I can't believe it has already been three years since Marvel unleashed its cinematic monster, The Avengers, onto the public. I still remember how excited I was after having seeing all of the buildup and connections that were teased in the previous, standalone films (ie: Iron Man, Thor, etc). Naturally, Marvel was aware of how big of a fan I was, so it was no surprise that they happened to release it a week before my birthday and you can bet your bottom dollar that I was going to see it. You can imagine my equal amount of excitement when I realized that Marvel was set to do so again, this time with the sequel, The Avengers: Age of Ultron! With my fiancée, brother, and old roommate in tow, we embarked on what I would have thought would be another successful chapter in the Marvel line-up, but did it meet our standards?
Je suis un oiseau.
Ni l'abeille, ni la baleine.
Il mange une abeille.
I'm not sure when I'll be using those phrases, but if Duolingo is trying to make learning French memorable, it has succeeded. When I picked up the app, I wasn't expecting much--there was no way an iPhone app could teach me a language I had no knowledge of. Two months of using Duolingo later, I'm willing to admit I was wrong. While it's not a substitute for classroom learning, Duolingo is a useful way to start learning a language on your own time and at your own pace.
Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates- Mordecai Richler
Fans of famed Montreal author Mordecai Richler will be thrilled to see his popular novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz appearing live on stage in a musical number at the Segal Centre. The tale is being brought back to life by award winning composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, A Christmas Carol) and David Spencer (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables). Prior to the stage, the novel was adapted into a 1974 film starring Richard Dreyfuss and Randy Quaid. Originally published in 1959, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz continues to be a must read novel, whether you're from Montreal or not. Those familiar with the novel (like myself) will notice the differences and similarities between the play, film, and novel.
Since the early history of the National Hockey League (NHL), and of professional hockey, the Montreal Canadiens have dominated the city's headlines, been front-page news for decades, and dominated the league winning 24 Stanley Cups between 1915 and 1993. On April 29th 2015, the Montreal Impact lost the second match of the CONCACAF Champions' League Final, 4 to 2, against one of North America's richest, most followed, and dominanting clubs Mexico's Club America. Yes, at the end of the day they lost, but at the same time the acheived the milestone of gaining access to their first major final. This has also contributed to the ever-rising popularity of football (or soccer if you wish) in Montreal, the province of Quebec, and because it was a nationality televised event, Canada.
Since the tender age of 8 I have been in love with cheese. My adoration for it began at a Christmas supper, after the main course had been served. My father's family had always been strong supporters of apéritifs and cheese before dessert. My brother, cousins, and I would always see them conversing and laughing over a few bottles of wine and a large cheese platter. Many cousins often made funny faces and held their noses when this tray would come out of the kitchen which confused me some because my father, his siblings, and my grand-mother swore by cheese. How could the adults be so passionate about cheese and the kids so revolted? I needed to get to the bottom of this!
I've been a fan of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock for years and believe that he is an icon in the world of cinema. Hitchcock, known as the "master of suspense", was quite ahead of his time. He wasn't afraid to push the envelope and make movies that were unique from anything else. His actions were at times questionable, such as his infatuations with the women in his movies and his ill treatment of actress Tippi Hedren in The Birds. Despite his flaws, Alfred Hitchcock has influenced many directors: Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma and David Fincher to name a few.
Recently this article was published and it got me thinking: what is wrong with our government? The person in question was found guilty of tax evasion for working with a prostitution company in the 1980's. Who in their right mind would believe that people would openly and willingly admit that they are earning money illegally and that they should pay their taxes on it? The whole point about doing illegal activities is to make more money in a shorter amount of time. Things like drug or weapon selling, money laundering, and prostitution do not typically show up on income tax papers. The person in this article was found by a judge to have evaded tax and is required to pay back all that is owed, including penalties.
1. A separate date
Easter is one of the two biggest Christian holidays worldwide, but it originated long before organized religion, as a celebration of spring, joy and rebirth. There's no fixed date in the calendar for it: in Western Christianity (the Catholic and Protestant denominations), according to the Gregorian calendar, Easter always falls on a Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th, following the first astronomical full moon after the spring equinox; Eastern Christianity, on the other hand, bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar, which is currently behind the Gregorian one by 13 days. Orthodox Easter therefore varies between April 4th and May 8th, so it rarely overlaps with the Western one, and mostly falls later in the year.
While we've been assaulted for weeks now by images of chocolate eggs and bunnies in store window displays, few Montrealers for whom Easter is a religious holiday seem to care much about the religious aspect of it - they just enjoy their day off, eat a lavish lunch and spend time with families. On the contrary, for Orthodox communities (mostly Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Greek and Coptic) in the city, this is the most important holiday of the year. It seems fitting that they would have a separate date to celebrate it.
They are our morning coffee, our weekend brunch, and our saviors the morning after a few too many glasses of wine. Whether solo or social, 8am or 2pm - breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day, and NDG is spoiled for its many options. This unbiased reviews of five of NDG's top breakfast spots will be sure to get your mouth watering as I evaluate each on the food, the price, the service, the atmosphere, and the overall experience.
Alan Rudolph's Afterglow (1997) strives to be the alt-romcom for people who look down on romcoms. It burns slowly, ends unhappily, and camouflages its trusty clichés under arch manners. Tinged with sepia and laden with flat ironies, it's a film to which datedness has been preemptively disallowed, but in its cultural context of nineties knowingness, the derivations and unsophisticated sexual politics make it feel immediately stale. Caught between voguish indie sensibilities and well-worn romcom quirks, it's a half-baked product that fails to rise.
Photo © 1997 Sony Pictures Classics/Sandcastle 5 Productions
(Photo Credit: Jogg In)
Although not technically a mountain, Mount Royal is rarely or never referred as anything else by the locals. Nestled between the Plateau, Outremont, Côte-des-Neiges, Wesmount, and downtown Ville-Marie, Mount Royal offers a perfect escape from urbanity. It boasts three summits, a man-made lake, two cemeteries, countless trails through the forest and toward the summits for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, vast green spaces, a sculpture garden, and an interpretive centre, not to mention seasonal and cultural events. Mount Royal has something to offer for everyone who just needs some time away from the busy city schedule.
Winner of 9 Jutras on the award's inaugural year
(Photo Credit: impawards.com)
The Jutra Awards (La Soirée des Jutras) just turned 17. They aired on the 15th of March, from the Monument-National in the Quartier des Spectacles. The awards are not hugely popular, but the promise of prodige Montréalais Xavier Dolan in competition with--wait for it--himself surely drove viewership from all over Québec. The Jutras, after all, our film award: the highest honor our small but formidable film industry has to congratulate the talents through which it is sustained. Sadly, despite the fact that Québec Cinema has risen on the international scene, its Jutras have not, by association, gained in any measure of global status.
The Island of Montreal is a wonderful cultural capital, harboring a multitude of centers, groups, institutes and special events organized around the medium of film. Montreal's vast film-cultural arena, favorable to the cause of cinephilia, can be entered into from any number of venues. Those looking to mingle among the cinematically inclined can join the Cinéclub Film Society, which meets at Concordia University's downtown campus. Those eager to experience classics as they were meant to be experienced can attend revivals at the Cinéma du Parc, one of the city's arthouse theatres. Those with an empiric's curiosity about the production of film can take guided tours of La Cité du Cinéma, our country's largest film production facility. Those with a taste for the fresh and exotic can obtain a "passeport" and arrange to see new releases at our annual International Film Festival, which is held in late August/early September. The list goes on and on.
Multi-threat Patricia "Pat" Dillon-Moore has led one of the most interesting professional lives this side of the Atlantic. Diversely experienced, with a repertoire of skills that includes writing and performance, Pat Dillon-Moore is a shining example of passion, prowess and personality. She has carried a film (1986's Sitting in Limbo, directed by John N. Smith); racked up notable theatre credits through the Black Theatre Workshop; founded a company (Black Arts Production); co-founded another (Amanda Jackson Communications); written and acted out a humorous monologue series (Clemmie Is Mi Frien'); and, in 1990, was appointed as station manager of CKUT 90.3. In her long-held position as a publicist for the National Film Board of Canada, she has inspired a great deal of admiration, and has even been hailed as one of the geniuses in the field by esteemed writer Christopher Moore.
Sam and Simon
The thirties are a strange time, a sort of limbo between not being old enough to be considered middle-aged and not quite young enough to be considered...well, young. However, they are thought to be the time when an individual attains maturity and stability in most areas of life, or so we like to think. Ces gars-là, roughly translated as "Those Boys," follows the lives of two quirky bachelors in their thirties as they chase highs and experience lows in the metropolis of none other than Montréal. The show has been a surprising hit on the relatively minor V network, attracting 500,000 viewers in its first season, and was renewed for a second season which debuted last February. It breaks ground in Quebec television through its realistic representation of life in Montreal, such as the pervasive use of anglicisms in everyday French speech, as well as the evident presence and influence of multiculturalism and bilingualism throughout the city. Despite its raunchy and occasionally over-the-top brand of humour, the show is nonetheless thoroughly entertaining thanks to its original characters, plot and dialogue.
Montreal native Jean-Marc Vallée is held in un certain regard. A member of what has informally been termed the Quebec New Wave, which consists of French Canadian filmmakers on the ascendant,1he has a special talent for making films that resonate with audiences. Those resonances have carried through the global film industry and secured him a place on the map. What first put him there was the high-water success of LGBT-themed family saga C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005), a labor of love that he developed in collaboration over several years.2 Through precision filmmaking, he presented a somewhat grey-tinted perspective of Revolution-era Montreal, and conveyed a relatable sense of bildungsromanesque angst (authenticated by his own experience). However, contrary to popular perception, C.R.A.Z.Y. was not his first notable effort. In the nineties, his short films garnered him prizes from the Jutras, the Genies and the Yorkton Short Film Festival. In the mid-nineties, the now obscure legal thriller Liste noire also brought him a measure of distinction.2 At present, he merits of a closer look.
Album art for 'Strangers to Ourselves'.
Typically when a band starts a series of self-congratulating releases, like B-side albums (No One's First and You're Next), large re-pressings of old albums (Moon & Antarctica, 2004), live albums (Baron Von Bullshit), it signals some kind of creative stagnation. The band's first release in 8 years, "Strangers to Ourselves," is nothing close to stagnated. The album was released this week (March 17, 2015), and the band has already promised a follow up as soon as possible.
The cover for Loc-Nar's album "HOTTER WATER" (Source: loc-nar.bandcamp.com)
The Montreal-based band Loc-Nar never ceases to amaze with their new releases, and following suite, their release of the six-track album "HOTTER WATER" this past weekend with a duo of shows at Brasserie Beaubien and Poission Noir did not disappoint. While I was unfortunately unable to attend, being bed-ridden with a nasty cold, my roommate so graciously procured a fresh tape for me, and am I ever glad that he did; HOTTER WATER is the perfect fever dream for when you're fading in and out of sleep induced by a healthy cocktail of generic brand cold medicine and Vitamin-C rich fruit juice.
Do you ever watch runners zoom by and wish you could dash around so effortlessly? Do you find yourself a wheezing, gasping mess after only ten steps at more than a brisk walking pace? Do you like British accents? Then NHS Couch to 5k (Ct5k) podcast is for you.
Back in the day, I loathed running. I would go out of my way to avoid running for even a single step. I wouldn't even run to catch a bus, despite knowing that I would have to wait half an hour for the next one. But slowly, after a while, I started wishing I could go for a jog. I would watch people jog past me effortlessly and just burn with envy. I wanted to do it too, mostly because I enjoy the idea of the peace and solitude involved in long distance running, but also because regular running has great health benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boosting mood, and keeping weight under control.
Then my sister introduced me to the NHS Ct5k podcast. Now, I know what you're thinking: going from a couch potato to running 5k in only nine weeks? Sorcery! Trickery! I call BS. But hear me out for a bit, and maybe you'll change your mind.
My previous articles have been an observation of sorts of love in the time of technology. My conclusion is that even with all of the new ways to communicate our love for each other, we are no better off now than we were twenty years ago. If anything, the facility has rendered us shallow with the attention spans of fruit flies.
For my fellow Montrealers, my review will be a wee bit more uplifting as I take you through the five best places to take your date in Montreal. I made it a point to go to each one of these places recently with my partner just to make sure I wasn't imagining things and thankfully (for once), I was right on the mark.
This city is positively thrumming with romantic energy, from the European charm of the Old Port to the endless selection of parks, museums, markets, cafés and shisha bars. After reading this, you'll agree that love isn't dead and Montreal's just plain hot (or something close to that). Let's get started!
Code-switching is generally identified as the alternation between two or more languages within one conversation or context. Many factors contribute to the phenomenon and just as many reasons underlie it. On a smaller scale, code-switching is primarily generated by the propinquity of two or more languages that are either all official or spoken by a vast majority of people within one community.
Montreal, being a mutilingual city where French and English are dominantly in use, is an example par excellence of such a community. The ease with which Montrealers switch from one language to the other in the same conversation, and for no apparent reason, may very well stump foreigners who are unfamiliar with the local linguistic overlap. Some qualify the phenomenon of code-switching as a sure testimony to a person`s high IQ--the capability to juggle a couple of languages within the space of a single utterance seems impressive. It is even acknowledged that, more often than not, people code-switch for an added stylistic effect, for the sake of variety so to speak, and not because they have a poor command of their native language.
Given the many language policies affecting the status of French and English over the course of Quebec`s history, Anglophones and Francophones have oftentimes found themselves at daggers drawn as regards language prevalence and prestige. It is important to note that the latter is only a superficial issue; the bottom part of the iceberg is all about identity and the way the two lingusitic groups position themselves based on their attitude towards either English or French specifically and bilingualism within the country in general.
By Laurie Dujardin
JAZZ: a genre of music that originated during the late 19th and early 20th century. It emerged in many parts of the United States of independent popular music styles, linked by the common bond of African American and European American musical parentage. Jazz spans a range of music from Ragtime to the present day, a period of over 100 years and has proved to be very difficult to define. Jazz makes heavy use of improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note, as well as aspects of European harmony, American popular music, the brass band tradition, and African musical elements such as blue notes and ragtime. The birth of jazz in the multicultural society of America has led intellectuals from around the world to hail jazz as one of America's original art forms. As jazz spread around the world it drew on different national and regional cultures, giving rise to many distinctive styles. (Wikipedia)
Jelly Roll Morton, a creole, claimed to have invented jazz in 1902 in New Orleans, and there's plenty of evidence to support his claims. Prior to this, ragtime piano music accompanied silent films. The first jazz recordings came out of New Orleans, via New York, in 1917, and the new style quickly swept North America and Europe. It was adopted as the music of choice by "rebellious youth" and the JAZZ AGE was born.
Then came a massive migration of blacks and their music northward to industrial cities including Montreal, seeking work. Next came the U.S. prohibition of alcohol sales and consumption (1920-1933). I neglected to mention something many people don't know, that there was previously (1900-1916) a prohibition in Canada that was voted in province-by-province, EXCEPT in Quebec where it was resoundingly rejected.
So you can see the different elements coming together to make Montreal a major party town. There's also the proximity to the metropolis of New York linked by major railway lines and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Americans (and Canadians) started coming by the droves as word spread about the love of partying and entertainments late into the night. Night clubs, dancehalls, burlesque cabarets and vaudeville theatres multiplied at a furious pace. Of course, that was closely followed by organized crime, with its gambling, prostitution, extortion and loansharking, etc. But all of these places employed jazz musicians and they just couldn't get enough of them. Black musicians were also attracted to Montreal because it didn't have the brutal segregation laws that existed in the U.S.