Even as the days get shorter and the nights colder, Montreal knows how to keep everyone warm, cozy and happy, starting with good food, of course, as this week’s TASTE MTL proves. But feasts for the eyes and ears abound too with two film festivals, three music festivals, opera, theatre, circus, dance, immersive and innovative art experiences, and lots of live music…
(fantastic food) Whatever your weekend agenda or budget, add delicious gourmet food to your plans care of TASTE MTL, on until November 11. Restaurants around the city take part by offering gourmet prix-fixe menus at great deals: from $19 to $39. Narrow your choices down by perusing our restaurant reviews, choose by cuisine or discover new parts of the city by choosing by neighbourhood: spend an evening in Old Montreal, the next one at a restaurant downtown, in the Plateau or Mile End, Outremont, the Village or Griffintown. And if you’re a night owl, fuel up for fun with TASTE MTL’s late night menus.
(film fests) Some of the best documentary films of the last year – and of all time – are being shown at documentary film festival RIDM, to November 18. The “15 Years, 15 All-Time Favourites” program features films chosen by famous filmmakers and others with direct links to the doc world (like Lou Reed, Gael Garcia Bernal and Philip Falardeau), such as Megacities, Man with a Movie Camera and more. In the fest’s official selection this week, see Peter Mettler’s The End of Time, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mekong Hotel, Far From Afghanistan, Montreal filmmaker Yung Chang’s The Fruit Hunters, Velcro Ripper’s Occupy Love, and many more. Also continuing this week, to November 11, is Cinémania, Montreal’s French-language film fest, though English subtitles are usually included – see features, shorts, retrospectives (including on Sandrine Bonnaire’s films), presentations and Q&A sessions from directors and actors, and more.
(music worlds) Music festival M for Montreal rocks with local and international bands, beginning with free daytime shows at Café Campus/Petit Campus: on November 15, see Honheehonhee, Ain’t No Love, The Balconnies, Kandle, Whitehorse, Maïa, and Folly and The Hunter, and on November 16, see Plaster, Rah Rah, Young Rival, Chic Gamine, Greg Macpherson, Yan Wagner, and Twin Twin. Mundial Montreal is also underway, with a free opening night party on November 13 at the SAT, World 2.0: Heavy Soundz and Dehli 2 Dublin on November 14 at Club Lambi and Club Balattou, and more to November 16. And this weekend, Arab and Western cultures come together at The Arab World Festival of Montreal through music, performance, film, art and talks, to November 10 – on Friday see Kamel El Harrachi’s Tribute to his Algerian blues musician father Dahman El Harrachi, and on Saturday, the God in 3D concert closes the festival.
(opera & theatre) Opéra de Montréal begins its season with Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, the age-old tale of a young woman who dreams of love with a legendary seaman who’s made a pact with the devil. The production stars Germany’s bass-baritone Thomas Gazheli and soprano Maida Hundeling and is on November 10, 13, 15 and 17 at Place des Arts. Elsewhere on stage: The Centaur Theatre puts on Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, a story set in Boston’s working-class Irish “Southie” neighbourhood, to December 6. An appropriate experience as we approach Remembrance Day, Infinithéâtre’s Trench Patterns delves into the long-term emotional and physical impacts of Canadian military troops in Afghanistan, at Bain St-Michel, to November 18. And Persephone Productions presents Shakespeare’s classic of classics Hamlet at the Calixa Lavallée Théâtre in Parc Lafontaine, November 1-10.
(circus & comedy) Everyone of any age will love the impressive acrobatics, storytelling and humour in Séquence 8, the newest show from inventive, talented and hip Montreal-based international circus troupe 7 Doigts de la Main, at La Tohu circus centre to November 17. Science (including experiments!), comedy and improv collide in Gone Wild: A Science Spectacular, at Mainline Theatre on November 9. And if you’re in the mood for stand-up comedy, head to The Comedy Nest on Saturday, November 10, for headlining comedian Tom Clark and more funny people.
(dance talent) Live rock music meets dance as Montreal choreographer Frédérick Gravel debuts his Usually Beauty Fails, an exploration of what beauty, love and relationships really stand for in these crazy times – on November 7-10 and 14-17 at Cinquième Salle in Place des Arts. On November 9, see creative choreographer and dancer Anne Plamondon’s poetic solo dance work Les mêmes yeux que toi, at Agora De La Danse. And Tangente produces two new shows: Isabelle Boulanger’s handball-inspired Fente-toi! and Sarah-Ève Grant’s Dans le cercle, November 9-11 at Monument-National.
(art happenings) Media art, digital culture and progressive feminism combine in the HTMlles 10: Risky Affairs festival, November 10-18. On November 12, see Standing Still, a video and sound installation with performance at 7 p.m. at the Darling Foundry, on the border between Old Montreal and the neighbourhood of Griffintown. At gallery La Centrale, see artist Nikki Forrest’s show Flip/Bend, at Oboro see Alexis O’Hara’s La Couvée installation-performance on November 15, and more throughout the week. Over at the SAT’s Satosphere, a high-tech domed venue equipped with a 360-degree screen and surround sound, see and hear French composer and musician Jean-Jacques Lemêtre’s immersive The Babel Orchestra. If you’re staying at a hotel in the Old Port, like the quaint yet modern Auberge du Vieux Port, walk over to the PHI Centre for Perte de Signal 15.0 on November 15 at 7 p.m., a free evening of performances and audio visual experimentation, partly in collaboration with the Ryoji Ikeda exhibition at nearby DHC/Art. And multi-gallery art show and city-bridging concept Montreal-Brooklyn continues to November 17 at Centre Clark, the Contempory Art Museum of Montreal, Articule and other cutting-edge galleries.
(more live music) New supergroup of sorts RNDM sees Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament teaming up with singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and drummer Richard Stuverud – they’re at Theatre Corona on Friday, November 9. Meanwhile, James Murphy, of LCD Soundsystem fame, plays a body-shaking DJ set at the SAT, Montreal multi-instrumentalist Ben Wilkins plays Petit Campus, and ensemble Constantinople returns to their Persian roots with guest musicians from Iran, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. On November 10, get a dose of pop-punk with Sum 41 at Metropolis, while Dan Deacon and Height With Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda and Alan Resnick, get the SAT bumping. On November 11, California electronic musician/DJ Bassnectar sets phasers to heavy, with openers Gramatik and Gladkill at Metropolis. Monday night brings San Francisco’s The Fresh and Onlys to Casa del Popolo. November 13 sees lovely Montreal band The Luyas debuting their new album at Cabaret Mile End. And on November 15, David Usher plays songs from his new album Songs From The Last Day On Earth, at Club Soda, or for mellow, heartfelt tunes, check out Allen Stone at Cabaret Mile End, while jangling guitars and love-like-lust-wrought lyrics take over at Il Motore, with Brooklyn’s The Babies, Always and Silver Dapple. Or make your own kind of music at the return of Hip Hop Karaoke at Le Belmont.