The medium is the message in this month’s roundup of literary film, art, music, and mediations, along with innovative programming from local reading series, a preview of Ottawa’s VERSeFest, and more.
On March 8, as part of the McLuhan Salon series, visual artist Catherine Richards and film and media scholar Alanna Thain join moderator Janine Marchessault for a discussion before the screening of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. The discussion promises an exploration of “techno surrealism, which seeks to draw out the prescient aspects of the film — including surveillance, mediatic augmentation, hacking, the continuity between culture and nature — thereby creating connections between Cronenberg’s masterpiece, Marshall McLuhan, and our 21st-century reality” (McLuhan Salon: The Digital Unconscious in Videodrome and Beyond, 7pm, TIFF, 350 King Street W).
From March 9-March 12, Toronto Tributes and Tributaries Film and Video Festival screens films at the AGO’s Jackman Hall. Free tickets here. In partnership with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) and V-Tape, this film festival celebrates Toronto’s pioneering filmmakers and video artists from 1970s and 1980s, including Dennis Day, Annette Mangaard, Duke Redbird, Michael Snow, Joyce Wieland, and more.
At Knife Fork Books in Kensington Market, there are a few notable poetry events this month: words(on)stages and the launch of (parenthetical) issue 18 present readings by Jessica Bebenek, Jordan Moffatt, and Canisia Lubrin (March 9, 7pm); Lisa Robertson reads from 3 Summers on the evening of the Spring Equinox (March 20, 7pm); and a Metatron reading ends the month with readers Sarah Jean Grimm, Eric Amling, Sara Sutterlin, Jay Ritchie, Adam Zachary, and Sennah Yee and host Ashley Opheim (March 31, 7:30pm).
Local reading series events include Brockton Writers Series presenting Kateri Akiwenzie Damm, Manasi Nene, Casey Plett, Giovanna Riccio and guest speaker Teva Harrison on March 8, 6:30pm, at Glad Day Bookshop (499 Church St., Toronto).
That same night of March 8, Pivot Reading Series presents Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Robert Chafe, Barry Dempster, and Shari Kasman at The Steady (1051 Bloor St West, PWYC, suggested $5).
On March 20 at the Belljar Café, Common Readings presents Suzanna Derewicz, Adebe D. A., and Julie Mannell.
Join poets Phoebe Wang and Damian Rogers and musicians Doug Paisley and Max Layton on March 20 for An Evening With Al & Leonard (Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton Street, Toronto), a fundraiser for the Al Purdy A-Frame Association and a tribute to the late Leonard Cohen.
Books on Film at TIFF presents two events this month of special interest for readers: Man Booker Prize nominee Zadie Smith discusses James Ivory’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel A Room with a View (March 13, 7pm, ticket info here); and Sarah Polley discusses her film, Away from Her, an adaptation of Alice Munro’s short story, The Bear Came Over the Mountain (March 27, 7pm ticket info here).
Out of town, VERSeFest Ottawa presents a superb schedule of poetry events from March 21-26. Check out the full schedule here, along with specific events such as the opening night reading event with Stephen Collis, Carolyn Smart, and Zachary Richard and a panel on poetry and translation with Chus Pato, Erin Moure, Lisa Roberts, Patrick Friesen, and Ulrikka Gernes (March 25). The festival will conclude on March 26 with a new poet laureate inauguration along with reading events throughout the day.