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See The Guardians of the Cross this weekend only at Theatre St. Catherine

Posted by David / December 19, 2013


Upon first walking into Theatre
Ste-Catherine, Alain Mercieca, Artistic Director of Le Nouveau
International and all around main TSC man, was on the phone. He was
going on about monologues rewritten and ad hoc rehearsal times. After
hanging up, he took a few minutes to explain to one of his people
that he'd be "running the lights," and what that entails. He
then spent a few more minutes with a Nouveau members discussing what
kind of music they want for a scene or two--Mingus and the Hymn of
the 183rd Brigadier (your guess is as good as mine) were

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Watch the masterful short film "Next Floor" online via the Phi Centre website

Posted by David / December 16, 2013

Next FloorIt's no surprise, even just a few reviews in, that I'm a Phi Centre fan. Simple reason being: I've seen a bunch of stuff there that I would never have seen in Montreal otherwise. It's the movie nerd in me's little art-house, these days--and most often our only real limited-release option in town--so it's hard not to gush (though you'll note I didn't think much of Spike Lee's Oldboy, though I was happy they held an advanced screening).

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Film Review: The New Oldboy, "A Spike Lee Film"

Posted by David / December 6, 2013

oldboySitting through an advanced screening of Spike Lee's Oldboy at the much beloved Phi Centre with my friend Laura, I'll admit I wondered what all the fuss was about when the guy behind us rushed out with a snappy, sotto voce "f****** American b*******." True, by that time, my eyes were a little achy from rolling, and I was living right on the edge of boredom. I was also convincing myself I relished Josh Brolin's caveman-esque relationship with the Internet and his iPhone, and trying like hell to ignore all the little plot holes and continuity issues. It was bad, but, still, I wondered what the guy had expected--and from the director who brought us She Hate Me, no less--or if he was a glutton for disappointment, that most guilty of cult-fandom pleasures.

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Film Review: 12 Years a Slave

Posted by David / November 28, 2013

Smiley faceA tidy 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, I had yet to see a picture or series really about American slavery till last Saturday. That's a shameful realization, especially for anyone who's people were at some point born into it.

Some have tried, of course, but Roots was watered down to the point of a mostly meaninglessness show of face-saving hindsight, and Django Unchained was mostly a sordidly tasteless, self-congratulatory marriage of Boss Nigger and Last of the Mohicans. Spielberg's Lincoln and Amistad, on the other hand, mostly missed the point with their particular brand of white-collar heroism; I even thought the latter was OK, but mostly in comparison to how much Django had the white and black halves of me gagging. In fact, most relevant pictures I can think of were about the war that revolved around slavery, or the folks glad enough to grow a conscience at its periphery, or merely alluded to it as a broader context--sometimes just as the setting for a romance, i.e., Cold Mountain. Slavery still mostly loomed hauntingly blurred in the background--a matter largely submerged, or ornamental, and surely not focused on.

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Theatre Review: Othello at the Segal Centre, running until this Sunday

Posted by David / November 27, 2013

OthelloAh, opening night at the Segal Centre! You old predictable friend! There's always your familiar faces from Montreal's proud but pocket-sized theatre community, including those rivals/pals from the other side of the city (those veteran Centaurians). There's also media coverage, of course, and a smattering of Segal insiders--staff members, board members and Yiddish Theatre contributors. Some neighbourhood folks, too. It's a time for all the theatre's communities to see what the it's been cooking up, to network with those fellow thespians, and to nibble on post-show bite-sized tuna sandwiches, garlicky guac and unfortunate bits of kosher pastry.

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