See, Hear, Read: the best movie, music and book release for May
This is the kind of buzzed-about doc that sends quivers of delight through lineups at the Lightbox. It’s all about the crackpot theories espoused by obsessive fans of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic The Shining. Some believe the movie contains secret messages about Native American genocide, that it proves the lunar landing was faked, that the number 42 is the key to everything. Fair warning: the film goes so far down the rabbit hole that you might find yourself starting to believe.
Room 237, directed by Rodney Ascher (in theatres May 10)
The Highest Order creates the ideal soundtrack for a night spent in the kind of bar where PBR ads and Hank Williams posters share space on the walls. Three of the four members hail from beloved Toronto indie-country outfit One Hundred Dollars; they take that group’s hipster-approved twang and drench it in an almost ungodly amount of echo and reverb. Spooky originals sit side by side with covers of songs by country rock deities like Charlie Rich and Gram Parsons. This is music for contemplating old flames and new tats. The band has a hometown show at the Horseshoe this month.
If It’s Real, by The Highest Order (available now)
So many memoirs dole out their most shocking revelations sparingly. Not this raw and ragged account of a young mother’s seasons in alcoholic hell. Jowita Bydlowska, a Toronto artist and the partner of the novelist Russell Smith, forces her readers to chug down every booze-fuelled spree with barely a moment to recover. In one of the book’s more to-the-knuckle moments, Smith (only ever identified as “my boyfriend”) finds the author passed out on the living room floor while their newborn baby screams in his bassinet.
Drunk Mom, by Jowita Bydlowska (available now)