As Montrealers gear up for our favourite non-holiday holiday, Halloween, our imaginations begin to run a little wilder than usual – and so do we. All that energy has to go somewhere – maybe that’s why there’s such a variety of creative, rebellious things to do this week. A film festival that turns mainstream on its head, a rebel-yelling ska festival, experimental dance, avant-garde art and spoken-word performances, old and new rock n’ roll…
(word power) Montreal musician, writer and spoken-word artist Cat Kidd has been entertaining and surprising us for years with what springs forth from her wild mind – and it’s definitely into the wild we go with her new full-length show Hyena Subpoena, set in South Africa’s Kruger Park. With equal parts humour and dramatic tension, Kidd unleashes eight interlocked stories about human society, animal life and individual freedom. Playing October 13–29 at Ateliers Jean-Brilliant.
(film film everywhere film) If the daring side of cinema delights you, the Festival du Nouveau Cinema is sure to be one big good time. The 40th edition of the fest features big names in the experimental side of mainstream film – Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Steve McQueen’s Shame, Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, Wim Wenders’ Pina, Takashi Miike’s Hara-Kiri – as well as films from Quebec and Canada, including the new one from the director of Water Lilies, a slew of strange offerings in the fest’s Temps Ø section, including Sion Sono’s Guilty of Romance, and what might be the world’s first 3-D porno (thanks, China!). See the full schedule at Festival du Nouveau Cinema.
(skatastic planet) While Montreal has a widely known reputation for being a jazz town, the lesser known truth is that it’s also a metal town and a ska town. As we all know, metal is impervious to the fickle life-cycles of trends, and if Montreal has any say in it, ska will never die either. Case in point: the Montreal Ska Festival , happening October 13–15 at Café Campus, Petit Campus and Club Soda. Sing, skank and sweat along with New York The Toasters, The Skatalites, supergroup The Fabulous LoLo, and many more.
(bold moves) Montreal choreographer Sylvain Émard, known for his work with Robert Lepage and other performance greats, brings his newest creation Fragments: Volume I to Montreal, a series of short solos and duos – a Danse Danse co-presentation at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts, October 18–29. The dramatic love lives of artists Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel make their way to the stage via choreographer Peter Quanz’s full-length, two-act ballet, Rodin/Claudel, part of Les Grands Ballets new season, at Place des Arts, October 13–29. And performance art meets dance as choreographer-dancer-musician Clara Furey and actress Céline Bonnier ask Hello… How Are You?, at Theatre LaChapelle, October 11–15.
(art life) The Quebec Triennial 2011 has been getting nothing but good reviews – head over to The Musee d’art Contemporain to have your mind bent by some of the best Quebec-based artists around, including an October 19 performance by artists 2boys.tv. And when the sun sets, look up – the blue spotlights set up next to the museum at Quartier des Spectacles are an art installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, and it is awesome to behold. Close by at Galerie TD Lounge at Jazz Festival headquarters (305 Ste-Catherine W.), a new exhibition of more than 50 expressive paintings and sculpture by Quebec great Jean-Paul Riopelle, free and open to the public. And art installations and performances are as much a part of the Festival du Nouveau Cinema as film is – the FNC Lab experiments with film conventions, with artists on hand to answer questions.
(royal imagination) The Little Prince is more than a classic children’s book; it’s a story about living with imagination (however hallucinatory) and open eyes in the face of life’s ups and downs. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s tale is told for children of all ages this week and next by Montreal’s Geordie Productions, at Centaur Theatre (453 St. François-Xavier) in Old Montreal – on Saturday at 2:15, get your sugar high on at the Monsieur Félix & Mr. Norton cookie truck, parked outside the theatre. Going off script, improv theatre Festival Mprov pits Montreal’s English-language improv theatre troupes and out-of-towners against each other in a battle of quicks wits, to October 16 at Montreal Improv Theatre (#202–3713 St-Laurent).
(sing it loud) Buffy fans unite in song for the Buffy Sing Along, at Montreal’s independent theatre space Blue Sunshine (3660 St-Laurent, 3rd floor). It’s not quite Halloween yet, but on the evening of October 20, why not dress up, wear fangs or bunny ears, whatever your heart desires, but definitely sing along to classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode Once More With Feeling.
(music harvest time) Rock ‘em if ya got ‘em with Kings of Leon and The Sheepdogs at the Bell Centre this Friday, October 14. Guitar master Jeff Beck is well past proving that he’s still got it – he just does and it’s never going away, at Place des Arts , October 15. Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan tours his new album, Nice Nice, Very Nice right into Theatre Outremont , October 16, 8:30 p.m. On October 17, pop mavens Dum Dum Girls , along with Crocodiles and Colleen Green , heat up Il Motore (179 Jean Talon W.). The super talented The Barr Brothers launch their new album on Secret City Records on October 18 at La Tulipe (4530 Papineau). Then dance out all those frustrations of youth with Neon Indian, Com Truise and Purity Ring at La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent), October 19. And October 20–21, step into the operatic, circus-like world of London-based Tiger Lillies, at Usine C. And the Oh Sees put on an awesome show of soaring garage-punk-pop proportions at Cabaret Mile End (5240 Parc) on October 20.