8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 1 - September 2014

  • Text
  • September
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Theatre
  • Festival
  • Concerts
  • Symphony
  • Arts

Tiff Tips continued from

Tiff Tips continued from pg 9Timbuktumovie, but richer eachtime, paralleling thedevelopment of thefilm’s main character.Girlhood is an exampleof a very good filmenhanced by the astuteuse of music.Equally impressive isthe way music is usedas a driving force in fivediverse films.In Jean-Luc Godard’sGoodbye to Language3D, snippets ofBeethoven’s SymphonyNo. 7 as well as bits ofSchoenberg, Sibelius and Kancheli and innumerable repetitions ofa few bars of Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave support the filmmaker’sdepiction of an illicit love affair which itself is punctuated by literary,political and cinematic references for our amusement and stimulation.Despite the lack of conventional narrative, it’s the legendary enfantterrible’s most accessible and fun film in years. The ultra-modern useof 3D alone is worth the price of admission.The violent storm conjured up by the final movement of “Summer”from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is used as a recurring motif in the darklycomic, caustic Swedish moral tale, Force Majeure, which ironicallytakes place in the wintry snow-laden Swiss Alps. And on the subjectof mountains, writing in Variety, Musicworks editor Jennie Puntercalled Kyle Thomas’ Alberta-set multi-narrative The Valley Below“music-fuelled.” One of its episodes is centred on a songwriter.Twenty-five-year-old Xavier Dolan’s Cannes prizewinner, Mommy,is driven by a carefully chosen soundtrack including music performedby Sarah McLachlan, Dido, Counting Crows, Andrea Bocelli and LanaDel Rey among others. Dolan’s film jumps off the screen with a lifeforce that is contagious. A mother, her 15-year-old ADHD-afflicted sonand their neighbour, a teacher who is more at ease with them thanshe is with her own family, spend several intense weeks together. Themovie is formatted one to one – that is, it appears on the screen in theshape of a square. At one ecstatic moment as the son is moving downthe street on his longboard with the two women on the sidewalkbehind and Oasis’ “Wonderwall” blasting away, he extends his armssideways and pulls the image to widescreen width. It’s a breathtakingeffect.There are few instruments as evocative as the Indian bambooflute (bansuri) especially when heard in the open air. In SturlaGunnarsson’s Monsoon, which documents the 2013 monsoon seasonfrom Kerala to Mumbai to Cherrapunji, its sound is put to particularlygood use in a score composed by the Bombay Dub Orchestra’sAndrew T. MacKay that also features tabla, sitar, sarod and vocals. Thismusic heightens the striking images so much that the film would beunthinkable without it.Maya Forbes’ highly appealing Infinitely Polar Bear, the storyof two sisters raised in Boston by their bipolar father while theirmother is furthering her education in NYC, is based on her ownpersonal history. The soundtrack music is well chosen, high calibre,non-instrusive but memorable, from Ike Turner’s “A Fool in Love”to Doc Watson’s “Your Long Journey” and George Harrison’s “Runof the Mill,” to name a few. And you have to love any movie withthe smarts to include Brenton Wood’s “Oogum Boogum Song” onits soundtrack. But there’s more. Stay for the credits and you’ll hearForbes’ younger sister, China, Pink Martini’s inimitable vocalist, sing asong she composed specifically for the film. It’s a heartfelt, insightfulcomplement to what we’ve just watched.I’ve already seen 11 of the 22 and am looking forward to watchingthe others (and many more) during TIFF 2014. Any nuggetsdiscovered are sure to appear in the Music and the Movies blog over the months to come, so stay tuned. TheToronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 to 14.Check for further information.Paul Ennis is managing editor of The WholeNote.78 | September 1, 2014 – October 7, 2014

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