - they were looking back at me. :) Took lots of pictures with my phonecam but most came out blurry. :/

From there it was back to the Hall theatre to meet up with Chris and Michael for Gantz: Perfect Answer. I liked this one a lot better than the first, more character development and conflict and better fights, though it was a bit hard to follow the plot. Amanda joine us for Stake Land, it was a pretty bleak post apoc film, which reminded me a bit too much of Zombieland, but without the humour. I loved the location of New Eden though, it got a cheer in the theatre. :)
I think I had just enough time to run out and get some Thai food with Chris before our next movie, Karate-Robo Zaborgar. I'd bought a ticket at the box office on Chris's urging, and it was very good for what it was, a remake of a 1970's Japanese tv show. The director was there, and it was a bit disturbing when he and the music director and a white guy came on stage after in traditional Japanese underwear and the white guy kept trying to unwrap the director's. :/
Michael and Amanda joined us again for The FP, and it was a glorious mashup of 80's movies and a DDR film. Chris and Amanda walked with me and Micahel to try and fidn the after party at an arcade, but we didn't go far enoguh down Ste Catherine. We did find the DDR machine and watched a sweat soaked guy kill at it. We returned to the theatre and they went in ot see Moritus, adn Michael and I determiend to make it to the correct location after asking for directions again. It was pretty far, and in an almost deserted entertainment complex/mall, but we found it. We got some free aps and a drink each, then he bought us some game tokens and we tried some FPS. We saw JTro do a dance battle with a local expert as well, though I didn't get my nerve up to talk to him. The director of K-RZ was there as well, shooting a huge toy gun. :) We eventually walked back to the hotel, and found Chris and Amanda newly returned as well, and ranting about how bad their movie was. Amanda came out of the bathroom in a towel to rant even more at one point. Glad I skipped that one!

Sunday July 31, 2011

There was a bit of confusion over getting us checked out of the hotel, but I went down and paid for parking on my card, Michael put our stuff in his car, and we headed over to Eggspectations to grab breakfast. Very yummy, though we were a bit quiet, still on the sleep deprived end of the spectrum. Then it was over to the Hall theatre for Redline. I quite liked it, an animated feature on car racing on an alien planet. Michael ran out to move the car from the garage and Chris and Amanda joined us for the last film of our trip, Bangkok Knockout. Amazing stunt work, abysmal script and acting. Fireball was better, but I'm glad I saw it, if only for the flaming axe dude. We piled into the car and headed back to the USA. We stopped at duty free to use up Canadian cash (I got a small bottle of green Chartreuse since my big bottle was almost done at home). No probs getting through the border, though I was told I just needed to show my green card. We stopped for subs at a place I've eaten after hiking, on the Pemi river. It was a pretty quiet drive, we were all tired after our epic weekend. I caught up on email and some text messages after we got across the border and could turn data back on my phone. We got dropped off in reverse order and I collapsed into bed.

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