Montréal offers a feast for the senses this week, with new films set on earth and in the sky, high-energy sports and video gaming, drama and dance, cutting-edge visual art and local artisanal creations, and a seemingly endless amount of live music.
Hundreds of new documentary features and shorts from around the world come to Montréal screens this week during the 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 12 to 22 – along with so many eye-opening films on subjects ranging from war and refugees to environmental issues and government reform, go to talks by directors, actors and film industry members, special events and more. Catch the newest in French-language films (with English subtitles, bien sûr) at the CINEMANIA festival until November 15, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan and the premieres of Floride by Philippe Le Guay Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli and Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin. As well, at the Phi Centre, see David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes, November 16 to 18, an adaptation of a short story by Albert Camus and starring Viggo Mortensen. The Éléphant Classiq festival honours Québec cinema masterpieces, November 19 to 22, opening with French comedy La Folie des Grandeurs. And the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life debuts aurōrae, gorgeous 360° immersive views of the Northern Lights in the Northwest Territories set to music by DJ Champion.
As the third most prolific producer of video games in the world, Montréal aptly hosts The Montreal International Game Summit November 15 to 17 at Palais des Congrès de Montréal, bringing together 2500 participants from 20 countries along with the latest video game innovations. Along with an expo zone and master classes, summit speakers include Sir Ian Livingstone, the man behind Games Workshop and Lara Croft, and Jade Redmond, co-creator of Assassin’s Creed. Meanwhile, the Montréal Canadiens and team stars like P.K. Subban keep the game of hockey alive and well on home ice this week, playing the Avalanche on November 14, the Canucks on November 16 and the Coyotes on November 19, at the Bell Centre.
Drama on stage
The unforgettable songs of Edith Piaf are given a theatrical treatment by dozens of Québec artists in Piaf a 100 ans. Vive la Môme! at Place des Arts on November 17. In the Wings Promotions presents pinball-wizard rock-opera The Who’s Tommy: In Concert with a live rock band at the Rialto Hall, November 19 to 21. Mainline Theatre presents Tumit (meaning “tracks” in Inuktitut), a northern Indigenous play about generational cycles, November 13 to 21. Butcher unravels a war crimes mystery at Centaur Theatre, to November 29, while children’s theatre company Geordie Productions introduces young theatre goers to Hana’s Suitcase, the story of a mysterious old suitcase that travels from Auschwitz to the Tokyo Holocaust Educational Resource Centre in 2000, at D.B. Clarke Theatre to November 15. Montréal dancer-choreographer José Navas performs his solo work, Rites, a powerful and audacious version of the Rite of Spring, at Place des Arts to November 28, and Frédérick Gravel presents the poetic This duet that we’ve already done (so many times), at L’Agora de la danse, to November 14. Tangente stages The Paradise, a duet exploring concepts of paradise through dance, November 19 to 22 at Monument National. And see dance, theatre, film and live music by artists from Canada, Algeria, Morocco, Syria and beyond at the Festival du Monde Arabe, to November 15 at various locations, including free events at Place des Arts.
Experience Montréal like a local music fan at the M for Montréal music festival, November 18 to 21 – over 100 bands, many from Montréal, playing 20 venues, from Milk Bone and The Franklin Electric at the Rialto to Plants and Animals at Club Soda to Grimes at Métropolis – for all the details, see M for Montréal. And the holiday craft fairs begin! On November 13 and 14, locate local fashions and more by 30 designers at Le Marché des ateliers Capitol, while on November 14 and 15, find handmade wonders at Marché Artistique Winter Fair of the Artisan Elves at St-Jean Berchmans Church (5945 rue Cartier), or if you’re looking specifically for kids’ stuff, go to Marché Nënë at 4310 St-Laurent. And discover a wild world of local and international indie publications and artwork at the city’s biggest zine fair Expozine on November 14 and 15 at 5035 Saint-Dominique.
Contemporary art meets nightclub atmosphere at the Musée d’art contemporain’s Nocturne November 13, 5pm to 2am – see all exhibitions including work by American painter Dana Schutz, Québécois artist Patrick Bernatchez and French multimedia artist Camille Henrot, join tours and art workshops, and stay late for a performance by artist Patrick Bernatchez and music from DJs Body Meta, Ryan Otis and Stéphane Cocke – plus bar service and snacks. Designer and visual artist Rad Hourani, known for challenging gender norms in fashion, builds on his work with Neutralité – Neutrality, a solo exhibition at Arsenal gallery. DHC/ART in Old Montréal opens Imagine Brazil, a major exhibition of contemporary Brazilian art. Attend a one-of-a-kind auction of famous Québécois writer Michel Tremblay’s watercolour paintings on November 15 at the Phi Centre, hosted by L’association des Femmes du cinéma, de la télévision et des médias numériques. Biometric data, computer science and identity concerns are at the heart of high-tech exhibition Identity Control at Eastern Bloc to November 25, featuring new media work by Zach Blas, Jamie Allen and Mushon Zer-Aviv.
More live music
Violinist Angèle Dubeau and her string orchestra La Pietà play the music of Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi on Friday at Place des Arts, while prolific New York ska players The Slackers prove their legendary status at Petit Campus and Frankie Cosmos and All Dogs loudly mix rock, punk and pop at Bar Le Ritz PDB. On November 13 the Coup de Coeur Francophone festival brings Jérôme Minière and Francis d’Octobre to L’Astral followed by Guillaume Beauregard and Mara Tremblay on November 14. House music producer Justin Blau gets the New City Gas crowd dancing on November 14. If you’re feeling a little bit slow country, a little bit beautiful folk, go see John Moreland at O Patro Vys on November 14. Iraqi-Hungarian musician Omar Bashir enchants with reinventions of traditional music on November 15 at Le National, part of Le Festival du Monde Arabe, and don’t miss Sinkane’s mix of krautrock, jazz, rock and Sudanese pop along with Steven A. Clark’s unique style of RB-meets-electro-pop at Bar Le Ritz PDB. The bass player for Real Estate fronts his own indie-rock-folk band Alex Bleeker The Freaks at Divan Orange on November 16 or go for the antics and high energy of The King Khan BBQ Show debuting the album Bad New Boys at Bar Le Ritz PDB. British singer-songwriter and guitarist James Bay comes to Métropolis on November 17, and Nate Ruess sets a symphonic indie-rock tone at Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile. Los Angeles underground rock outfit Fuzz, fronted by Ty Segall, plays Théâtre Fairmount, and Kranky artist Steve Hauschildt (formerly of Emeralds) is at Bar Le Ritz PDB. British prog rockers King Crimson return with two shows at Théâtre St-Denis on November 16 and 17. Electronic music duo Odesza heats up Olympia on November 18 as Canadian hip-hop artist K-OS brings his new rock-leaning sound to Théâtre Fairmount and Vancouver’s Head of the Heard mix rock, blues and shoegaze at La Sala Rossa. And on the classic side, Kent Nagano and Dina Gilbert conduct the Montréal Symphony Orchestra in Charles Ives’s Symphony no. 4 paired with pianist Yefim Bronfman playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor, November 17 to 19 at Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts.
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