Hot Docs 2013 Review: MUSCLE SHOALS Is A Stunning, Soulful Achievement

It's a rare thing, the truly engaging music documentary. You have to have a number of things come together to make it more than just a series of clips from some music you feel palatable. The best films are those... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Twitchvision: Talking IRON MAN 3 and More HOT DOCS!

With Hot Docs winding down this weekend, was time to highlight a couple more faves, from the Ross Brother's 3-hour-epic River, through Caucus, After Tiller, and 12 O'Clock Boys. Full reviews of these to come, so consider these a video... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Review: THE EXPEDITION TO THE END OF THE WORLD Asks Big Questions in Wide Open Spaces

Specifically, the eponymous End of the World is a place: The northern shores of Greenland that have been inaccessible due to ice-locked waterways, which now, due to changing climes, are open for a mere few weeks a year to such... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Twitchvision: Talking PAIN & GAIN, THE COLONY, and More HOT DOCS Goodness!

Our weekly Twitchvision hit, this time chatting over the phone with stalwart host Scott Laurie about the likes of The Colony and Michael Bay's Goodfellas-lite, Pain & Gain.Hot Docs is in full swing, with a number of full reviews on... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Review: WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS

The title is a mouthful, but is a entirely appropriate and poetic link to the film's subject matter, the bizarre Vegas-in-the-Ozarks refuge that is Branson, Missouri.Nestled in the heart of hillbilly country, the town of 10,000 plays home to millions... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Review: TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE Is Wonderfully Nuanced

Far too often "issue" films play out as mere polemics, dogmatically reemphasizing a given point of view to a receptive audience. I often find these type of films dreary and intellectually barren, a lazy form of near propaganda that does... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Interview: TALES FROM THE ORGAN TRADE Director Ric Esther Bienstock

Ric Esther Bienstock's documentary about human organ trafficking is both beautifully made and refreshingly sophisticated. I spoke with the Emmy Award winning director as her film is set to make its local debut at Toronto's Hot Docs festival.What I... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Review: WILLIAM AND THE WINDMILL Subverts the Expected TEDtalk Narrative

What exactly is William and The Windmill about?  Is it the story of a resourceful and ingenious young Malawi boy who builds a windmill from available detritus using diagrams in a book so his parents have a way to... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Review: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE is Glamorous and Mundane

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to walk into a jewelry store and pull a pure short-con swindle. Doris Payne, now in her early eighties, remains as wiry and razor sharp as she ever was, pulling one jewel... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Hot Docs 2013 Review: THE MANOR is the GODFATHER of Jewish Strip-Club Owning Family Films

About an hour West of Toronto lies Guelph, Ontario. It's a college town, known for its slightly hippie vibe, strong connection with all things agricultural, and a quaint downtown. Attractions include a local brewery and a nearby Antique Festival that's... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Jewel Thiefs! Reindeer Herding! Sex for Trees! HotDocs Celebrates Its 20th In Style

One of the world's largest documentary film festivals, Toronto's HotDocs turns 20 this year.  To celebrate, they are screening a whopping 205 films from 43 countries from April 25th to May 5th at their dedicated cinema, The Bloor-Hotdocs Cinema, as... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

ABOUT FACE: SUPERMODELS THEN AND NOW Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders on the Business of Beauty

During this year's Hot Docs film festival in Toronto, I had the chance to speak with director/photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders about About Face: Supermodels Then and Now, a documentary that captures much more than the one-dimensional portraits of iconic supermodels whose familiar... More »
By Rachel Fox   
  

Rape as Occupational Hazard: THE INVISIBLE WAR Director Kirby Dick on Exposing the U.S. Military's Shameful Cover-up

Occasionally a documentary manages to attract enough attention that it begins to trickle into our collective conversation, perhaps even holding sway for some kind of proactive social response. One hopes that the impact of director Kirby Dick's (Twist of Faith,... More »
By Rachel Fox   
  

Review: THE PUNK SYNDROME

Pertti, Toni, Kari and Sami can really put on a great show. They are the members of very popular punk group in Finland, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Name Day). As Kari sings in his guttural voice about the greatness... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT Director Yung Chang Talks Boxing, Everyday People, and Fruit Hunter Bill Pullman

Following the critical and commercial success of his 2007 documentary, Up the Yangtze, director Yung Chang once again turns his camera towards a rapidly-modernizing China in China Heavyweight. The day before his film is set to have its Canadian premier... More »
By Rachel Fox   
  

HotDocs 2012: PUSHWAGNER Review

An aging Norwegian pop artist, Hariton Pushwagner, is the subject of this larger-than-life documentary, directed by Even Benestad and August B. Hanssen. And it's a great doc about an eccentric artist, rivaling Crumb in its charm and scope.It is clear from the... More »
By Dustin Chang   
  

HotDocs 2012: LOVE STORY Review

An exceptionally tall girl in an orange dress with a piece of red-velvet cake on a plate and a lanky New Zealander with a video camera meet on the subway headed for Coney Island.  They chat.  They separate.  They meet... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

HotDocs 2012: INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE Review

There is a lot of passion, soul baring, and white-knuckle anxiety on display in Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky's documentary on the world of independent games and their micro-sized design teams.  Instead of hundreds of people working on all aspects of a top... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  

Hot Docs 2012 Interview: Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart of SEXY BABY

The temptation in the headline above is to say "Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart... the star of Sexy Baby." But aside from the fact that docs don't really have stars, she's also just one of the three subjects of Ronna Gradus and Jill... More »
By Peter Gutierrez   
  

HotDocs 2012: FRANCOPHRENIA (or Don't Kill Me, I Know Where The Baby Is) Review

I will be brief, as to not waste too much of your time, as it would be doubly a crime for Francophrenia to kill the sum of my 70 minutes viewing the thing, another hour writing about it, and then... More »
By Kurt Halfyard   
  
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