Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Feb. 9-15)
By Pat Mullen
Warm up under the Tuscan sun and discover an eclectic tradition in Spettacolo. This doc from Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen transports audiences to a small town with the unusual tradition of staging a live performance in which villagers participate in re-enacting their lives as a play. Talk about “community theatre!” While reviewing Spettacolo back at Hot Docs, Chelsea Phillips-Carr wrote: “Spettacolo celebrates the idiosyncratic manner in which the town creatively deals with its problems, but it also looks to the importance of cinematically capturing, and thus preserving, a culture, which is in decline.” Read the POV review of Spettacolo here!
From Italy to India, this week’s list of new openers includes the acclaimed co-production Machines, which takes audiences inside the sweltering and intense day to day work at a textile factory. The film reveals an enormous structure that swallows its employees who toil in terrible conditions for meagre pay while consumers in the West wear their goods with little thought to the well-being of the hands that made their clothes. “The heft and might and sensual assault of giving much more than a glimpse of the labourers’s plight and imprisonment has produced an astounding piece of documentary film-making by Indian CalArts alumnus Rahul Jain,” wrote Jutta Brendemuhl while reviewing the film at Hot Docs. Read the POV review of Machines here.
Finally, doc fans looking for fresh blood can find something new and provocative in director Rob Grant’s Fake Blood. This film about violence in movies is a blood-soaked and entertaining meta-movie/mockumentary that sees the filmmakers consider their responsibility to audiences after delivering splat-n-chuckle mayhem loaded with gallons of red corn syrup. Horror and documentary go hand-in-hand with low budget filmmaking, and Fake Blood playfully combines the two. “Fake Blood succeeds in straddling a suspension of disbelief and an engaging style of investigatory authenticity. The filmmakers blur questions about ethics and responsibility within a second layer of the exercise that plays with audiences’ complicity in granting perceived realism more legitimacy than obvious fiction,” we wrote in our review of the film. “The questions that Fake Blood raises are undeniably valid even if the events that inspire them are fiction.” Read the POV review of Fake Blood here.
Opening this Week:
Dir. Céline Baril | Canada | 135 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinématheque Québécoise – Sat, Feb. 10 – Thurs, Feb. 15
Letters from Baghdad
Dir. Sabine Krayenbühl, Zeva Oelbaum | UK/France | 92 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Feb. 9
Dir. Pascale Lamche | France/South Africa | 98 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Feb. 14
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Dir. Nick Broomfield, Joan Churchill | USA | 2003 | 93 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Tues, Feb. 13
—>Directors Nick Broomfield & Joan Churchill will participate in a Skype Q&A with film critic and author Geoff Pevere
Stop Making Sense
Dir. Jonathan Demme | USA | 1984 | 88 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sat, Feb. 10
Enjoy a week at the movies!
Please verify showtimes with theatres as screenings and engagements are subject to change.
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