Tag

Hot Docs

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TRB Live: November

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TRB Live is a monthly roundup of literary events you might enjoy. Get in touch with me (@kathmcleod) or the TRB (@TorontoReview) on Twitter if you’d like to suggest an event to include next month. In Toronto, Pivot Reading Series presents three readings all-star casts of readers: Leesa Dean, Stevie Howell, Rob Taylor, and Erin Wunker on November 2; Jan Conn, Hoa Nguyen, Madeleine Thien and Zoe...

Concerning Violence by Göran Hugo Olsson

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This post is the last in a series on Hot Docs 2014 films that reorganize and reimagine the limits of documentary. Viewers familiar with Swedish filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson’s 2011 The Black Power Mixtape will be already acquainted with three of the narrative and formal tropes also present in his follow-up film, Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defence—racialized...

Out of Mind, Out of Sight by John Kastner

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This post is the third in a series on Hot Docs 2014 films that reorganize and reimagine the limits of documentary. Like John Kastner’s 2013 documentary NCI: Not Criminally Responsible, his follow-up film, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, is also a powerful reminder of what a traditional, made-for-television film can do without experimentation. It can haunt, and it can devastate. It can also leave us...

Guidelines by Jean-François Caissy

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This post is the second in a series on Hot Docs 2014 films that reorganize and reimagine the limits of documentary. This quiet, patient NFB-produced film by Quebec visual artist and filmmaker Jean-François Caissy watches adolescents in and around a high school in rural Quebec. The film is stitched together as a series of observant tableaux that move back and forth between youth, on the one hand...

The Measure of All Things by Sam Green

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This post is the first in a series on Hot Docs 2014 films that reorganize and reimagine the limits of documentary. The Measure of All Things is not so much a screening as a feature-length “live documentary” enacted at the Isabel Bader Theatre early in the festival’s run. U.S. filmmaker Sam Green, best known for his Academy Award-nominated The Weather Underground, “performed” a one-night-only...

Special Ed at Hot Docs: Winnipeg, spelling, and stop motion

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Reviewed in this essay: Special Ed, directed by John Paskievich, Canada, 2013 at Hot Docs 2013. Director John Paskievich’s documentary Special Ed follows Ed Ackerman, a filmmaker who creates short stop-motion films that help kids spell. He loves words, enjoys puns, and his old boat-like car is decorated with colourful-painted letters. Then his life is suddenly turned upside down. The first...

Da Vinci and The Circle at Hot Docs: Science, art, and the imagination

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Reviewed in this essay: Da Vinci and The Circle at Hot Docs. “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” So states the Albert Einstein epigraph that prefaces Bram Conjaerts’s documentary The Circle, which is currently playing at the Hot Docs festival in a double...

Pussy Riot at Hot Docs: Punk Feminist Performance Art on Trial

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Reviewed in this essay: Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer, directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin and Mike Lerner, United Kingdom, 2012. Always difficult for a film reviewer is what to do with a film that’s got a really great story, but is not itself a particularly great film. Which isn’t to say you shouldn’t run out and see Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer, because you absolutely should. It’s the fact that it is a...

Women and Boxing in Canada: Last Woman Standing at Hot Docs

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 Reviewed in this essay: Last Woman Standing, directed by Juliet Lammers and Lorraine Price, Canada, 2013 at Hot Docs 2013. The key to a good sports documentary—especially for those of us who don’t feel especially enraptured by the intrigues of competition—is in reminding viewers that sport is actually a field of relationships, and in bringing those relationships to the fore. That’s just...

Health Care in America: Reichert and Zaman’s Remote Area Medical at Hot Docs

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Reviewed in this essay: Remote Area Medical, directed by Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman, 2013, United States If there’s a single, insurmountable psychic obstacle to a Canadian’s long-standing fantasy of one day moving to New York it is this one: health care. No other facet of American life (save sometimes guns and prisons) makes the idea of actually renouncing a Canadian address for a US...

Oil sands, Pussy Riot, and Arnaud Maggs: A guide to the 2013 Hot Docs Festival

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Toronto’s twentieth annual Hot Docs film festival begins April 25th and will screen 205 films over eleven days. The complete list is here — but here are a few that caught our interest. The festival will kick-off with director Shawney Cohen’s The Manor, a film about his journey back to Guelph, his home town, to help out through a difficult time at the family strip club. In two films, music helps...

Earth Day, dragons, and Hot Docs picks: Bookishness for Apr. 22, 2013

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Borrow, grow, return Happy Earth Day! To celebrate, why not check out the newly opened Markham Grows Seed Library at Markham Public Library’s Milliken Mills Branch (7600 Kennedy Road) where Markham residents can check out free, organic, heirloom seeds? Don’t live or work in Markham? Check out the Toronto Seed Library. Then get outside! Unfortunately… …this award winning...