Music

When evaluating a documentary, you might ask several questions. Does the film have a clear protagonist, or several? Does it have a compelling story and message? Does it have substance and depth? Has the director organized the material in a coherent way? In the case of Alex Pritz’s new movie, The Territory, the answers are a resounding “Yes.” Read More
Eight twenty-somethings gather at a mansion for a “hurricane party.” After some awkward introductions, they begin indulging in drugs and alcohol. With inhibitions fading and the storm now raging, they decide to play “Body Body,” the murder-in-the-dark game. Only in this case, an actual body count ensues. There you have the premise for the new horror-comedy film from Dutch Read More
Baz Luhrmann has always had a flair for the operatic, sometimes literally so. The Australian writer-director-designer loves to tell stories on a grand scale. The bigger the emotions, the flashier the production values. Romeo and Juliet, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Great Gatsby have all made appearances in his films. Now his spotlight turns to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Read More
If you’re a devoted fan of Downton Abbey, the global television phenomenon now back on the big screen, that line certainly rings true. Creator and writer Julian Fellowes, director Simon Curtis (the real-life husband of Elizabeth McGovern/Cora Grantham), a superb ensemble cast and composer John Lunn have crafted another period piece drama brimming with intelligence, Read More
Sometimes a filmmaker tells a story so dense, so deliberately ambiguous, so deeply rooted in symbolic imagery that you realize you’re either intrigued by and invested in the narrative or you’re utterly defeated by the process. The memory of Men, a hallucinatory study in toxic masculinity, will linger long after the closing credits. Read More
Twenty-five years ago, Angèle Dubeau had a thriving career as a concert violinist, having studied with the legendary Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School in New York. She had become a popular broadcaster at home in Québec, where she hosted a weekly French-language program on CBC. She already had her Arthur (as she calls her prized Stradivarius violin), but she envisioned Read More
Claudio José Brindis de Salas y Garrido. A renowned violinist, born in Cuba in 1852. A contemporary journalist described his playing, and the effect it had on his listeners. “His eyes sparkled. His fingers multiplied…reaching into the deep nerves of the melody…leading a rapt audience to drunken emotion.” Read More
Let’s start with the paradoxes. The latest film from Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer-director Aaron Sorkin boasts several. Its two protagonists don’t look all that much like the historical characters they portray (although Nicole Kidman with red hair comes pretty close). The female lead, a comedy legend, has very few funny lines in the story. And, although the movie has the Read More
The writer, director and graphic artist Mike Mills loves to explore family. His own family, to be precise. In Beginners (2010), for which the late Christopher Plummer won an Academy Award, Mills dramatizes his elderly father’s gay relationship with a much younger man. In 20th Century Women (2016), for which Mills himself earned an Oscar nomination for Original Screenplay, Read More
“The Irish are built to leave,” as one character ruefully observes in Sir Kenneth Branagh’s new film, his twenty-second behind the camera. Indeed, many have departed the home soil, but their abiding attachment to it has prompted a wealth of insight and inspiration. You can add Belfast to the mix. Read More
The risk of the project was destined to match the scale of journalist-turned-author Frank Herbert's Dune. Denis Villeneuve's conception has arrived in theatres (and HBO Max), and its sequel has already been greenlighted by Warner Bros. After two viewings, his intentions have become more clear and convincing. Read More
There’s a recipe for just this baroque-era staple included in The Little Bach Book by the Oregon-based tenor, Bach specialist and book designer David Gordon (Lucky Valley Press, 2017). Only 160 pages, including maps, glossary, timeline, recommendations for further reading and, yes, recipes, Gordon’s little book reveals the magnificent Johann Sebastian Bach as a man of his Read More
Load More