Arts & Entertainment

Keep up to date on local art, new albums, and everything entertainment-related.

POP RHETORIC: Burton’s formula

Tim Burton has a distinct, dark, and quirky style that puts him in a cinematic class apart from any other director. The problem is that after creating so many successful films, his new projects are always going to be compared to his earlier “glory days.” The empire he has created is subject to unwarranted, faulty criticism merely because of the expectations that he’s planted in viewers’ minds.

The Bald Soprano has some playgoers scratching their heads

Director Julien Naggar’s production of The Bald Soprano transports the audience into an absurd world that nonetheless seems strangely familiar. Playing this week at the TNC Theatre in Morrice Hall, The Bald Soprano brings TNC’s 2009-2010 season to a climactic finish with its parlour-room madness, reshaping expectations and challenging presumptions.

John le Carré: the spy who loved fiction

The 2010 International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal kicks off on March 18, featuring 230 films from 23 countries. Shortlisted from this group are a competitive selection of 43 films from 14 countries (including eight entries from Quebec). Buzzed films from the competitive group include Je M’Appelle Denis Gagnon, a documentary about the Quebec fashion designer who made quite an impression at Montreal Fashion Week; The Real World of Peter Gabriel, on the Genesis lead singer; and perhaps most intriguing, King of Spies: John le Carré, a documentary about the life’s work of a spy-turned-fiction writer.

Sex, violence, and more violence

Joy Fielding’s The Wild Zone begins when a personal trainer, a dishonourably discharged Afghanistan war veteran, and a Princeton philosophy Ph.D. walk into a bar and make a bet over who can sleep with the pretty, quiet girl alone with her martini. Suzy Bigelow, naturally, has secrets and an agenda of her own, and she leads them all on a wild and deadly ride which, though two-dimensional, is remarkably compelling.

The White Stripes trade stage lights for Northern lights

Jack White is a busy guy. Playing in three successful bands (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, and The Dead Weather), taking on small roles in feature films, and running a production company in Tennessee doesn’t seem to be enough. White claims he likes to make things difficult for himself, so within a single year he signed on for two documentary films; It Might Get Loud was released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008, and Emmett Malloy’s The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights – filmed during the band’s tour across Canada in 2007 – premiered there last year.

CD REVIEWS: Ellie Goulding: Lights

Ever since listening to her hauntingly beautiful, Imogen Heap-esque cover of Bon Iver’s “Wolves,” I’ve been hooked on British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and eagerly anticipating her debut LP, Lights. After her first single “Under the Sheets” became an instant hit on British radio, the London it-girl has garnered a massive wave of hype and been labeled one of this year’s hottest new artists.

The McGill FAC brings Nuit Blanche to the Shatner Building

The McGill Fine Arts Council’s rendition of the popular all-night art celebration Nuit Blanche will be held on Thursday in the Shatner Building. Now in its third year, the event takes over all four floors of the building from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., bringing together artists from all disciplines, including musicians, jewellery designers, and poets, for an (almost) all-night party.