Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Dec. 15-21)
By Pat Mullen
Vancouver doc fans can shake a leg this week with Bobbi Jo Hart’s infectiously funny and feel-good Rebels on Pointe. Hart profiles the company of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the successful New York ballet troupe that’s all-male and all-gay. Their cabaret-style ballet knocks the stuffy dance off its pedestal and makes it an open, inclusive, and accessible experience. Hart presents the usual sequences of choreography, practice, physiotherapy, and make-up application, but Rebels on Pointe gives them a distinctive spin as the dancers have a laissez-faire attitude that one doesn’t often see behind the scenes. This attitude helps open the dance to an audience that might be uncomfortable with traditional ballet. At the same time, the “out” queer space of the company builds a relationship with the larger community. It’s political by virtue of its existence without being explicitly so through its performances. Read the POV review of Rebels on Pointe here.
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema features a special one-night only Toronto premiere of John Hopkins’ latest doc Bluefin. This beautifully shot film takes audiences to North Lake, PEI, aka the “tuna capital of the world” where Hopkins encounters a disparity between the warnings flagged by scientists and the behaviour of the bluefin tuna in the water. These fish seem to be starving and overpopulated despite concerns of endangerment and overfishing. Bluefin considers the route to sustainability for these fish as the food industry, particularly the growing popularity of sushi worldwide, puts the fish in high demand. Hopkins will be present for a Q&A following Tuesday’s screening at the theatre ironically neighboured by multiple sushi joints to add to the film’s impact.
Doc fans looking to stay in this week can binge watch Errol Morris’s excellent Netflix doc Wormwood. Morris investigates murder most foul in this true crime doc-drama hybrid that stars Peter Sarsgaard and Molly Parker in a fascinating look at the death of Frank Olson, who either fell or was thrown from the thirteenth floor of a hotel. It turns out that Frank was on LSD as part of an experiment, but that’s just the first spiral Morris finds in this case that unravels into a full-fledged government conspiracy. “Wormwood sees the master filmmaker in his element as he wraps the audience within the web of lies and deception in which Frank Olson’s death is forever enmeshed,” we wrote in our review of Wormwood. “Unravelling the tangled yarn of the Olson family tragedy will transfix anyone with the slightest fascination for conspiracy theories.” Read the POV review of Wormwood here.
Opening this Week:
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Dir. Alexandra Dean | USA | 90 min.
-London, ON: Hyland Cinema – Fri, Dec. 15 – Thurs, Dec. 21
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, Dec. 15 – Sun, Dec. 17
-Toronto. ON: Mt. Pleasant Cinema – Fri, Dec. 15 – Sun, Dec. 17; Tues, Dec. 19
Jane Interview | Review
Dir. Brett Morgen | USA | 90 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Mon, Dec. 18; Wed, Dec. 20 – Thurs, Dec. 21
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Sun, Dec. 17; Thurs, Dec. 21
Enjoy a week at the movies! ***Note: showtime listings will be on hiatus for the holidays and will resume in 2018. Happy New Year!