This time around, SNAP! Magazine’s videogame columnist presents us with brief descriptions of the games he is most anticipating right now.
Design - Faded Glory
The faded ghost signs and vintage plastic ads that are dotted around Montreal help remind us of the aesthetics of different eras. They also hint at the spending habits of those who lived here before us.
Agent of chaos
I’ve been getting mixed receptions for saying this, but I think the new Batman movie 'The Dark Knight' is one of the best films ever. It’s because of the Joker. I haven’t stopped thinking about the Joker since I saw the movie. As a side note, let’s acknowledge Heath Ledger’s shattering performance; but recognize that his tragedy should not prevent us from throwing out the vulgar sentimentality about how he was killed by the role. We also need to realize that ‘the Joker’ is also in the character’s lines and the direction. Even more it’s the context of the whole film, and the compelling and bizarre history of the character itself. The Joker started out as a murderer and thief of brilliance in the 1940’s and later became a hapless and goofy criminal. Then he seemed, at the time, to reach his apogee in Jack Nicholson’s campy psycho ‘Pop Art’ portrayal.
The color ball
The mercurial intelligence of Scott Lyall has settled once again, fortuitously, as the season’s inaugural exhibition at the Power Plant in Toronto. His latest endeavor, suitably entitled ‘The Color Ball’ is a take on the Power Plant gallery’s own yearly fundraising event, ‘The Power Ball’; consequently the piece reflects the artist’s views on the state of contemporary art institutions, using as a starting point and subject, the emergence of the fashionable contemporary art ‘gala’.
The Andy Warhol show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is both eye and ear opening. The premise of the show ‘Warhol Live: Music and Dance in Andy Warhol’s Work’, is that Warhol absorbed cutting edge ideas from the fields of music and dance, and spliced them into the sphere of visual arts. The outer limit of this view, carried to its logical conclusion is that it was the re-imagined implications of those contemporary disciplines that enabled him to revolutionize the art of his time (at least from the perspective of his most admiring critics).
A-Trak and Ratatat
Whatever issues you might have with the city of Montreal, whether they concern the municipal government, the police department, the cyclists, the drivers, the men, the women or even the children... put them far, far aside. Why? Because the sum of all these charming and not so charming elements is a city that does festivals like no other can. It should be no surprise then, that both of the shows that stood out the most to me this year happened during the week of the notorious Pop Montreal festival.
The best show that I saw in 2008 was Signal, a New York-based Steve Reich tribute band. I know that this sounds lame because tribute bands usually suck. Maybe it was the circumstances of how I arrived at the show that made it better, because it’s always when these things are unexpected that they seem better, or maybe it was a good show, perhaps even the best of 2008.
My evenings were always casual… like the bedroom lives of the polyamorous, they consisted mostly of movie-watching and cigarette smoke. For a time I fell in with a man whose particular peccadilloes made him hold my hand in platonic pederasty. Often we watched the same films ad nauseam. He would regale me with stories of old, stirring in me a futile longing for times I would never be a part of. Always speaking in mid-century aphorisms, denoting some specific truth... all liberally borrowed from the pictures we saw. I had a dense love for the world he came from. I wanted nothing more than to live in the past. 'The Last Picture Show' was one of the last films that we saw together.
Bubby Bling - Chic, affordable and practically unavoidable
Recently when a friend recalled watching 'Betty Boop' cartoons at her Bubby’s as a child, it hit me just how seminal a role grandmothers can have in the development of a girl’s sense of style. To this day, Betty Boop’s overt sexuality continues to influence my friend’s attitudes towards femininity, sex and fashion, as do any other cartoon ladies with big boobs, lips and curvy legs. I on the other hand, still tend to veer toward patterns I saw my Romanian grandmother and her sisters wear at their peak in the sixties. On a trip to Eastern Europe a few years back, I returned with a second-hand mini polka dot dress and striped shirt that I knew, if Meta Singer were still alive, would make her proud.
Street Guide - Laurier
Up to this point, I think I can only recall three brief encounters with Laurier that I have had in the last five years. No, I am not one of you that call the Plateau home, and aside from when I was looking at a couch being sold through Craigslist and having a few short sojourns through the Mile-End, I had never explored it properly.
I’d rather be in Berlin...
By the time you get out of the airport and figure out which bus to take, get lost after a long conversation consisting only of sign language with a German family and then drag your highly overweight luggage up and down the metro stairs twice and then 10 blocks across the cobblestones to your hostel, stop at a corner store desperate for a cold bottle of water but accidentally end up with a lukewarm litre of fizzy sweet liquid, you’ll feel pretty unsettled and confused.
When I was nineteen I bought a home pregnancy kit that I never used. My crazy Irish drug-dealer boyfriend had been in town for a visit a few weeks prior, and although my body was a little erratic at that stage, I was outside my normal unpredictable range. I bought the kit. I remember sitting in my room, staring at it. I had been told it is best to do these tests first thing in the morning, so I left it, carefully stowed away in the bathroom mirror. That night, to my great relief, I bled.
I kissed a girl and liked it
Believe you me when I tell you I cringed while typing the title. Much as I revile songstress Katy Perry (her other song to receive any airplay is titled ‘Ur so gay’) no other piece of pop phenomena currently embodies the incongruities between today’s liberal society and sexuality, especially when it comes to flexible sexuality.