'Toulouse-Lautrecand Montmartre'In the late 19th century, Montmartre was the center of Bohemian life in Paris, a colorful (and sometimes dangerous) neighborhood full of cabarets and music halls, bars and brothels. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was its great artistic chronicler. Not that he was alone in his appreciation of the demi-monde and its inhabitants. Such other artists as Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas, and Vincent van Gogh also recorded and celebrated Montmartre. Work by all of them is represented in ''Toulouse-Lautrec and Montmartre" at the Art Institute of Chicago through Oct. 10. The exhibition gathers some 250 artworks (paintings, prints, posters, drawings, sculptures) to chronicle a vivid time and remarkable place in the cultural history of Paris and modern art.
111 South Michigan Ave., 312-443-3600, www.artic.edu/aic.New Montreal FilmFestThe most famous of all film festivals, Cannes, is in the spring, and the second most famous, Sundance, is in the winter. But late summer and early fall is the season when film festivals flourish: Telluride, Deauville, Venice, Toronto, New York. The New Montreal FilmFest aims to take its place among their ranks, screening 174 productions from 37 countries. The inaugural festival opening today and running through next Sunday includes 20 world premieres and 22 North American premieres. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated film to be screened is Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan's ''Where the Truth Lies."
'Moving Pictures:American Art and Early Film, 1880-1910'Was it merely a coincidence that Realism became the dominant mode in American art in the early years of the 20th century just as the motion picture was invented? This fascinating exhibition through Dec. 11 at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown looks at how film influenced more traditional arts, and how they in turn influenced film. In addition to some 100 paintings and photographs by such artists as Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, and Eadweard Muybridge, the show includes 46 flat-panel screens continuously showing films of the period. The result is a richly evocative presentation of social and cultural life at the turn of the last century.
15 Lawrence Hall Drive,413-597-2429, www.wcma.org.
'Dead End'In 2000, Huntington Theatre artistic director Nicholas Martin directed a much-hailed production of Sidney Kingsley's 1935 drama, ''Dead End." Martin has mounted a new production of the play for the Los Angeles Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre through Oct. 16. With a cast of 42 and 10,000 gallons of water in the orchestra pit (to simulate New York's East River), it's big on spectacle and lavish in resources -- the closest serious drama comes these days to being a total stage event.
135 North Grand Ave. ,213-628-2772, www.taperahmanson.com.
The Times Cheltenham Literary FestivalCheltenham, a Regency-era spa resort, has played host to England's oldest and largest literary festival for more than half a century. This year's festival comprises more than 300 events Oct. 7-16. Highlights include Judi Dench reading the poetry of Ted Hughes, architect Daniel Liebeskind discussing his work, and a special focus on contemporary Africa. Among authors scheduled to appear are Bret Easton Ellis, Alexander McCall Smith, Vikram Seth, Alan Bennett, David Attenborough, Sebastian Faulks, Maya Angelou, and Zadie Smith.
Contact Mark Feeney at email@example.com.