Category Archives: Reviews

Zappa

2020 ended with a pair of Z’s that could just as easily be seen as the start of 2021. After Fareed Zakaria’s book, it’s Zappa, a documentary released late in 2020. Where Fareed is analyzing historical trends with an eye … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Politics, Popular music & culture, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Messiah / Complex

There’s nothing simple about Messiah/Complex, a new film that’s currently available for streaming from the Against the Grain Theatre website until January 7th. Complex? It’s an adaptation of Handel’s popular oratorio, a co-production of Against the Grain Theatre and Against … Continue reading

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Masterful Rituaels film-concert from collectif9

After seeing a preview, I recommend Rituaels, a new film-concert from collectif9 especially to anyone who is missing live performance, wanting the experience of live music in their home setting, and especially to any artists intrigued by the challenges and … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, domestic & wild, Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Popular music & culture, Reviews, Spirituality & Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lithgow’s Trumpty Dumpty

John Lithgow is one of the most theatrical personalities I can think of. Yes he acts in film & television, but perhaps more importantly, he is an ostentatious performer. He’s not subtle. Not only is he a big man with … Continue reading

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Sky Gilbert’s remarkable new book Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World

I am on my third read-through of Sky Gilbert’s Shakespeare Beyond Science: When Poetry Was the World. It is the best book I’ve read this year, one of the most interesting books I’ve ever encountered. I’ve been dancing around this … Continue reading

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Sounds like hell Mr Adès: Looking in the mirror of The Exterminating Angel

I wasn’t sure I’d have the nerve to go through with it, watching an opera that seems to show us exactly the predicament we face. Based on the surreal film from Luis Bunuel, The Exterminating Angel was today’s free Metropolitan … Continue reading

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Food porn

That’s what it felt like, watching a film about food, before eating something irresistibly scrumptious. The film is Chef with its wonderful premise and strong script. The cast includes Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Robert Downey Jr … Continue reading

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Woodward and Cohen: odd couple

They’re an odd pair, Bob Woodward & Michael Cohen. Or more properly, their books make an odd couple. One man uses four letter words for his titles, the other book has a title with a sub-title followed by a sub-subtitle … Continue reading

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TSO Thais: via Massenet & Anatole France

The Toronto Symphony concert performance of Thaïs, recently released on Chandos, has me wishing we could see & hear more from Jules Massenet, the opera’s composer.  I begin to understand why the late Stuart Hamilton in his time with Opera … Continue reading

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Walking the University of Toronto Campus Guide

I shouldn’t have needed a book to wake me up to the nuances & subtleties of my many connections to the University of Toronto. But it’s a bit like a family album, these beautiful pictures of loved ones to remind … Continue reading

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