Riding on a tide of critical praise, Paul Thomas Anderson’s grand and idiosyncratic drama is ready to open to the public. The film, set in the post-War period, follows the story of an animalistic, shell-shocked navy vet (Joaquin Phoenix) who ends up on a yacht, commandeered by an R. L. Hubbard-like cult leader (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). A study of psychological damage and twisted optimism is the best candidate so far for movie of the year. (Sept. 21) Liam Lacey
Xavier Dolan is a multitalented young Quebec filmmaker who made a splash at the 2009 with his first film (I Killed My Mother) when he was just 18. His followup, Heartbeats, further developed his fondness for lush visuals, while adding editing to his skill set. And now, at the ripe age of 23, comes his biggest opus yet, the lush and plush, Laurence Anyways, a two hour and 40 minute drama about the decade-long love affair between a male-to-female transsexual and his feisty girlfriend. (Sept. 21) L.L.
The 35-year-old comic about a violent lawman in the dystopian future has been rebooted, and judging by Toronto International Film Festival audiences, seems to have put bad memories of the 1995 Sylvester Stallone version to rest. The new version is computer gamish and gory: When Dredd (Keith Urban) and his partner (Olivia Thirlby) investigate a homicide, they become imprisoned in a slum tower, doing battle with the soldiers of drug lord Ma Ma. (Sept. 21) L.L.
The follow-up to Grizzly Bear’s 2009 breakthrough album Veckatimest is a curious and cosmic endeavour. From these Brooklyn indie-rock hipsters comes a harmonic meeting of Fleet Foxes, Coldplay and My Morning Jacket – a graceful stunning of the ears. (Sept. 18) Brad Wheeler
The Other Side of Tomorrow
The debut CD by The Slakadeliqs, previously available digitally, gets its physical release this week. Although steeped in the breezy soul and butterfly-light psychedelia of the 1960s, the disc’s outlook is futuristic, forecasting a day when love controls the sun, magically creating Julys that never end and Lenny Kravitzes that do not age. (Sept. 18) B.W.
Something ’Bout Kreay
The colourful Oakland rapper Kreayshawn, above, finally unwraps her debut opus. Guests include Chippy Nonstop, V-Nasty, Diplo and 2Chainz. Doesn’t she work with anyone named Harold or Mary? (Sept. 18) B.W.
White Rabbit, Red Rabbit
When 30-year-old Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour was forbidden to leave his country, he wrote a searing and experimental work to explain his generation to the world. A different actor takes the stage each night, is handed a sealed envelope, and opens it to find the play he or she must perform sans rehearsal, sans director. Local greats are participating, including Jonathon Young,
Meg Roe, and Marcus Youssef. (Sept. 19 to 30, The Cultch in Vancouver.) Michael Harris
The title sounds like Clint Eastwood berating an empty chair while drunk, but, no, it’s actually a word in the African language Twi that means “girlie-boy.” Emerging playwright Tawiah M’carthy’s solo show is about a young man from Ghana imprisoned in a Canadian jail – and the buzz is surprisingly big for this Buddies in Bad Times season opener, apparently due to the Ghana-born, Toronto-based creator’s charisma as a performer. (Sept. 20 to Oct. 7, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto.)
J. Kelly Nestruck
Having had a few close shaves itself in the past, Halifax’s Neptune Theatre celebrates its 50th year of being here with Stephen Sondheim’s most murderous musical. Actor Shane Carty, who stars as the demon barber of Fleet Street, has made a name for himself slaying in Sondheim; he played Sweeney before in Sudbury, and is off to Winnipeg this winter to star in Assassins.
(To Oct. 7, Neptune Theatre in Halifax.) J.K.N
Gallery Hop 2012
“Let’s go to the hop,” sang Danny and the Juniors in 1958. It’s also the exhortation of the Canadian Art Foundation to attend Gallery Hop 2012 . It’s the annual opportunity for Torontonians to visit some 60 contemporary art galleries in more than eight districts across the city, including Parkdale/West Queen West, Yorkville and Bloor West/Moore Ave. Running from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., participants will hear free mini-lectures, participate in tours, receive art tips. (Sept. 22) James Adams
Shary Boyle’s profile has been in the ascendant in the last five years and achieved an apotheosis of sorts this June with the announcement that the Toronto-based multimedia artist would represent Canada at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Boyle has a new solo show of watercolours, drawings and porcelain works, at Jessica Bradley Art Projects, 1450 Dundas St. W. (Sept. 22 to Nov. 3) J.A.
Art for Lunch
The Art Gallery of Alberta’s popular “Art for Lunch” series resumes in Edmonton with a 40-minute presentation on the late Louise Bouregois by the AGA’s interpretive programs co-ordinator Megan Bertagnolli. Works by Bourgeois (1911-2010) have been on view at the AGA since early June, loans from the National Gallery of Canada, which has a significant collection of Bourgeois sculptures, including the famous Maman spider. Admission is free, with the presentation starting at 12:10.
(Sept. 20) J.A.
This new sci-fi drama debuts with the imprimatur of Lost creator J.J. Abrams as executive producer and posits a chilling premise: All the electrical power on the planet shuts off and mankind is thrust into the dark ages – literally. Fast forward 15 years and the world is not a pretty place, especially in Chicago, where scrappy teen Charlie, played by Winnipeg-born Tracy Spiridakos, is on the lam from the citizen militia run by Captain Tom (BreakingBad’s Giancarlo Esposito). Think Lost meets The Hunger Games. (Sept. 17, NBC, CITY-TV, 10 p.m.) Andrew Ryan
The Rick Mercer Report
The return of Rick Mercer officially launches the new Canadian TV season. Back for his 10th season, the pride of St. John’s resumes his peripatetic ways with a trip to scenic Sylvan Lake, Alta., to attempt the sport of flyboarding, sort of a cross between hang gliding and flying with a jetpack. And in his opening rant, Mercer offers up some helpful back-to-school advice to Canadian MPs returning to Parliament.
(Sept. 18, CBC, 8 p.m.) A.R.
Bling It On
From the network that brought you ExtremeCouponing, this new TLC series documents yet another slice of American life best viewed from a safe distance. This time the focus falls on Boston-based designer Sondra Celli, as she and her team create an ornate steampunk dress for a demanding client and work around the clock on a wedding gown fitted with neon lights for a Las Vegas bride-to-be. And the groom wore batteries.
(Sept. 20, TLC, 10 p.m.) A.R.