Of greatest importance this month is a festival which genre film fans need no reminder of: the Fantasia International Film Fest takes place July 17–Aug. 5. The full line-up will be announced on Thursday, July 10 but they’ve already revealed such gems as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, John McNaughton’s The Harvest starring Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon, legendary screenwriter/filmmaker Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York (with Jacqueline Bisset and Gérard Depardieu), Richard Bates Jr.’s Suburban Gothic, Norwegian black comedy In Order of Disappearance, Irish thriller Let Us Prey (starring Liam Cunningham, a familiar face for Game of Thrones fans) and Indian drama Ugly. For more info, head to fantasiafestival.com
See our interview with Toronto indie/LGBT film hero Bruce LaBruce, about his new senior-fetish film Gerontophilia (July 4). Keira Knightley plays a singer/songwriter who’s discovered by an ex-record executive (Mark Ruffalo) in Begin Again, by Once director John Carney (July 11). Dawn of the Planet of the Apes picks up where 2011’s reboot of the classic sci-fi/action Apes series left off, this time with Gary Oldman and Keri Russell (July 11). Life Itself is a documentary about late film critic Roger Ebert (July 11).
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, a family tale starring Ellar Coltrane as the boy and Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as his parents, was filmed over 12 years, apparently a film-history first (July 18). A couple tries to survive the streets after their car breaks down during the annual “purge night” in horror/thriller The Purge: Anarchy (July 18). Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz are a married couple whose most intimate moments are shared with friends and family in Sex Tape, by Walk Hard/Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan (July 18). Paul Haggis (Crash) is back with Third Person, three love stories set in three different cities, with an all-star cast (of course) including James Franco, Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis and Adrien Brody (July 18). Zach Braff finally directs another feature-length film, his first since 2004’s Garden State—like its predecessor, Wish I Was Here revolves around a man at a crossroads, this time at 35 (July 18).
Eclectic director Joe Swanberg, the horror/thriller specialist who also made Drinking Buddies, delivers Happy Christmas, the story of an irresponsible 20-something (Anna Kendrick) who moves in with her older brother and his wife (July 25). Dwayne Johnson (aka the Rock) stars as the titular Greek demigod in Hercules (July 25). The team that brought us Another Earth, Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, present I Origins, co-starring Marling and Michael Pitt (Last Days, Boardwalk Empire) as molecular biologists whose research into the human eye might alter society forever (July 25). Luc Besson’s Lucy stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who turns the tables on her captors when drugs stowed in her stomach make her super-human (July 25). Rock photographer/Control director Anton Corbijn tries espionage on for size, adapting John le Carré novel A Most Wanted Man, about an illegal immigrant in Hamburg who gets caught in the war on terror — it’s also one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final films (July 25). And if all-star dance extravaganzas filmed in Vegas are your thing, there’s Step Up: All In (July 25).
The Just for Laughs comedy festival’s short film programs are screening at Cinéma du Parc on July 24 and 25.
The Phi Centre has an impressive list of films this month, including Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi/drama Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as a seductive alien (July 4); Night Moves, with Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Skarsgaard and Dakota Fanning as three radical environmentalists (July 5); horror/thriller The Sacrement, the story of a man’s search for his missing sister in a strange community, directed by Ti West (V/H/S) (July 5); Mr. Leos Carax, a documentary about the life and image of the complex director and cult figure (July 15); Mike Myers’ directorial debut Supermensch, in which he portrays Hollywood insider Shep Gordon (July 16); Of Montreal documentary The Past Is a Grotesque Animal enters the eccentric mind of the Athens, GA band’s frontman Kevin Barnes (July 19). They’ll also be screening Wes Anderson’s latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel (July 21), and animé legend Hayao Miyazaki’s incredible The Wind Rises, about a young man’s dreams of flying and designing aeroplanes (July 24). ■