Essential Viewing Hot Docs 2014: Songs for Alexis
Ryan is a very talented 18-year-old transgender (having just finished the main stage of his surgeries) male musician who rarely lets his acoustic guitar slip from his side. After meeting his 16-year-old girlfriend Alexis at a summer camp they both attended the year before, the pair is now virtually inseparable and they have fallen madly in love. But when Alexis’ father discovers the existence of their relationship, especially the gender status of Ryan, the pair is thrust headlong into the harsher realities of the adult world. Alexis is soon faced with the daunting task of choosing between her family and the man she loves. (more…)
‘Skull World’ rocks the Carlton cinema
Starting an exclusive run at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto this week is the newest film from Toronto based director Justin McConnell that impressed back in March at the Canadian Film Fest, “Skull World”. McConnell’s fun and engaging documentary about his friend Greg Sommer is some well-crafted film making though the film hints that there is a ton of footage left aside that will likely emerge on a DVD/Blu-ray release down the road. But this rare, unexpected chance to see the film on the big screen in a regular theatrical run in a opportunity most should take advantage of.
Starring: Greg “Skull Man” Sommer
Directed by Justin McConnell
An enterprising man in his early 30s Greg, and his alter-ego Skull Man, is at war, ‘Box Wars’ that is. Step into Greg’s world full of warriors, magic, glory, and metal music. Greg is e founder and developer of the Canadian-chapter of Box Wars, an international (more…)
Alex Winter uploads his thoughts on ‘Downloaded’ (Interview)
Alex Winter uploads his thoughts on ‘Downloaded’
With his new documentary “Downloaded” having it’s Hot Docs debut tonight, Alex Winter has finally graduated from being Bill from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” into a seriously talented documentarian with a sharp eye for story and humor. The film is a rousing crowd pleaser and one of the most sought after tickets from this year’s fest. I got to sit down with Mr. Winter for a brief Q&A about the film.
Movie Junkie TO (MJ) -Thanks for taking some timeout to speak with me today Alex. I got to see the film the other day and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I was working in a music store when the Napster thing exploded so I had a very personal relationship to what I was seeing. What was your introduction to the story and how did you get involved in telling this story? (more…)
Human Rights Watch Film Fest takes us to ‘No Place on Earth’
Screening Sunday Mar 3 2013 as part of theHuman Rights Watch Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox is the new documentary from producer/director Janet Tobias “No Place on Earth”. The History Channel produced documentary outlines the courageous struggle to survive by five Jewish families in Nazi Occupied Poland. The lengths and extraordinary struggle they went through is explored here along with a full reproduction with actors re-enacting the described events of living members of the family.
No Place on Earth
Starring: Saul Stermer, Sam Stermer, Sonia Dodyk, Sima Dodyk, Chris Nicola
Directed by Janet Tobias
In 1993 Chris Nicola, an American cave enthusiast, was exploring the (more…)
Eddie Pepitone is ‘The Bitter Buddha’ at the bloor hot docs cinema
Starting a 2 show run, Mar 2and Mar 3 2013, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is the newdocumentary exploring the life of the comedian nicknamed “The Bitter Buddha” of the title, Eddie Pepitone. The documentary explores the life and performances of the now 54 year old comic who has been doing stand-up, working the clubs and road, without the break out success that other comedians that adore what he does feel he deserves.
The Bitter Buddha
Starring Eddie Pepitone
Directed by Steven Feinartz
“The Bitter Buddha” follows Pepitone (Old School, The Muppets) at a pivotal moment in his career. The film provides a hilarious insider’s perspective of the highs
Human Rights Watch Film Fest explores ‘Camp 14: Total Control Zone’
Playing Feb 27 as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, a week and a half long (Feb 26 – Mar 7, 2013) program of films that empower through tales of oppression, struggle and resilience, comes the documentary based on the best-selling book ‘Escape from Camp 14’, “Camp 14: Total Control Zone”. The festival, making its home in the TIFF Bell Lightbox, features both documentaries and scripted films that highlight atrocities and struggles worldwide for equality. The films of the festival come from around the world and encompass many different elements of the human condition and people’s will to survive and impact change.
Camp 14: Total Control Zone
Directed by Marc Wiese
Camp 14: Total Control Zone is a fascinating portrait of a young man who grew up (more…)
‘The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song’ at the royal this week
This week, at Toronto’s Royal Cinema, sees an exclusive engagement of the acclaimed documentary “The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song” begin, starting Jan18. The documentary, filmed in Georgetown, Guyana, introduces us to Muscle and his mother Mary. The pair are both struggling to break free off their circumstances, which manages to bring them constantly into conflict with each other. Mary (74), when she leaves their house, wanders on the road begging for money to get drunk from passing cars and neighbors and sometimes falls down and hurts herself. Unable to convince Mary that she is only harming herself and her family, her son Muscle (43) decides that the only way to prevent her drunken excursions is to keep her locked up in her small, dark room.
The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song
Directed by Christy Garland
Muscle ekes out a living raising fighting cocks and songbirds, but yearns and longs for a better house and situation for his family. Mary drinks to forget though (more…)
Spend some time in ‘The Waiting Room’ (review)
The Waiting Room
Directed by Peter Nicks
Today (Friday, Jan 18), the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema begins an exclusive run of another of its 2012 festival favorites, The Waiting Room. When the shortlist of documentaries up for nomination for this year’s Academy Awards was released back in early December, director Peter Nicks found his film among the contenders. And even though it did not make the cut the film was in the mix for a reason, the day in the life of a U.S. hospital is an impactful and insightful piece of film making.
The Waiting Room is a riveting day in the life of an Oakland, California, public hospital’s overtaxed emergency room. The purely observational character-driven documentary expertly weaves the stories of several patients, most of them are uninsured, and who come to the inner-city facility because they have nowhere else to go. (more…)