December 29th, 2008
After a month of cocktailing and carousing, spend a night in with our DVD picks from 2008.
Athena, Toronto editor
I never got to see Karl Lagerfeld striking a pose in Lagerfeld Confidential so I'll be getting my fix over the holidays.
Malwina, Calgary editor
The critcally lauded Bella, beautifully shot in New York, chronicles separate lives intersecting in one day—with life changing results.
Winner of the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, The Counterfeiters is an intense, harrowing story of a Jewish forger who is imprisoned in a concentration camp during the war and forced into helping the Nazis falsify money.
Elsa, Montreal editor, French edition
Finish the year laughing with The Party, an outrageously funny film featuring Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers.
Maria, Copy chief
Destined to go the way of Arrested Development (critically acclaimed and largely ignored by TV viewers), Friday Night Lights is smart, touching, heartbreaking and funny—don’t let the football-inspired title deter you.
December 10th, 2008
What to buy the film snob in your life?
We’re going with Cinéma du Parc’s Super Movie Card. Tucked into the basement of La Cité, this gem of a theatre screens only critically-acclaimed docs and features. The programmers deal directly with international distributors so you’ll catch top-quality flicks never before seen in Québec. We also love the choice of 15 annual festivals and the revolving art exhibit in the lobby.
Butter on your popcorn?
The Super Movie Card includes eight movies and two sneak previews, $48.
Cinéma du Parc, 3575 Parc Ave., Montreal, 514-281-1900, www.cinemaduparc.com
October 1st, 2008
This week we’re clearing our schedules and taking to the night for Pop Montreal. Seven years in, this edgy-but-lovable fest makes use of charming venues (churches and social clubs) and offers an eclectic pairing of musical genres.
Our top pics include performances by Burt Bacharach, French synthesizer-and-drums duo Zombie Zombie, and experimental group Interceiving. We’re also jonesing for the Film Pop screening of Patricia Chica and Mike Wafer’s Rockabilly 514, about a Montreal sub-culture influenced by music from the 1950s.
Tired of cabbing it from venue to venue? Rent a bike and you’ll be Speedy Gonzales on two-wheels ($50/week).
Pop Montreal, October 1-5, www.popmontreal.com
September 24th, 2008
In this time-challenged age, those of us with short attention spans no longer need to sit through a 120-minute epic to get our thrills and chills.
The Filminute 2008 competition features 25 on-line featurettes from 16 countries, and nary a one is over 60 seconds. Clock ticking? We recommend you head straight for Quebecer Mathieu Ratthe’s provocative Lovefield. This beautifully-shot film will send you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, from fear and anger to shock and relief.
Go ahead—we’re pretty sure one-minute of entertainment at your desk won’t cost you your job, and it’s fewer calories than a bicky-break.
Vote for your favourite at www.filminute.com
July 30th, 2008
After a barrage of festivals, large crowds and drinking beer on the streets into the wee hours, we’re quite content to wile away the summer in dark, air conditioned movie theatres.
We’ll be starting our repose at the Cinéma du Parc for Scott Hicks' feature documentary Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts. Hicks followed the star composer for 18 months as he celebrated his 70th birthday and travelled the globe meeting up with famous pals Ravi Shankar and Martin Scorsese. The film is a fascinating look at the man’s complex personality and his creative process.
That’ll keep us out of trouble, for two hours anyway.
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, August 1-7, Cinéma du Parc, 3575 Parc Ave., Montreal, 514-281-1900, www.cinemaduparc.com
July 19th, 2008
You’ve seen Bee Movie so many time you can recite it by heart (“He better not marry a W.A.S.P.!”).
Time to subject your kids to the cinematic obsessions of your own youth.
Fresh Air Cinema inflates a massive screen in parks across Western Canada and is coming to Vancouver this weekend.
Lay out your lawn chairs in Yaletown’s David Lamb Park on Sunday night at dusk for the free screening of E.T. (don’t forget the Reese’s Pieces!).
“E.T. phone home!” You said it not us.
For schedules across Western Canada, click here.
June 17th, 2008
Just because you don’t have a Park Avenue penthouse and personal stylist doesn’t mean you can’t live a Sex in the City lifestyle. Here are a five ways how:
1. Enjoy some steamy bed time reading with your own copy of Love Letters of Great Men and Women: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day by C.H. Charles available on Amazon.ca. It may not have that New York Public Library smell, but it’s très romantique.
2. Get your own Carrie-worthy made-to-measure walk-in at California Closets. After a free, two-hour consultation, designers there will custom-make the closet of your dreams (blue satin Manolos not included). California Closets, 1373 Greene Ave., Westmount, 514-939-9621, www.calclosets.com
3. Loved Samantha’s auction ring? Costume designer Patricia Field chose several pieces for the movie from Carole Tanenbaum’s vintage collection, all of which can be bought on-line. We’re coveting the triple-strand turquoise necklace c. 1960 ($600). www.caroletanenbaum.com
4. Sex in the City would be oh-so-dull without Louis Vuitton cameos. Sources tell us everything seen in the film has sold out, except the decadent, hard-sided Damier Azur Boite Flacons case carried by Charlotte on her trip to Mexico ($3,190). Louis Vuitton, 1307 Ste-Catherine W., 514-849-6520. Can’t afford your own? Do like Carrie’s assistant Louise and rent an “it” bag at www.shouldercandy.com
5. You’ve seen the movie three times, how about reviewing the entire six seasons? Go on, you know you want to. Sex and the City: The Complete Series (Collector's Giftset), ($149.99).
Now you just have to decide if you’re a Carrie, a Miranda, a Charlotte or a Samantha…
May 7th, 2008
It’s been said that the secret to longevity is a healthy lifestyle, but after seeing Young @ Heart, we think the real secret might be belting out rock tunes.
This inspiring documentary features a feisty group of seniors (age 72 to 92) who travel the world singing music by The Ramones and Sonic Youth. One octogenarian even does a version of Coldplay’s “Fix You” that puts Chris Martin to shame.
We guarantee you’ll walk out of the theatre with a spring in your step, humming James Brown, and counting the days to retirement.
Maybe the good life really does start at 80?
Young @ Heart is screening at the AMC Forum, 2313 Ste-Catherine St. W., Montreal, www.youngatheartchorus.com
February 20th, 2008
If you think top chefs are white-smocked gentlemen who swan about their kitchens tossing garnish, then you haven’t seen Durs à Cuire.
Directed by Guillaume Sylvestre, the film is an intimate look at the worlds of the chef/owners behind Toqué and Au Pied de Cochon, two of Montreal’s best restaurants.
Normand Laprise and Martin Picard swear, swig from wine bottles and romp around the world in search of perfect ingredients. The film depicts them as rock stars whose passion for fine food is as voracious as their appetite for life.
Warning: Vegetarians might want to skip this one.
Durs à Cuire, screening February 23, 6 p.m. at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, NFB Theatre, 1564 St. Denis Street, Montreal.
DVD available at Amazon, $31.99.
January 6th, 2008
Our staff lets you in on the best DVDs to grace their players this year.Maria, Copy chief
This under-the-radar gem examines a fallen high school hockey star who, after suffering a devastating brain injury, tries to regain his life and is manipulated into becoming a bank heist "lookout."
The Lost Boys of Sudan is like a modern The Gods Must Be Crazy, following the fate of thousands of orphaned children who walked across the desert to safety, and the two who were chosen to go to America.
Athena, Toronto editor
This sweet and poignant charmer explores the disrupted family dynamic of a North Carolina brood when the prodigal son—and his chic new wife—return to his childhood home in North Carolina for a brief visit from the big city.
This refreshing and truthful modern musical follows a down-and-out musician and a Czech immigrant in Dublin falling in love while writing and recording music: a 2007 critical favourite.
Marianne, Montreal editor
Freaks & Geeks: The Complete Series
Executive produced by Knocked Up’s Judd Apatow, this dry comedy series makes us feel a lot better about our own tortured high school years.