Culture | Culture Briefs

Break a leg

Sweaty palms? Shaky voice? Mind gone blank? If you’ve ever auditioned for a play, you’ll recognize these symptoms not as the warning signs of a neurological disease, but as stage fright. And, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to endure that harrowing experience, you’re probably aware that it can be devastating to securing theatrical roles. This semester, McGill’s Tuesday Night Café theatre is here to help. Every Tuesday night, TNC will host audition workshops from 7 to 9 p.m. at their home in Morrice Hall. The meetings will cover everything from traditional theatre to clowning to improv to performance poetry. Leaders will attempt to expand beyond audition prep with wide-ranging discussions around political theatre, playwriting, and more. Participants are asked to bring a piece they would like to improve on to the workshop, and to say goodbye to the days of wobbly knees and hyperventilation.

TNC Audition workshops are on Tuesdays from 7 – 9 p.m in Morrice Hall (3485 McTavish).

– Claire Caldwell

Synthèse screenings

Nuts to the weekend! Cinephiles and aspiring scenesters take note: Monday night screenings are fully in effect at Mile End’s lab.synthèse (435 Beaubien O). Taking advantage of the loft’s ample space, film projector, and soft, engulfing couches, the art collective promises to sate your craving for classic, cult, and art house cinema. Priced affordably at sweet nothin’, screenings are bring-your-own-snacks (and drinks) affairs, and all manner of pillows and blankets are encouraged.

Film choices range from Hiya Miyazaki’s joyously innocent My Neighbour Totoro to Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s story of bursting racial tension in Brooklyn on the hottest day of Summer. On the big screen this Monday is Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour (1967), the tale of a beautiful young woman who cannot bring herself to sleep with her husband, choosing instead to work at a brothel and indulge in violent fantasies. On the 15, The Battle of Algiers (1966), by Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo, offers a rounded perspective on the horror of the Algerian revolution.

Screenings start at 9 p.m. sharp, but these low-key gatherings often carry on till the early hours of the morning, so there’s no need to rush home to bed.

– Joshua Frank

Courting controversy

The notoriety of Roman Polanski’s exile from the United States to France casts a long shadow on his artistic achievements. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, debuting soon in Montreal, examines in detail his notorious 1978 trial for sex with a 13-year-old girl. However, this complex figure cannot be tied completely to these events. He remains a controversial rather than ostracized figure largely because of his films.

Cinema du Parc focuses attention on this aspect of the Polanski character from September 5 to 14 with its twelve-film series of his work. Polanski is a rare filmmaker who has worked extensively in both the art house and multiplex, writing, directing, sometimes acting in his many films. He has turned out large Hollywood productions like Rosemary’s Baby, neo-noir like Chinatown, absurdist comedy like What?, a violent modernist re-imagining of Macbeth, and the recent Palme d’Or winner The Pianist. So if you are looking for some ink-black, existentially devoid, intelligent suspense thrillers, and also want to court controversy, head on down to Cinema du Parc!

– Sam Neylon

Electric avenues

We’re gonna walk down to Electric Avenue, and then we’ll take it higher: The Goethe Institut Montreal (418 Sherbrooke E), in conjunction with OBORO New Media Lab, is turning the streets of our city into an electromagnetic paradise. Starting on September 10 at 5:30 p.m. and continuing for ten days, you are invited to borrow headphones, free of charge, from the Goethe Institut and explore the streets of the city like never before.

Each set of headphones has been programmed by German artist Christina Kubisch to transform the city’s pre-existing electromagnetic fields into audible frequencies that can preserved by a built-in recorder.

Kubisch will also host workshops for local sound artists on September 16 through 18. Participants will be given the opportunity to rework their electromagnetic field recordings into original compositions. A free concert showcasing these works will take place at OBORO (4001 Berri, Suite 200) on September 19 at 7 p.m.

Electric Avenue, you ain’t got nothin’ on St. Laurent. More information is available at oboro.net.

– Leah Pires

Summer’s siren song

If you’re finding it hard to acknowledge summer’s imminent demise, one coping strategy might be to surround yourself with its sights and sounds. Why not start with Toronto shoegazers The Darcys? Already alumnis of Mcgill’s Open Air Pub stage (who says James McGill isn’t down with the kids?), the band will return to Montreal on September 10 for a show at L’Esco (4467 St. Denis) with Play Guitar. The Darcys describe themselves as the aural equivalent of beards, beer, afternoon sunshine, and your aunt’s Fleetwood Mac records. So slip on those cut-offs and Ray-bans one last time, because summer’s not dead yet –– The Darcys are playing her exit music, and she’s going out in style.

– Leah Pires


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