Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Aug. 17 - 23)

Maison du Bonheur


By Pat Mullen

What a joy it is to see a new Canadian auteur in the making. Anyone eager to support the next generation of talent must, must, must nab a ticket to Sofia Bohdanowicz’s resplendent Maison du Bonheur. Too few movies have such infectious joie de vivre. It’s easy to see where the good vibes come from as Bohdanowicz visits the streets of Montmartre and enters the home of 77-year-old matriarch Juliane Sellam. Going over cherished objects and domestic items with her camera as Sellam narrates her anecdotes from her memory bank, Bohdanowicz puts the audience in good company with a woman worthy of our time—and one who is eager to share it. “Intimately capturing Sellam’s enchanting storytelling as well as her charming daily routine,” wrote Chelsea Phillips-Carr while reviewing the film at Hot Docs, “Maison du Bonheur is as much an idiosyncratic portrait of Sellam as it is a personal journey for Bohdanowicz as creator.” Read the POV review of Maison du Bonheur here.

(And subscribe to read more about Bohdanowicz’s new film Veslemøy’s Song in our TIFF issue!)

David Hare might best be known as the acclaimed playwright of dramas such as Plenty and Racing Demon and as the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of films like The Hours and The Reader, but now he has a new claim to fame: NFB doc star! The British scribe serves as an observantly articulate guide in the animated documentary Wall as he takes audiences along the politically charged perimeter of the barrier wall between Israel and Palestine. Wall provides a compelling study of a complex situation as Hare speaks with people on both sides of the conflict, while the film’s animated palette lets audiences experience the fence’s intimidating scope. “The film creates an atmosphere rife with tension and division,” we wrote in the POV review. “Told mostly in grayscale palettes that evoke the aesthetic of graphic novels, Wall takes audiences to a place where distinctions of black and white arise too easily and lead to long term conflicts.” Read the POV review of Wall here.

Dancer director Steven Cantor lets audiences experience the thrill of the stage once again. His new film Ballet Now takes audiences backstage as the New York City Ballet’s Prima Ballerina Tiler Peck curates the esteemed Music Center program, BalletNOW. The doc is a Hulu production, but it’s ripe for the screen in Canada since the streaming service has yet to cross the border. As always, dance docs deserve the big screen so that the jumps, arcs, and twirls of the performers reach their full potential. The film emphasizes diversity in representation with the styles of dances Peck curates and the cast of dancers she chooses to perform them, It’s bound to inspire a leap or two from inspired doc-goers. Read more about Ballet Now in this profile from The New York Times

Opening this Week:

Ballet Now
Dir. Steven Cantor | USA | 74 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23

Cielo
Dir. Alison McAlpine | Canada/Chile | 78 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Beaubien – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, Aug. 17 – Sat, Aug. 18
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Lightbox – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, Aug. 17 – Tues, Aug. 21

Generation Wealth
Dir. Lauren Greenfield | USA | 106 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, Aug. 17 – Sun, Aug. 19

The Jazz Ambassadors
Dir. Hugo Berkeley | USA | 90 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Mon, Aug. 20
—>post-screening Skype Q&A with director Hugo Berkeley

King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Dir. Steve Mitchell | USA | 110 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Wed, Aug. 22 – Thurs, Aug. 23

Maison du Bonheur
Dir. Sofia Bohdanowicz | Canada/France | 64 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Lightbox – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
—>post-screening Q&A with director Sofia Bohdanowicz on Aug 17 at 7pm

McQueen
Dir. Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui | UK | 111 min.
-Calgary, AB: Cineplex Eau Claire – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Edmonton, AB: Princess Theatre – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Montreal, QC: Cineplex Forum – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Ottawa, ON: Landmark Kanata – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Mon, Aug. 20 – Tues, Aug. 21
-Toronto, ON: Canada Square – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Vancouver, BC: The Park – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Sat, Aug. 18 – Mon, Aug. 20; Thurs, Aug. 23
-Victoria, BC: The Vic – Fri, Aug 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23

The Oslo Diaries
Dir. Mor Loushy & Daniel Sivan | Canada/Israel | 97 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Sat, Aug. 18 – Sun, Aug. 19

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
Dir. Stephen Schible | Japan/USA | 100 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, Aug. 17; Tues, Aug. 21 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Toronto, ON: Regent Theatre – Fri, Aug. 17 – Sun, Aug. 19; Tues, Aug. 21 – Thurs, Aug. 23

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Dir. Matt Tyrnauer | USA | 98 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, Aug. 17 – Sat, Aug. 18; Mon, Aug. 20 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Toronto, ON: Carlton Cinema – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Sun, Aug. 19; Wed, Aug. 22

Wall
Dir. Cam Christiansen | Canada | 82 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, Aug. 17 – Sat, Aug. 18; Tues, Aug. 21 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Montreal, QC: Cinémathèque québécoise – Fri, Aug. 17 – Thurs, Aug. 23
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, Aug. 17 – Sun, Aug. 19; Tues, Aug. 21; Thurs, Aug. 23

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Review | Interview
Dir. Morgan Neville | USA | 95 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Sat, Aug. 18 – Mon, Aug. 20
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Sat, Aug. 11 – Sun, Aug. 12

Retro Screenings:

Frida Kahlo
Dir. Roberto Guerra, Eila Hershon | USA | 1983 | 62 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sat, Aug. 18

Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
Dir. Joe Layton | USA | 1982 | 82 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Aug. 17

Enjoy a week at the movies!

Please verify showtimes with theatres as screenings and engagements are subject to change.
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