Sunny days are here again! Yet it seems that a lot of the fun stuff to do this weekend in Montreal requires indoor adventuring, especially at night. The FMX Challenge brings the outdoors – at least the dusty, dirt biking part of it – inside the Bell Centre, while the Israel Film Festival manages to capture the spirit of a nation (and its divisions) on screen. Plus New Yorks meets Montreal in dance, Beethoven moves in, and new media art that proves the future is now.
[freestyle fun] The two-cycle-engine blare of dirt bikes and the mad revving of motorcycles signals summertime, love it or hate it. If you love it, then you probably already know about this weekend’s FMX Challenge, May 14 at the Bell Centre. The stars of Freestyle Motocross – Kyle Loza, Todd Potter, Jimmy Fitzpatrick and more – along with some of the best inline and skateboard champions, hit the dirt at 7:30 p.m., but before the stunts start spinning, meet the riders at a Pit Party starting at 5:30 p.m.
[Real Israel] The realities of people living in Israel, often quite different from what the mainstream media portrays, are keenly felt at the 7th annual Montreal Israel Film Festival, May 14–23. Recent documentaries and feature films illustrate the varied lives and stories of the country, including Shlomi Eldar’s Academy Award shortlisted doc Precious Life, opening the festival on May 14 at the Corona Theatre (2490 Notre-Dame W.), 9:30 p.m., with a talk by Raz Somech, the Israeli doctor at the centre of the film, whose friendship with a young Palestinian woman and her infant son provides a new lens on life in the long struggle between Israel and Palestine.
[big-city exchange] Montreal and New York (state and city) have an interesting relationship: we’re so similar in so many ways and our love for each other is the real deal, yet its our differences that keep things lively. Studio 303’s Exchange show brings together two New York artists, two Montreal artists and two emcees in an evening of performance that can’t quite be pinned down. With artists Alexis O’Hara, Zeroboy, Monstah Black, Jana Jevtovic, Sasha Kleinplatz and Vanessa Anspaugh, you’ll witness a blend of dance, theatre, comedy, multimedia art, music and more that all add up to pure, wild entertainment. At Studio 303 (#303–372 Ste-Catherine W.), May 14 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., $12/$15.
[sound and image] New media artists from Montreal, Canada and around the world find a friendly home at the Sight & Sound 3 festival. Art that explores digital modes of production, namely through sound and video, is showcased in live audio-visual performances, installations and interactive work that challenge everything from urban life to our own senses – such as Manuel Chantre’s 22-screen Memorsion (in video above). At Eastern Bloc (7240 Clark) and Espace Projet (353 Villeray) – performances May 12–15, 8 p.m., installations to May 17, 12 p.m. –5 p.m.
[photo finish] Wandering the floors of Montreal’s Belgo Building, downtown on Ste-Catherine near Bleury, home to some of this city’s best galleries, is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon – especially when new shows have their opening receptions (called “vernissages” here). This Saturday, May 14, Montreal photographer Jean-Pierre Legault’s Elision, a rediscovery of landscape in light, opens along with Serge Fisette’s Abécédaire en forme de mère, sculpture-installations that are also chapters in a book by the artist, at Joyce Yahouda Gallery (#516–372 Ste-Catherine W.), 3 p.m. Also opening at 3 p.m., over at Visual Voice Gallery (#421–372 Ste-Catherine W.), is Inflatable Deities’s Strange Shapes in the Sky, a psychedelic, immersive installation that fills the gallery.
[classic for the all-ages] Mildly controversial studies have shown that babies love Beethoven, or at least get an intellectual kickstart from listening to his compositions. True or not, Ludwig van Beethoven was a genius and his music forever changed the western world. Bring the kids (or not) and find out why in Geordie Productions’s new play Beethoven Lives Upstairs, the story of an eccentric boarder (our man Beethoven) who changes a young boy’s life forever with his music – played live throughout the show – and his eccentric personality. Playing at Centaur Theatre to May 22, including matinee shows this Saturday and Sunday.
[punk rock pop metal] On Friday, May 13, go back in punk time with Face to Face plus Strung Out, The Darlings and more, at L’Olympia (1004 Ste-Catherine E.), while hyped-for-a-good-reason art-rockin’ Tune-Yards bring the fun with Buke and Gass and Pat Jordache at La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent Blvd.). Purveyors of high-tech streamlined cool, Apple host the Sam Roberts Band on May 13 and pianoman Stephan Moccio on May 14 at the Apple Store downtown, 8 p.m. And on Sunday, May 14, the metal band that will never say die – and a documentary film about them proves it – Anvil play Foufounes Electriques.