Docs Opening in Canada this Week (July 21-27)
By Pat Mullen
Anyone with the slightest interest in film history simply must see Dawson City: Frozen Time. This excellent archival film brings to life lost films and photographs from the Gold Rush as director Bill Morrison mines a rare find of reels stashed away in the Yukon, which was the end of the line during the silent era for distributors who didn’t want to pay return freight for stale movies. These unique archival excerpts, full of scratches, specks of dirt, and flecks of mould, are valuable snapshots of the many lives touched by moving images. The film transports one to an era of history with vivid and remarkable detail thanks to the beautiful documentary images that accompany the silent works. Read the POV review of Dawson City: Frozen Time here.
Moving from film history to current affairs, The War Show provides a necessary and topical story from the war in Syria. This film by Andreas Møl Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon spans four years as it witnesses the Arab Spring movement through Zytoon’s eyes. The disc jockey turned director burrows into the crowds and captures notes of optimism one doesn’t often see in other bleaker docs about the civil war in Syria. In his review of the film, Jason Gorber calls The War Show “a powerful memoir of the last half-decade, a diary of despair and destruction that’s often heartbreaking.” Read the POV review of The War Show here.
This year’s tally of impressive dance docs continues. Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan opens joins Dancer, Reset, and Step to give doc fans some invigorating energy to beat the summer heat. The film offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York City Ballet after a record-setting three decades with the company. Whelan takes a line from Bette Davis and says “If I don’t dance, I’d rather die,” and this breathtaking film inspires audiences to savour every dance as if it’s the last. [Stay tuned for the POV review!]
Opening this Week:
Brimstone & Glory
Dir. Viktor Jakovleski | USA/Mexico | 67 min.
-Toronto, ON: Open Roof Festival – Tues, July 25
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Dir. Bill Morrison | USA | 120 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, July 21 – Thurs, July 27
—>Director Bill Morrison and Alberto Zambenedetti, assistant professor in the Department of Italian Studies and the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A on July 21, 6:30 p.m.
-Toronto, ON: Revue Cinema – Tues, July 25
—>Introduction by U of T Media Commons archivist Christina Stewart
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, July 21 – Thurs, July 27
—>Q&A with director Bill Morrison (Skype) and subject Frank Barrett on Friday; double-bill with City of Gold on Sunday
Dir. Lutz Gregor | Germany | 96 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, July 21; Tues, July 25
Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
Dir. Linda Saffire, Adam Schlesinger | USA | 90 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, July 21 – Sun, July 23; Tues, July 25; Thurs, July 27
Rue de la Victoire
Dir. Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard | Canada | 65 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Beaubien – Fri, July 21 – Thurs, July 27
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
Dir. Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick | Canada | 1992 | 167 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Bell Lightbox – Tues, July 25
Stop Making Sense
Dir. Jonathan Demme | USA | 1984 | 88 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Tues, July 25
Enjoy a week at the movies!
Visit First Weekend Club for more info on Canadian films opening around the country!