Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Nov. 3-9)

Dina
The Orchard


By Pat Mullen

It’s a quiet week for new releases with the overwhelming amount of smaller festivals and one-off screenings going on around the country, but doc fans have a chance to catch one of the most acclaimed titles from Sundance and the US festival circuit. Dina, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance earlier this year, opens theatrically this weekend and brings to audiences its offbeat love story about a 49-year-old eccentric and her Walmart greeter boyfriend Scott. Dina and Scott are both autistic and the film explores how they plan their wedding and prepare for life together with the independence and potential challenges marriage brings. “Dina doesn’t feel like other nonfiction films,” writes Peter Debruge in Variety. “There’s none of that wobbly-camera footage to signify how authentic, or vérité, everything is — instead, artfully desaturated, static shots unfold at a slight remove, like panels of “The Far Side” comic strip — while the rapport between the filmmakers and their principal characters is so comfortable, it occasionally feels as if we are watching a scripted film.”

Documentary and drama collide in a much different manner in the new film-on-film flick about Jayne Mansfield, but should you walk like Jayne Mansfield to Mansfield 66/67? Maybe not. This campy but well-intentioned study of the late actress pays more attention to her notorious death than anything she achieved in life. While there is a lot of novelty in the busty starlet’s dabbling in the occult and the speculation that a hex by a Satanist prompted her fatal car accident, this doc doesn’t dive deeply enough into the implications of Mansfield’s erratic behaviour. There are a lot of young talking heads who circulate Mansfield lore drawn from the headlines and gossip columns, and the film struggles to exceed fandom and tabloid fodder. Read the POV review of Mansfield 66/67 here.

Also of note on the documentary front are festivals and screening series such as Est Docs (read an interview with Soviet Hippies director Terje Toomistu), TIFF’s Black Star (check out the role of documentary as a tool for self-representation for Black Canadians), and Rendezvous with Madness where we’re pleased to co-present the screening of I am Another You. (We also recommend Manic at RWM.)

Opening this Week:

California Typewriter
Dir. Doug Nichol | USA | 103 min.
-Toronto, ON: Carlton Cinema – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Nov. 3 – Sat, Nov. 4; Mon, Nov. 6 – Tues, Nov. 7

Dawson City: Frozen Time
Dir. Bill Morrison | USA | 120 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Sun, Nov. 5 – Mon, Nov. 6

Dina
Dir. Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles | USA | 103 min.
-London, ON: Hyland Cinema – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Sat, Nov. 4; Mon, Nov. 6
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Nov. 3 – Sun, Nov. 5; Tues, Nov. 7 – Thurs, Nov. 9

Do Donkeys Act?
Dir. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin | UK | 72 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Mon, Nov. 6; Wed, Nov. 8

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
Dir. Frederick Wiseman | USA | 195 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Nov. 8 – Thurs, Nov. 9

Faces Places
Dir. Agnès Varda, JR | France | 90 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Beaubien – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Montreal, QC: Cineplex Forum – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Montreal, QC: Quartier Latin – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Quebec, QC: Cinema le Clap – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Lightbox – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9

The Force
Dir. Peter Nicks | USA | 93 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Sat, Nov. 4 – Sun, Nov. 5; Tues, Nov. 7; Thurs, Nov. 9

Human Flow
Dir. Ai Weiwei | Germany/USA | 140 min.
-Calgary, AB: Cineplex Eau Claire – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Guelph, ON: Bookshelf Cinema – Wed, Nov. 8 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Halifax, NS: Cineplex Park Land – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Montreal, QC: Cineplex Forum – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Lightbox – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9
-Vancouver, BC: Cineplex International Village – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9

I am Another You
Dir. Nanfu Wang | USA | 85 min.
-Toronto, ON: Rendezvous with Madness – Sat, Nov. 4

Long Time Running
Dir. Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier | Canada | 90 min.
-Regina, SK: Regina Public Library – Fri, Nov. 3 – Sun, Nov. 5

Mansfield 66/67
Dir. P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes | UK/USA | 84 min.
-Toronto, ON: Carlton Cinema – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9

A Moon of Nickel and Ice
Dir. François Jacob | Canada | 110 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9

On Putin’s Blacklist
Dir. Boris Ivanov | Canada | 75 min.
-Toronto, ON: The Kingsway – Fri, Nov. 3 – Thurs, Nov. 9

Rat Film
Dir. Theo Anthony | USA | 82 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, Nov. 3; Sun, Nov. 5

School Life
Dir. Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane | Ireland | 99 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Nov. 3 – Sat, Nov. 4; Tues, Nov. 7; Thurs, Nov. 9

Spirit Unforgettable
Dir. Pete McCormack | Canada | 86 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Thurs, Nov. 9

Tales from the Winnipeg Film Group
Dir. Kevin Nikkel & Dave Barber | Canada | 86 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, Nov. 3
—>Filmmakers in attendance!

There is a House Here
Dir. Alan Zweig | Canada | 103 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, Nov. 3
—>Filmmaker in attendance!

Retro Screenings:

Imagine: John Lennon
Dir. Andrew Tolt | USA | 1988 | 106 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Sun, Nov. 5

Not a Love Story: A Film about Pornography
Dir. Bonnie Sherr Klein | Canada | 1981 | 69 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Cinematheque – Sat, Nov. 4
—>FREE!

Picture of Light
Dir. Peter Mettler | Canada/Switzerland | 1994 | 83 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Cinematheque – Thurs, Nov. 9
—>FREE!

Sketches of Frank Gehry
Dir. Sydney Pollack | USA | 2005 | 86 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Nov. 8

Enjoy a week at the movies!