Friday, July 31, 2015

FANTASIA: The Last Week-End!

What great movies I have seen so far! The last one I saw was Ryuzo and the Seven Henchmen . This is a Japanese comedy about seven ex-yakuza gangsters going back into business after retirement! It is hilarious!

For example one of the "killers" was known for the way he killed the enemy from the toilet. We see him hiding in a Port-o-let and then striking as his target sits for a crap. It is subtle and mad with the most unusual twists, a signature of many movies presented at FANTASIA.

There are still great films to be seen. The Golden Cane Warrior an Shinjuku Swan, a Manga movie, The Editor, a creepy "giallo" style thriller are playing today.

Tomorrow, August 1rst,  the day starts with Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal a luscious epic of Good fighting Evil from China. Later ASIEL NORTON will present his latest movie starring DAVID ARQUETTE Orion, a film that evokes a Mad Max type of end-of-the-world scenario.

August 2nd Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet will put a big smile on your face!

There are soooo many great choices and extra screenings to some of the most popular films of the festival. Finally on Monday August 3rd there is a screening of Marshland, a neo-noir thriller that won many awards in Europe recently!



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FANTASIA: COP CAR with Kevin Bacon gets a second screening 05.08.2015

At the press conference July 28th 2015, from left to right: Tony TimponeJon Watts & Kevin Bacon
Photo © Lena Ghio 2015

After the screening of the movie COP CAR I was so stunned by the simplicity and totally unprecedented situations emerging in the story line that I was afraid of giving a critique that would spoil the surprise for the viewer. I even told my dilemma to the writer and director of the movie JON WATTS who responded by clicking his tongue and saying: "Its simple, two little boys find a cop car! Its a blend between Night of the Hunter with ROBERT MITCHUM and the COEN brother's Fargo." But that doesn't quite do it either. I kept listening. Jon Watts was asked about his inspiration for the script. "When I was a kid I had this recurring dream that I was driving this car. Sometimes my friend was in it sometimes I was alone, driving." His face was illuminated by an amused smile as he shared this with us. And I realized that there was an element of the film that reminded me of dreaming, not the absurdity of dreams, but the way dreams can tell us a complete story with only limited visual features.

Then KEVIN BACON was asked how he prepared for the role and this made me understand what I was trying to say. The journalist asked: "How did you prepare for a role where for the first 18 minutes you have no dialogue and are alone on the screen?" What a brilliant question!

"I got to think of this man who held a solid position in his community, a man who was electable as Sheriff so he must have had social skills, who somehow managed to make some seriously bad decisions. When he finds out his car is missing he is terrified of being found out. His desperation grows the more elusive the boys and the cop car become." His comments about his character made me view his performance in a whole new light.

I hope you will be as surprised by the unexpected plot twists as I was!


FANTASIA: The Science Behind the Movie SYNCHRONICITY

From left to right: writer & director Jacob Gentry, actor in lead role Chad McKnight & actor in supporting role AJ Bowen  Photo © Lena Ghio 2015
In recent decades, a large public has manifested interest in scientific and analytical procedures as part of  television shows that have been very successful like CSI and Star Trek The Next Generation. We can also see that there is a large market for books and documentaries presented by well known scientists that inform us about what is happening in their fields of research. Time travel has been a recurring theme in the Star Trek franchise, in the Doctor Who series, and in magical themed series like Once upon a time. So after seeing the movie once, I honed in on the scientific structure JACOB GENTRY used to tell this unusual love story.

LG- When you began imagining the story you decided to engage the assistance of a physicist?

JG- His name is SEAN CARROLL and I was connected to him through this amazing organization called The Science and Entertainment Exchange. This organization works to help provide accurate scientific information for movies or television. It is a free service that anyone can call. So if you are making a movie that involves science and you want to have responsible science in your movie, you just call them up and they will pair you with a reputable scientist. In this case I was paired with Sean Carroll who is one of the foremost cosmologists in the field. I read some of his books before I met with him and I tried to learn a lot about the stuff he knows and it was very difficult to keep up. But he was very reassuring and very helpful.

LG- The idea of TIME is the question of the day for many physicists at every level whether it be the quantum level or the cosmological level. In the movie you make a reference to a graviton resonance, the graviton is not a proven molecule but how does it fit in with the theory of time travel you are exploring in the movie?

JG- Ultimately, because it is all theoretical at this point, I used as much theoretical information as possible to create a believable, a somewhat believable wormhole.  Ultimately a wormhole like that, just to open it in the first place would take astronomical amounts of energy. At this point, we have no idea how to attain such energy. So at this point we had to assume that Jim Beale, the inventor of the time machine, had come up with something to fuel the wormhole. The concept that he found a solution is the reason the story is set in a possible future time frame instead of in the present time frame version of our world. Perhaps in his parallel timeline, in an alternate universe, they would have been able to conceive this fuel that we refer to in the movie as MRD, which is a radioisotope, a combination of special elements that powers it. In the movie MRD costs millions of dollars. The inventor is suspicious that there could be corporate espionage going on. Within the construct of the story I ask how can we connect the things that would open a wormhole and then would they be strong enough to keep it stable and make it traversable. Science today cannot even conceive how we would create an actual wormhole, much less the other things like keeping it stable, being able to open it to a specific time and place. That is why it is fun to explore these things in a science-fiction movie and why the responsible science aspect is important to make the audience feel this is a possibility at some point in the human future. Its more exciting that way.

LG- And then, near the end of the story, I thought you pulled an amazing rabbit out of the hat, and I don't even know if you are aware of it. Up until that point the inventor is traveling through time using his wormhole technology but then the female character Abby, played by BRIANNE DAVIS, introduces us to the Theory of Extra Dimensions. From what I have read on this theory, you may not even need a wormhole to travel through time at a certain point because you can do it through extra dimensions. This is a fascinating leap you did in the story and I want your take on it. Were you aware that you were introducing this quest for the Theory of Extra Dimensions into the plot's dénouement?

JG- Of course I was aware! I found it an interesting notion.

LG- It is also fascinating to me that it is your female character that makes us aware of this scientific quest with her own research.

JG- She is the one who actually brings everything together. I wanted to turn the concept of a femme fatale on its head. Which means that in the beginning she represents the way women in the last mid-century were shown in movies and then ultimately becomes someone who can see through all of the emotional turmoil the male character is experiencing. He is the one who cannot let his emotion get out of the way long enough to make clear headed scientific decisions and she is the one who has been researching him for her science-fiction novel, which is a book evolving within the movie. In it, she is able to hypothesize on time travel better than he could and we question "where did she get this information"? I thought this was the most fun part of the movie, trying to figure out where the theories come from? Are they correct? How does that apply to the emotional story?

LG- Here is my last question: the title of your movie, SYNCHRONICITY,  seems to fit better with the final dénouement of the story than it does with the concern of time travel that fills the first segments. Synchronicity implies events that are related by meaning but not causality and when Abby puts her cards on the table near the end, we are thrown into a whole new perspective of the film that supports what that word means.

JG- I felt the same way. When I happened on the word synchronicity as the title for this movie I had already written the story. When I read the definition, I was amazed that there was this word that resumed the themes I wanted to explore in the movie of two things being related but not by causality. I was questioning whether there is a spiritual dimension in this? How can we define these abstract concepts? With pragmatic scientific concerns or spiritual philosophical concerns? And where do human emotions like love, longing and jealousy fit into the equation?

Meaning of synchronicity:

You can see this movie @ FANTASIA FESTIVAL this July 30th I hope that knowing more about its scientific underpinnings will add to your enjoyment of this sci-fi thriller with a twist!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

ZOOFEST: La conférence créative SCION

Gauche: Mathieu Saint-Onge artiste et vlogueur; Centre: Sean Blanda directeur et rédacteur en chef 99U BEHANCE; Droite: Xavier Dolan acteur, réalisateur, scénariste et producteur. Photos © Lena Ghio 2015
Il fallait que j'aille goûter à la conférence proposée par ZOOFEST avec comme objectif de cultiver la création sous toutes ses formes. J'ai vu trois conférences totalement différentes une de l'autre mais chacune m'a ennivrée de possibilités.

Le premier était MATHIEU SAINT-ONGE qui nous a raconté comment il créé et apprend en se servant de tous les outils à sa disposition. Par exemple il se sert des médias sociaux pour faire des interventions publiques qui toucheront un grand nombres de personnes. Un jour il s'est consacré entièrement à donner la réplique à tous les commentaires qu'il a vu sur Facebook! Il incorpore les événements d'actualités dans des répliques d'oeuvres célèbres en superposant les visages des contemporains sur celles des toiles originales. C'est lors de sa conférence que j'ai pris connaissance du vidéo du père incestueux qui a dit lors de sa sortie du palais de justice: une fois au chalet.

J'ai ensuite écouté SEAN BLANDA qui assiste les créatifs à réaliser leurs objectifs. Il a dit une chose qui m'a beaucoup inspirée: définissez clairement votre raison d'être. Il cite comme exemple comment le géant Google focalise ses entreprises en se demandant toujours si les projets entrent dans les paramètres de leur raison d'être qui est l'accumulation et la diffusion des connaissances du monde entier. Autres recommendations utiles: Commencez toujours votre journée en travaillant sur votre objectif principal, et, Pour garder une énergie optimale divisez votre temps ainsi:
                                                                                                  90 minutes travail
                                                                                                  30 minutes pause
                                                                                                  90 minutes travail
                                                                                                  30 minutes pause
                                                                                                  90 minutes travail

Finalement, XAVIER DOLAN, simple et proche de nous, est venu nous raconter les hauts et les bas de sa carrière foudroyante et audacieuse! Nous sommes tellement éblouis par son ascension fulgurante dans le monde du cinéma qu'on oubli qu'il subit autant de rejets que les autres créateurs, qu'il subit des critiques ascerbes, lesquelles il lit en entier, qu'il se rend compte d'erreurs commises dans une oeuvre quand il est trop tard. Il dégage une intelligence empirique remarkable mais aimerait néanmoins peauffiner son éducation formelle. Il m'a donnée confiance qu'il en viendra à bout éventuellement. Après son intervention il s'envolait à New York où un distributeur a acquis TOM À LA FERME  ensuite il poursuivait ses projets de tournages avec des vedettes comme KATHY BATES, SUSAN SARANDON et MARION COTILLARD. Je vous dirais que la leçon importante qu'il transmet est celle de la persévérance.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Just for Laughs COMEDY PRO WOW!!!!

The events I attended during COMEDYPRO @ JFL: far left: Gilbert Gottfried's wake: centre left: I seem Fun: The diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast; centre right: Andy Kindler's state of the industry address 2015: right: a view from where I was sitting during the Just for Laughs Awards Show hosted by Jeff Ross.
When I received news that I got my press accreditations to the Just For Laughs Festival I really wanted to investigate the COMEDY PRO event that accompanies the festival. I was blown away! I saw four events: THE WAKE where a series of well-known comedians gathered to speak at GILBERT GOTTFRIED's funeral. SEAN CULLEN  was the minister who did the ceremony. He was so hysterically funny in his perfect suit, wearing serious eyeglasses, saying the most outrageous things! The event concluded with the resurrection of Gilbert Gottfried. Now I understood why this event is called COMEDY PRO, it doesn't get any better than this! For example I was sitting a few seats away from Mrs Gottfried. The presentation was polished in all aspects, from the decor of a funeral home, to the timing, to the comics. Everything was impeccable!

I wanted MORE! So the next day I went to JEN KIRKMAN's live podcast. I discovered many comedians now produce live podcasts. She told us she had been ill prior to her arrival in Montreal so she got to experience our Montreal hospital system! Yes! She waited for HOURS! What I like about her humor is that it addresses the life situation of many adult women who never had children, are divorced or never married. She has this hypothesis that when a single older woman dies alone in her kitchen, a cat suddenly appears to eat her face!

ANDY KINDLER's show was very late at night so I didn't even bother to ask for tickets. When I saw he was doing an industry address @  COMEDY PRO I wanted to see this! He did not disappoint as he compared his success to the success of others like JERRY SEINFELD for example. No one was spared from his incisive analysis as he was also taking notes on how to improve his performances.

Lastly, I attended the JUST FOR LAUGHS AWARDS SHOW where many of my favorite comedy stars were honored and many others were sitting beside me! I saw MIKE MYERS receive his Lifetime Achievement Award! I was in another dimension of FUN and LAUGHTER and impossible things coming true! I was also delighted to be there to see PATTON OSWALT receive his Stand-Up Comedian of the year Award! and so much more! I got to see EDDIE PEPITONE LIVE!

So imagine this, I began the evening sitting next to MOS DEF and then DAVE CHAPPELLE walked in and scouted him over! WOW!

Next year, you must try  COMEDY PRO! There are all manners of passes available My experience falls under the Conference Pass category.

See You Next Year!



English Below

MILLE FOIS BONNE NUIT met en vedette JULIETTE BINOCHE et NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU, un couple qui tente de survivre aux effets tragiques de la carrière de photojournaliste de l'épouse, Rebecca. Marcus, son mari, la rejoint à l'hôpital après que l'explosion d'une jeune femme terroriste qui s'était enrobée d'explosifs sous la caméra de celle-ci, la laisse grièvement blessée.

Rebecca aime sa famille mais elle est déchirée par ce qu'elle a vue dans les régions de conflits autour du monde. Elle croit fermement qu'elle peut aider à changer le monde avec sa documentation des atrocités de ce monde. Marcus ne sait plus quoi faire pour que sa femme, la mère de ses enfants, puissent les mettre eux en priorité dans son coeur.

Le film est une lente étude psychologique. On entre dans le coeur de Rebecca et on le voit casser à plusieurs reprises. Le film se termine sur une boucle où elle se rend compte de la futilité de ses décisions.

Le film sera disponible en DVD, vidéo sur demande et iTunes dès le 4 août 2015.


A THOUSAND TIMES GOOD NIGHT starring JULIETTE BINOCHE et NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU, a couple trying to come to terms with the tragic effects of the photojournalist career of the wife, Rebecca. Marcus, her husband, joins her at the hospital after the explosion of a young female terrorist that had been wrapped in explosives under her camera left her seriously injured.

Rebecca loves her family but she is thorn by what she has seen in regions of conflict around the world. She firmly believes that her documentation of atrocities will help change the world. Marcus doesn't know what else he can do so his wife, the mother of his children, will put them first in her heart.

The film is a slow psychological study. We enter inside Rebecca's heart and we watch it break over and over. The film ends in a loop where she understands the futility of her decisions.

The film will be available on DVD, Pay per View and iTunes this August 4 2015.


JUST FOR LAUGHS: I saw two GREAT shows!

I ended my extraordinary exploration of the JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL by seeing two great shows from two performers I have always loved: The ALAN CUMMING GALA and MARGARET CHO!

The first time I became aware of the allure of ALAN CUMMING as a performer was when he played the part of Saturninus in the 1999 movie Titus with ANTHONY HOPKINS and JESSICA LANGE
Left: Alan Cumming in Cabaret; Centre and Right
as Saturninus.
He is what you call a scene stealer. He catches us with his intense eyes and then can take you pretty much anywhere he wants! I could not resist seeing what he would do in a JFL Gala! He popped onto the scene with spry energy and a huge smile so he could include the audience in his Saturday tweet!

The gala itself was a bit uneven. Rob Schneider who had been announced as co-star of the gala never showed up! Luckily many other artists did: Joel Creasey, Orny Adams, Shaun Majumder, Sean Cullen, Dana Gould, Jen Kirkman, and Todd Glass. 

It was just over too soon!

I saw MARGARET CHO on the 24th. She is an artist I have loved a long time also! I love the way she connects topics and stories to take us to the most unbelievably funny visuals in our minds! There was a sadness she had to share for the loss of two comedy giants: ROBIN WILLIAMS and JOAN RIVERS! Seeing her performance that night made me see how hard it is to be a comic. But she was GREAT! And so was her opening act: KATE WILLET.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Le fun continue cette semaine avec l'ajout des spectacles suivants:

10 minutes de marde
(Alexandre Bouchard, Jonathan Guérin, Philippe-Audrey Larrue St-Jacques, Alban Jouvin et Shawn Langlais)
Théâtre Sainte-Catherine
26 juillet - 1er août à 22h00 et 29 juillet à 23h30

J'ai déjà 
(Ben Levebvre) 
 Café Cléopâtre
30 juillet à 22h30

(Kyan Khojandi)
L'Agora Hydro-Québec de l'UQÀM
26 juillet à 20h30 

New Girls
(Rosale Vaillancourt, Ève Côté, Coco Béliveau et Maude Landry)
Cabaret du 4e, Monument-National
26 - 27 juillet à 22h30

La peste noire
(Charles Beauchesne)
Théâtre Sainte-Catherine
26 - 29 juillet à 20h30 et 27 - 31 juillet à 22h00

Adib Alkhalidey
Studio Hydro-Québec, Monument-National
27 - 28 juillet à 19h00 et 29 juillet à 20h30

Un beau programme
(Katherine Levac et David Beaucage)
Studio Hydro-Québec, Monument-National
29 juillet à 19h00 

Radical Pouding
(Fred Dubé)
Studio Hydro-Québec, Monument-National
30 - 31 juillet à 19h00

FANTASIA! Time Travel, Extra-Dimensions and two kids in big trouble!

TRAILER Synchronicity

In the new movie Synchronicity  CHAD McKNIGHT plays Jim Beale a physicist who is testing a Time Machine when his world unravels. He falls for a mysterious and seductive woman, Abby, played by BRIANNE DAVIS, who awakens doubt and jealousy in him as he struggles with the paradoxes of time travel. The story has a well maintained tension all the way to the last twenty minutes when the story shifts into a totally different scientific hypothesis on time travel. I was interested in discussing the science behind this thriller that has one surprising plot twist after another with writer director JACOB GENTRY. I am completing the interview that will be published later this week. Until then you can catch the movie this July 30th @ Fantasia.

This week I have seen COP CAR produced by and starring KEVIN BACON as the mean Sheriff Kretzner. I can honestly say I have NEVER seen a movie like this, but it works. Most of the story is seen from the perspective of two little boys: JAMES FREEDSON-JACKSON as Travis and HAYS WELLFORD as Harrison: who happen upon what appears to them like an abandoned police car. We find out soon enough that it belongs to Sheriff Kretzner who is a corrupt murderer. We get caught up in the fate of the two little boys who are constantly threatened from all sides. If the story seems improbable to you then you must not have little boys in your family at this time because they can get into all kinds of complications because of their curiosity. The unfoldment of the plot is so unusual I don't want to spoil it for you. All I can say is that it is suspenseful to the end.

Of course there are many movies to choose from at the ongoing FANTASIA FESTIVAL Check it out! It is the most amusing film festival of this city where anything can happen and where there are always fun movie buffs to discuss recently viewed films with. I just love it!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

JUST FOR LAUGHS I saw The Patrick Stewart Gala

Sir PATRICK STEWART is one of my favorite human beings on Earth! I have always loved his serious acting. I AM a Trekky so I loved Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek The Next Generation. In recent years however Sir Patrick Stewart has spoken publicly and very well  against violence towards all human beings! 

I was elated Wednesday morning when I received the news I got tickets to see his gala! He was amazing! Wicked and perverse like only senior citizens can be! He came on stage in a mock silver knight costume that made him look absurd but he held the dialogue with sharp repartee and outrageous stories to shatter his too dignified public persona, like chasing the other knighted celebrities, say Sir PAUL McCARTNEY, with a sword so they would act out their prestigious title and do what knights do. 

The line-up was EXCELLENTKyle Kinane, Jim Breuer, Russell Howard, Sebastian Maniscalco, Pete Zedlacher, David Acer and Gina Yashere that I discovered recently at the Ethnic Show.

This is the Gala week-end and there are still some tickets available to other shows. Check it out!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

FANTASIA going strong! En Force!

English below

CRUEL écrit et réalisé par ERIC CHERRIÈRE est un drame psychologique texturé et intense. Pierre Tardieu, interprété parfaitement par JEAN-JACQUES LELTÉ, est un être solitaire qui déambule dans les rues de Toulouse sans que personne ne se préoccupe de lui. C'est un traqueur d'humains qui dévore la vie de ses victimes avant de les anéantir. Le personnage est complexe car on le voit prendre un soin attentif envers son père qui souffre d'Alzeimer et en même temps il tient une personne innocente dans des conditions déplorables dans un vieux sous-sol délabré. Il souffre quand un ami de longue date meurt et il n'est pas insensible à l'amour quand il rencontre Laure Ouari interprétée avec délicatesse par MAGALI MOREAU. J'étais curieuse de voir comment le film adressait ce mystère qu'est le tueur en série et franchement c'est bien exécuté. C'est morbide et la question demeure en suspend mais on en apprend un peu plus sur les mystère de la psyché.


THE ROYAL TAILOR opening this afternoon at FANTASIA seduced me with the story of two competing craftsmen who become involved in royal intrigue. It is a South Korean production directed by LEE WON-SUK and written by LEE BYOUNG-HAK. I am bedazzled by the beautiful clothing, the hands working embroidery, and the plot that keeps me in suspense. What a delight it is to see these great movies on the big screen and plunge into these worlds!



JUST FOR LAUGHS & Off/JFL WOW! I saw 4 great comics!

Sometimes in life, you have to be ready for the unexpected! I was getting ready to head for the swimming pool when I decided to check my emails. I found out I had two tickets to see MOSHE KASHER at PDA in less than one hour upon reading my email!
I put on my jeans and ran! Moshe Kasher is a very young comic who makes us laugh at his self-perceptions like his hairy arms, maybe the fact he doesn't quite look like the most macho man in the crowd, and he shares some of his social insights into current trends. I enjoyed this artist very much and I think we will hear a lot more from him in years to come. He has a few shows left in Montreal until July 25th.

As I was leaving, a man asked the crowd in general if anyone wanted to see DAVE CHAPPELLE the Montreal SHOWS with him because he had an extra ticket! I had been secretly longing to see the show but many presentations were already sold out! No one answered so I grabbed my cubic centimeter of chance and yelled "I'M IN!" As it turns out, the man was J.W., VIP Events Manager for WEIRD AL YANKOVIK who was giving an excellent free outside performance yesterday in the rain! During J.W.'s lunch break that day, he met with ASHY LARRY, the opening act for Dave Chappelle the Montreal Show and he offered J.W. two tickets! What a night! So I enjoyed these two excellent comics in a way that was totally serendipitous. Because of this coincidence, I also found out there are still a few tickets available for Dave Chappelle and it is so worth it!!!!!
Have Fun People!


ZOOFEST! Là c'est sérieux!

ZOOFEST bat son plein et je vous assure que j'ai bien rit depuis son ouverture! J'espère que vous en profitez au MAX!

Avec le Festival Zoofest, vous avez la chance de participer à une rencontre extraordinaire avec les professionnels de notre milieu médiatique et culturel. Regardez la liste des conférenciers qui vous adresseront pour vous inspirer, vous encourager et vous montrer comment "ça" marche!

Voici l'horaire:

23 juillet 2015
9h45 à 17h00
Agora Hydro-Québec de L'UQÀM
(175, avenue Président-Kennedy, Montréal)

Jérémy Brétignière, Conférencier
 9h45 à 10h15

Mathieu St-Onge, Artiste Vlogueur
10h15 à 10h45

Jean-Marc Parent et Jérémy Demay, Humoristes
11h00 à 12h15

Mathieu Lachaine, CEO & fondateur Ubios
13h15 à 13h45

Chuck Lapointe, cofondateur & CEO MTL Blog inc.
13h45 à 14h15

Sean Blanda, Directeur et rédacteur en chef de, Behance
14h30 à 15h30

Xavier Dolan, Acteur, réalisateur, scénariste et producteur
15h45 à 17h00

Billets disponibles à 29,00$ (avec le code promo scion30) sur Lavitrine. com.
Place limitées.

EN PLUS! Le Spot Zoofest ouvre ce 23 juillet avec plusieurs artistes et activités:

Monday, July 20, 2015


Français en bas

Teana: 10000 Years Later 3D trailer
Drawing before 1000 AD
TEANA: 10000 Years Later in 3D took seven years to complete. It is a digital animation feature written and directed by YI LI. The quality of the images and the flow of action is AWESOME! What has been captured in this film is an often forgotten truth about the universe: that it ALWAYS opens to new adventures and new landscapes. Like all good larger than life science-fiction thrillers, it is an epic battle between good and evil. The film makers are ingenious and use multiple tactics to convey the 3D effects successfully. There is always a drop of liquid, a waving flag, a darting attacker to remind us of the depth of the images unfolding before us. There is also a very smart use of art history. For example there are several scenes where the characters are placed inside the landscape using the proportions of traditional Chinese art that divided the perspective of the drawing into Heaven - Earth - Man. See example on the right.

Endless mutated life forms battle to save the world and it is simply gorgeous!


Un Homme idéal, mettant en vedette PIERRE NINEY de la Comédie française qui s'est démarqué dans le rôle de Yves Saint-Laurent dans le film du même nom, nous transporte au coeur du désir qui perd un homme.

Matthieu est un jeune homme solitaire qui, le jour, travaille comme déménageur. Le soir il écrit en nourrissant un rêve grandiose de réussite. Il est amoureux d'une jolie femme très intelligente, Alice, interprétée par ANA GIRARDOT.

La tentation le séduit quand il trouve un manuscrit extraordinaire dans l'apartement d'un vieil homme mort sans famille. Malgré ce laps de jugement, il déguste ce qui semble être la réalisation de ses rêves. Cependant il est mit aux aguets de tous côtés alors qu'émerge soupçons, chantages, et terreurs.

Un excellent suspense avec une tournure surprenante à la fin.
Le film ouvre ce 24 juillet 2015.

FANTASIA FESTIVAL is going strong and I will report on new movies soon!
Le FESTIVAL FANTASIA bat son fort et je vous donne plus de reportage bientôt!



Friday, July 17, 2015

ZOOFEST - OFF/JFL - I saw 3 great comics!

This past Thursday, a clear cool night in Montreal, I lined up on Sainte-Catherine Street East @ The Sainte-Catherine Theatre to experience the madness of 3 great comics!

First, it was ORNY ADAMS who burst on the scene with his outrage at the madness of life on earth! We laughed from beginning to end at his wit and discouragement facing aging for example, having a family, even the daring of young people to have hope for a great future! It's not going to happen, his expressive eyes reminded us! Then there is the loss of testosterone, the DMV issues, and WOMEN!!!!
The show is on every night until the 25th.

RACHEL FEINSTEIN was preceded by GUIDO COCOMELLO who will participate in the Homegrown Comics Competition. She has such an uncanny way of mimicking the characters in her stories that just seeing the way she opens and closes her eyes or twists her lips or shakes her hands, made me crack up! She retells the woes of growing up with her judgmental nanny who knew everything about whores like they ALL wear purple, and carry luggage, and have jobs where they do all kinds of... She will do a show tonight, the 17th, the 18th and the 25th.

Then I saw KURT BRAUNOHLER, who will perform until the 21rst. He is the deceptive White Man who will tell you the truth as he tries to gain our trust for a mysterious end-game only the very bravest dared to experience. He sweats a lot, a lot. The crux of his humor is where good intentions meet the sledge-hammer of reality, when your best laid plans fall into an abysmal cluster-fuck!
We never did find out what happened to the twenty brave souls who followed him backstage with blindfolds!

You will enjoy the venue, you can have a snack and a cocktail and the comics are real close to the public!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

MICHELANGELO - MICHEL-ANGE @ Espace 1001 Palais des Congrès de Montréal 10.07 - 12.10.2015

Video Preview - Bande-Annonce
Français plus bas

If you go to Italy to visit the Sistine Chapel, you will see the same paintings as the image above that also compose the exhibition in Montreal. Yes its beauty will stun you but you will never get an appreciation of the work of Michelangelo that you will get visiting the exhibition Sistine Chapel at Palais des Congrès this summer. It is constructed to make us see the work through the genius's eyes as he labored in high scaffolding to bring this immense fresco to life. You will never be so close to the mind and work of this Renaissance Master. And that is the special cachet of the show.

The paintings are presented in extraordinary high definition laser photography that picks up every line drawn by the master, every emotional expression and color of the characters being depicted, in real size.
The impact is so breathtaking you can hear the visitors sighing through the exhibition. Even if you have already been to the chapel, this is worth visiting because I am sure you will see more details about the work.

This show is the brain child of MARTIN BIALLAS , and I think it is a brilliant idea. There are a few prints available for purchase and they are superb. There are also other souvenir items you can get.
It's just beautiful!


Si vous allez en Italie à la Chapelle Sistine, vous verrez les mêmes oeuvres que l'image plus haut qui composent l'exposition présentée à Montréal. Oui vous serez éblouis par sa beauté mais vous n'aurez jamais une appréciation du travail de Michel - Ange que vous aurez en visitant l'exposition Chapelle Sistine au Palais des Congrès cet été.  Elle est construite pour nous immerser dans l'oeuvre du génie de son point de vue à lui alors qu'il travaillait dans les échafauds pour emmener cette immense fresque à la vie. Vous ne serez jamais aussi proche de l'esprit et de la main de ce Maître de la Renaissance. Et c'est cela le cachet spécial de l'exposition.

Les oeuvres sont présentées dans une extraordinaire photographie laser haute définition qui récupère chaque ligne dessinée par le maître, chaque expression émotionnelle et les couleurs des personnages illustrés, en grandeur réelle. L'impacte nous coupe le souffle et on entend les visiteurs soupirer à travers l'exposition. Même si vous avez déjà visité la chapelle, cette exposition mérite votre attention car vous n'aurez jamais vu l'oeuvre avec autant de détails.

L'exposition est une inspiration de  MARTIN BIALLAS , et je crois qu'il a eu une idée brilliante. Il y a quelques reproductions de haute qualité de disponible ainsi que d'autres souvenirs que vous pourrez vous procurez. 
C'est vraiment très beau!



IAN McKELLEN charms us once again with his interpretation of an aging Sherlock Holmes who plays down his myth to his new friend Roger played by MILO PARKER.

The performance of M. McKellen is deeply touching and the chemistry with newcomer Milo Parker reminds me of when I was a child in adoration before her grand-father. As the unlikely duo care for Mr. Holmes bees, they review Sherlock Holmes last case before he retired. LAURA LINNEY plays Roger's mother, Mrs. Munro, who is anxious about her son forming such a close bond with such an elderly man. In subdued intensity she conveys the characters worries about her child with every gesture.

This movie is more than the great performances, it is also a visual feast! The locations and set by MARTIN CHILDS, production designer and TOBIAS SCHLIESSER, director of photography, add magic to the tale of our favorite aging detective. Whether  on Baker Street in London or in Mr. Holmes country home, the eye is delighted by a precise and elegant attention to detail: the beauty of a plant on a windowsill overlooking the ocean, a gold rim china cup being filled with steaming tea, the gardens! And, of course, the impeccable costumes by KEITH MADDEN complete the excellence of the cinematographic experience.

This movie shows us how Mr. Holmes would've reacted to the disasters of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima as he goes to Japan in his quest for a cure to old age.

Ultimately, the movie makes us love Mr. Holmes all over again as even with failing memory, his ingenious spirit and intelligence shines through.

You must see this movie in the theatre to absorb its wonderfulness! Opens this week-end.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

ZOOFEST J'ai vu REDA SAOUI J'ai tort, mais j'ai raison

REDA SAOUI m'a fait rire avec son sketch dans lequel il décrit son expérience avec sa blonde québécoise. Elle est fâchée après lui et lui dit: Je vais slasher les tires de ton char! Il lui répond: Je n'ai pas de char! Elle réplique: Je sais quelle autobus tu prends!
Alors je voulais voir son spectacle!

WOW! que j'ai aimé cet humoriste enjoué! Il est un jeune musulman québécois qui raconte avec enthousiasme et simplicité ce que cela représente pour lui dans nos temps compliqués.

J'adore comment il mime les québécois avec justesse.

Il donne des spectacles les 15, 17, 21,22,23, 25 & 29 juillet à l'Espace Zoofest!  À NE PAS MANQUER!



ALBERT ELKAIM aka Bébert le Rouge vernissage

Albert Elkaim - Photos © Lena Ghio 2015
Français plus bas

This July 14 2015, I went to the vernissage of the medium mixed artist ALBERT ELKAIM aka Bébert le Rouge I had never heard of him before and his show was opening at an exotic location I also had never heard about:  JATOBA in downtown Montreal.

The works are very modern. By using the images of icons of the popular culture of the last century: Albert Einstein, President Kennedy, Jimi Hendrix: to name a few, we revisit some marking moments in recent history. Words and images come together with collage and paint to transmit a powerful visual message. The first painting you see when stepping into Jatoba, where the works will be on view until the 21rst of July, is about memories and resumes pretty well the rest of the works you will see and explains the perspective of his art. Albert Elkaim worked as a DJ across Europe and in Montreal in his youth so he is very astute about rhythm and you sense this when looking at the pieces whether they are figurative or abstract.

I encourage you to visit his website ALBERT ELKAIM for more information.


Le 14 Juillet 2015, je me suis rendue au vernissage de l'artiste en médium mixtes ALBERT ELKAIM aka Bébert le Rouge. Je n'avais  jamais entendu parler de lui avant son exposition qui se déroule dans une location exotique dont je n'avais jamais entendu parler non plus: JATOBA au centre ville de Montréal.

Les oeuvres sont très modernes. En se servant des images d'icônes de la culture populaire du dernier siècle: Albert EinsteinPresident Kennedy, Jimi Hendrix: pour en nommé quelques-uns, on revisite des moments marquants de l'histoire récente. Les mots et les images s'unissent avec le collage et la peinture pour transmettre un puissant message visuel. La première toile que vous voyez en entrant chez Jatoba, où l'exposition demeurera jusqu'au 21 juillet, se préoccupe des souvenirs et résume assez bien le reste des oeuvres que vous allez voir tout en clarifiant la perspective de son art. Albert Elkaim a travaillé comme DJ en Europe et à Montréal dans sa jeunesse et on reconnait son sens du ryhtme quand on regarde ses toiles qu'elles soient figuratives ou abstraites.

Je vous encourage à visiter son site web pour plus d'informations: ALBERT ELKAIM

Jatoba is an elegant restaurant with an accent on harmony with nature with its stone and wood decor enhanced with plants and art. The food is succulent and very low in fat, which I appreciated. The spices are in perfect balance. In these images you have samples of the finger food that we enjoyed at the vernissage: salmon tartare and eggplant dumplings. You will love your visit there. Great Staff + Great Food = SUCCESS!
Jatoba est un restaurant élégant avec un accent sur l'harmonie avec la nature avec son décor en pierre et en bois accentué avec des plantes et de l'art. La nourriture est succulente et faible en gras, ce que j'ai beaucoup apprécié. Les épices sont en parfait équilibre. Dans ces images vous avez des échantillons des canapés que nous avons dégusté au vernissage: tartare de saumon et dumplings à l'aubergine
Vous allez adorer votre visite là. Personnel Génial + Bouffe Géniale = RÉUSSITE!
Photos © Lena Ghio 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

ZOOFEST! J'ai vu CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS humoriste d'expérience

Je me rends au Monument National Studio Hydro-Québec ce 13 juillet 2015 pour découvrir en personne le talent de CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS qui s'est mérité le prix «Découverte» au Gala Les Olivier en 2005.

Plein d'énergie, il nous entraîne dans ses aventures pas possible autant lors de ses voyages qu'à travers les trépidations de sa carrière d'humoriste. Il partage avec intensité sa passion pour le Heavy Metal donc j'ai qualifié sa performance Heavy Metal! Cela lui a plu que je qualifie son spectacle ainsi.

Il reste encore plusieurs performances, notamment les 19-20-27-29-31 juillet et le 1er août. Suivez ce lien  pour passer un moment éclaté! PS Laissez votre timidité à la porte!


Sunday, July 12, 2015


Après plusieurs années de Jeudi D'Apollo l'aventure prend fin avec un BANG! sur l'Esplanade de la Place Des Arts en collaboration avec Juste Pour Rire. Si vous ne l'avez pas vécu encore je vous invite à profiter de cette expérience vraiment amusante. Vous pouvez réserver ICI


Saturday, July 11, 2015

JUST FOR LAUGHS : I saw the Ethnic Show!

How much FUN it the Ethnic Show?

I was not surprised by the crisp talents I enjoyed last night with the comedians of The Ethnic Show @ Just for Laughs. What is hilarious about the make-up of the show is that each comedian describes with punctuated anecdotes stories we all recognize about our own life as a person of a different ethnicity, a person that belongs to a family from a foreign culture in a multiethnic city, and the just the quirks of family relationships that are universal.

The Ethnic Show runs until July 19th @ Club Soda and some of the comedians have solo shows coming up:

RACHID BADOURI, we found out yesterday, will have a show on July 23rd @ the Astral

GINA YASHERE, who is hilarious you gotta see her, will be at Comedyworks on July 20th

ALONSO BODDEN, who is the host with the most @ The Ethnic Show, will have a show at Comedyworks on July 21st
Also at Comedyworks on the 20th: AHMED AHMED and RONNY GHIENG at Yuk Yuk's on the 20th and Comedyworks on the 21st 

For all the details, follow the links and have a laugh! It feels so good!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

FANTASIA 2 Special Guests

Kevin Bacon                       Thor
KEVIN BACON will be here at Fantasia Festival for the Canadian Premiere of his movie COP CAR, a story of a small town sheriff looking for the two kids who stole his car. An edge of your seat suspense thriller. The screening with Kevin Bacon, live to answer your questions, is on July 28th.

JON MIKL THOR will be here on July 19th to present his documentary movie I AM THOR. In his heyday he was a rising heavy metal musician who was on a meteoric rise to stardom when his world came crashing down around him. A moving documentary about being who you are in spite of the odds. You can follow Thor on his Facebook page: There will be a THOR HAMMER for EVERYONE at the screening.

More news later.


FANTASIA is approaching / approche 14.07 - 04.08.2015

Founder / Fondateur Marc Lamotte &
Spokesperson / Porte-parole Sébastien Diaz
Photos © Lena Ghio 2015
Français plus bas

Yesterday morning was the press conference introducing the 2015 line-up for the FANTASIA FESTIVAL. I am so excited! There are, again, so many great choices it hurts my brain! I will share some of my highlights.

The opening movie MISS HOKUSAI, an animated feature that tells the imaginary tale of the daughter of famous Japanese artist KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI is sublime as it tells the story of the artists work and showcases his famous paintings inside the imagery of the film. It creates wonder!

I am excited about THE GOLDEN CANE WARRIOR a martial art film from Indonesia that packs a punch and a great mythic story that takes us to the heart of ancient martial art secrets.

The movie JERUZALEM by the PAZ BROTHERS, who will be in Montreal for the Festival, is asking: "What if all those religious stories are real?". Two young women will experience an out of this world vacation!

One movie that really sparked my curiosity is THE SHAMER'S DAUGHTER a medieval crime story with seers witches and dragons executed with realism.

There are many great movies and I will be discussing those in the coming days. For the whole family, and FREE, THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF JOJO ( and his annoying little sister Avila ) will make you laugh as much as your kids. It will play at Place de la Paix du Quartier des Spectacles Tuesday July 21 at 9:PM. The McCord Museum is offering FREE screenings starting July 18, for information.

Finally, I had a surprise encounter with our very own woman of cinema PATRICIA CHICA. She is presenting a film again this year,  on July 25th, A Tricky Treat, that will precede Deadman InfernoYou will never see Halloween the same again!

The adventure into the bizarre begins July 14th.


En plus des films cités plus haut, le Festival Fantasia propose une programmation de films québécois nouveaux et classiques. Par exemple, le court métrage Calamités Caustiques d'HUGUES PROVENCHER ouvrira le Festival avant MISS HOKUSAI. Le film de cinéma indépendant ecrit et réalisé par PASCAL PAYANT, On the Horizon, sera diffusé en première mondiale le 31 juillet. Vous pourrez voir le film Scandale de GEORGE MIHALKA qui a fait un vrai scandale en 1982. Le film de clôture du Fantastique week-end du cinéma québécois sera Montreal Blues. C'est un film tourné en 1972 par PASCAL GÉLINAS. Plus de détails dans les jours à suivre.

L'aventure dans l'insolite commence le 14 juillet!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New Honors for NATHALIE BONDIL Honorée de nouveau!

Français plus bas

The esteemed Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, NATHALIE BONDIL, has received new honors for the fine work she is doing at our museum. With audacity and flair she has revived the institution and brought at once dazzling innovations and a new look on the classics. She has just received an appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to the promotion of the arts and culture as a museologist and administrator. On May 29, she also received an honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of the MMFA, the promotion of culture, popular education and the consolidation of links between museums and the Université de Montréal. 


L'estimée directrice et conservatrice en chef du Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, NATHALIE BONDIL, est honorée de nouveau pour son excellent travail à notre musée. Avec audace et flair elle a ravivé l'institution et y a amené à la fois des innovations brillantes et un regard nouveau sur les classiques. Elle vient de recevoir  une nomination au sein de L’Ordre du Canada, à titre de membre. Cet honneur souligne sa contribution au rayonnement de la culture et des arts en tant que muséologue et administratrice. Le 29 mai dernier, elle recevait de plus un doctorat honorifique de l'Université de Montréal en reconnaissance de son apport exceptionnel au développement du MBAM, à la promotion de la culture et de l'éducation populaire et à la consolidation des relations entre le milieu muséal et l'Université de Montréal. 


Monday, July 6, 2015

The JUST FOR LAUGHS 2015 Line-up

Here it is, the time to decide what shows you will be enjoying at this years festival! As usual there are numerous free outdoor activities like La Fura Del Baus July 17 & 19th,  Wyclef Jean in collaboration with Haïti en Folie on the 20th and  Weird Al Yankovic on July 21st to name a few.

Here is the full Gala Programming:

Tony and Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris closes this year’s festival with four performances hosting ourala, CIRCUS AWESOMEUS: featuring sword swallower Brett Loudermilk, amazing burlesque performer Bridget Everett, puppet comedy duo Sammy J and Randy, comedian Brad Williams, the world’s biggest (and saddest) musical clown Puddles Pity Party, Quebecois trapeze artist Hugo Desmarais, hilarious magic-man Ed Alonzo, and beatboxing heavyweight Beardyman!
hilarious variety G

The mean queen of Glee, Jane Lynch, brings her dry wit to host and potentially berate an international lineup of the best comedians in the world, including special guest, Scottish superstar Danny Bhoy, and Tom Papa, Wil Anderson, Ronny Chieng, Ian Edwards and Dan Naturman.

Think you know Sir Patrick Stewart? Think again. Sir Patrick Stewart is showing that the comedy world is no match for this acting icon. Miss him and his lineup of amazing comedians like Kyle Kinane, Jim Breuer, Russell Howard, Gina Yashere and special guest Sebastian Maniscalco and you will miss out. That’s some blunt talk for you…

Star of Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper, hosts a Gala with a lineup including the hottest all-star comedians of the moment: Margaret Cho, Chris Hardwick, Reggie Watts, Michael Che, Pete Holmes and Debra DiGiovanni.

Broadway meets comedy club as the star of The Good Wife and Cabaret, Alan Cumming, leads a lineup of seasoned stand-ups, including Rob Schneider, Joel Creasey, Orny Adams, Shaun Majumder, Sean Cullen, Dana Gould, Jen Kirkman and Todd Glass, taking audiences on a wild and glamorous comedy ride.

Wanda Sykes, one of the reigning queens of comedy, has a lineup of phenomenal comics like Keith Robinson, Nate Bargatze, Alonzo Bodden, Harland Williams and Tom Ballard. The Wanda Sykes Gala promises to bring the best comedy has to offer. No bells and whistles, just genuine laughter.

Canada’s own comedy legend Norm Macdonald is coming home to host a Gala with a lineup of top notch stand-ups, like Rhys Darby, Natasha Leggero, Brent Morin, Omid Djalili, J.B. Smoove, Sam Simmons and more! Join him Sunday night for a Weekend Update that won’t disappoint!  

The reigning king of ticket sales, Dave Chappelle, is adding a 9th show to his Just For Laughs run
After quickly selling out multiple shows, Dave Chappelle’s run at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival has been extended to an incredible NINE SHOWS! The latest Dave Chappelle show will take place on July 24th at 7 pm at Théâtre Maisonneuve. See the comedic genius perform at Place des Arts and experience the legend of Dave Chappelle, live.

Get your tickets now! Many shows are sold out already!


Friday, July 3, 2015

COMEDYPRO @ Just for laughs July 22 - 25 2015

This year I will be looking into COMEDYPRO a yearly Just for laugh event that allows would-be comedians a chance to face off in front of the best headliners in the industry. AND you can be part of this unique and FUN experience!

This year's PROs include: JASON REITMAN , MIKE MYERS, ANDY KINDLER and many more. This three day event includes: the three-day conference, Podcasts, Industry lunches and cocktails, Just For Laughs Awards Show AND All-star Midnight party! 

Laughter is one of my favorite human activities and I love an intelligent comedian! This is a great once a year opportunity to see how it is done.
Check it out!