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Samedi 16 septembre, Best Western Plus Montreal Downtown-Hotel Europa, 1240 Drummond St, Montreal, QC H3G 1V7

The Second Requiem Night Goes Beyond Horror Screenings

The Second Requiem Night Goes Beyond Horror Screenings

This past Sunday, May 29th, we held our second Requiem Night at the Midway Tavern in Montreal. Leading up to the Requiem Fear Fest, and in partnership with the Malefycia Festival, we have been screening short horror films on the last Sunday of every month. May’s event proved to be . . . interesting, to say the least!

The night started out normally enough. It so happened that we were screening a sort of mini-retrospective on the work of local director and producer, Patricia Chica, and Ms Chica was not only present for the event, but brought many of her collaborators along, including actors, make-up artists, and screenwriter Kamal John Iskander, up from Los Angeles.

We screened a half-dozen of Ms Chica’s films, ranging from the heart-wrenching (Ceramic Tango) to the hilarious (A Tricky Treat) and each was well-received by all in attendance.

It’s what followed the screenings, however, that made the evening truly memorable.

After we screened the final film, The Gold Inside, a documentary tracing Ms Chica’s process as a director, Patricia took a few questions. Given the nature of The Gold Inside, the questions naturally turned to the exercises and techniques Ms Chica used to draw performances from her actors. And that’s when she suggested she lead us through some of these exercises, right then and there.

Patricia sees it as key that the entire cast and crew on any production view themselves and each other as parts of the same team. To help build cohesion and cooperation, she has the members of her team come together to accomplish a shared goal . . . such as levitation.

“Who here does not believe levitation is possible?” she asked us.

I raised my hand. Sorry, but I’m that guy in the audience who watches the magician not with wonder but with annoyance ‘cause I haven’t yet figured out his tricks. I’m open to the supernatural, but it takes a hell of a lot to convince me.

She next asked, “Who here believes the least in levitation?”

Steve, lead organizer of the Requiem Fear Fest, pointed at me, “Andre.” Thanks, Steve.

I shrugged and raised my hand; he was probably right.

So, Patricia announced that I would be the one to levitate. Awright. Sure. I was down.

She had me sit in a chair and chose four volunteers, two men and two women. She had them all place their palms together, with index fingers out, then instructed the women to slip their fingers under my knees and the men to place their fingers under my arms. She then had them attempt to lift me.

They managed to lift me, maybe, three or four inches off the chair.

Ms Chica then instructed everyone to crowd around me and direct “light energy” at me.

Okay, look, like I said, I’m not a believer, but I decided to remain open and see what comes. So, I kinda tried to accept that light energy because I figured that’s what was expected of me. What did that mean? Uh, I’m not sure. Like, I tried to feel lighter, to relax some? Something like that.

Anyway, after a few seconds of this, Patricia had everyone get back into position and try again. This time, I rose nearly a foot, maybe more, off the chair.

Do I believe that constitutes levitation? Well, no, not really. Do I believe the “light energy” directed at me actually made me lighter? Honestly, no. But did it bring the participants together, create a certain bond between them and lead them to work together in a novel and fun way? Yes, absolutely. And, in that way, Ms Chica’s exercise was a true success.

All of this is to say that, when you attend a Requiem Night, you have no idea what might happen, but it’ll quite likely be a whole hell of a lot more than a few screenings of some awesome horror shorts.

The next Requiem Night will be Sunday, June 26, at the Midway Tavern. Entry is always free.

Be sure to check our website, follow us on Facebook, and also like Patricia Chica on Facebook, and note that Ms Chica’s Crimson Dance will be having its world premiere at this summer’s Fantasia Film Festival.

29 mai