What Your Anxieties Aren’t Telling You, and Other News

Francisco Goya, ‘Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters’, (1799)

What You Should Be Up to This March

It doesn’t look like it, but it is getting warmer and Spring is on its way. While we’re on this weather-transition that ultimately means mood-transition, it’s good to try to maintain a positive vibe — don’t stay cooped up inside just because there’s still bit of snow outside. And as you slowly fold away winter sweaters and take your coats to the dry cleaners, fold away moldy moods and thoughts that have grown over the winter. Here are a few things you should be up to in Toronto for a minor renaissance within and to herald in the Spring.

Cirque Éloize’s Cirkopolis

Dubbed the ‘sexier, hipper cousin’ of Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal-based contemporary circus troupe, Cirque Éloize, landed in Toronto earlier this month with its latest, CirkopolisThe set and the mood of the production are reminiscent of the early classic Metropolis by Fritz Lang, and the 80’s cult classic, Terry Gilliam’s BrazilIn it, eleven acrobats and multidisciplinary artists perform with extraordinary finesse and beauty under the continually revolving factory-cityscape. With bursts of humor, Cirkopolis expands circus’s possibilities as a medium for anyone — like myself — whose definition of it is riddled with lion tamers and unicycles.

Literary Events

Spring is publishing season — new days, new books. But before you are swamped by a rush of reading options, take a minute to immerse yourself in the literary outside the pages. Pivot Reading Series is a monthly series featuring both emerging and established poets and prose writers. Join Gwen Benaway (poet, Ceremonies for the Dead), Ashley-Elizabeth Best (poet, Slow States of Collapse), Robert Chafe (playwright, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams), and Shari Kasman (writer, Everything Life Has to Offer) this March 22nd at the Steady Cafe on Bloor West. Can’t save that date? Then consider the Poetry NOW: 9th Annual Battle of the Bards at Harbourfront Centre’s Brigantine Room on the 29th where twenty poets battle for the 1st place. But fine, if you don’t feel like enjoying poetry in a crowd, consider shopping at the Toronto Reference Library’s giant, cheap, and good-for-the-community book sale: with prices that low, you can cozy up inside with print material for days.

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After the Storm

Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After the Storm premiered at 2016 Canne Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard to critical acclaim. In After the Storm, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe), a divorced and less than self-actualized writer/detective attempts to close the distance with his estranged wife and son. A typhoon strikes and the family, including Ryota’s mother, are forced to spend a night together. With his meditative style, Kore-eda’s film dives deep into the ordinary to uncover undertows of familial relationships. Like the best of them, this family’s drama lies deep in their interactions. After the Storm opens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox this Friday and runs through March 23rd.

Stay in Touch

I know it’s hard enough to stay up to date with the daily goings on on the news. Every minute, it seems like, there’s some form of minor or major disaster looming. One way to keep yourself informed and in perspective is read long-form articles that offer in-depth analysis of whatever is going on in culture and politics. The New Yorker’s Andre Marantz’s ‘Is Trump Trolling the White House Press Corps?’ offers a good glimpse into the details of Trump’s war on the media and the intricacies of how we make, spread, and receive information in the age of social media, fake and “fake” news, and Seany Spciey. Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses what we talk about when we talk about ‘western civilization’ in the Guardian. In ‘Under the Skin of James Baldwin,’ Darryl Pinckney discusses Baldwin with the new documentary, I am Not Your Negro in mind. And lastly, in ‘The New Party of No,’ Charles Homans writes about the changing Democratic Party. Read a little bit at a time on your commute, or during lunch.

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