Tuesday, March 17, 2020

ADVENTURE BOYZ (directed by Howard J. Ford) ****

 I loved this action-packed, charming family film that stars two young boy (the real sons of the director: Rory Ford and Felix Ford)) who put the lessons their athletic dad  (played by the director himself) teaches them into real-life practice. About to get hooked on video games, their dad teaches them to move, to do sports and even how to pack a real punch in someone’s nose if violence is necessary and only to be done to villains. Plot-wise, priceless stash of diamonds has been stolen from a rich lady of a grand castle. The boys who have been told by their Speedway dad to seek adventure do just that, but one day while riding their bikes the find notes with clues on them that lead the boys to actually find the hiding place of the stolen diamonds. They take them back to their dad’s house, but he gets accused of being the thief, when the real thieves tattle on the house location of where the diamonds are. They find where the boys are. This is a delightful film whose actors capture your heart. Rare is it to find a film with a strong message made in such a wholesome way without manipulation and sentimentality. It is Britain’s version of a Disney family film.

Saturday, March 7, 2020


 Arion's all-Bach program moved us into joyous rapture and contemplation in their concert, titled “Bach Ombre et Lumière” (Bach: Shadows and Light). Oboes and bassoon stole the sonoric show in the first piece, “Sinfonia de la cantate Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats”. 
Mathieu Lussier is outstanding on the bassoon and as co-artistic director with Ms. Guimond, he beguiles with his talents.

Nuria Rial

Spanish, solo soprano, Nuria Rial stirred us with her pure voice that emoted so stunningly with her two performances with the orchestra before and after the intermission. “Zerfliesse, mein Herze” from the "Passion of Saint Joan" was subtly interpreted with restraint and profound sorrow. She also came back to mesmerize us with her evocatively expressive tones and impeccable phrasing when she sang “Cantate ich habe genung”. The words in these two works seemed to be a call for death by Bach as he makes peace with the lord. The instrumental works in the program were performed with Arion’s signature understanding of nuances, dynamics and timing necessary to capture all the movements’ own rhythms and musicality in rondeaux, minuets and bourées.

Hank Knox
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Claire Guimond

Hank Knox on the harpsichord and organ and Claire Guimond on flute delighted us. "Suite No 1 in C major" contrasted to the  more serious mood "No 2 in b minor" offered a great showcase for sprightly moments and dark ones too. Bach was born in 1685 and dies in 1750. These works truly embodied his profound spirit that embraced life’s darkness and light.  A well-deserved standing ovation with lots of ‘bravos' seemed to go not just to the musicians, but to Bach himself.  Nice touch of English spoken in explanations. Thank you M. Lussier!

Call 514-355-1825 for tickets to their next concert that features Handel, with guest conductor Boris Begelman, and organ soloist, Jean-Will Kunz.

LA RIVIERE SANS REPOS (Directed by Marie- Hélène Cousineau) ****

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In the Far North in 1945, the Inuit were forced to comply with government ruses for kids schooling and even to move their cabins to the other side of the river. This wonderful film introduced Elsa who is determined to keep her infant son, Jimmy, with her and teach him everything about reading with the help of his uncle whom she eventually bonds with physically. Elsa and Jimmy must camp out to protect their way of life. Jimmy never does find out form his mother who is father is, and there is a very good reason for that. A beautiful film with stunning music and subtle acting. The film was based on the novel by Gabrielle Roy.Qaunrig Chapman as Elsa was brilliant, as was Etua Snowball who played her uncle. (This magnificent film was screened at Rendez-Vous Festival)