Docs Screening in Canada this Week (June 17-23)

Tempest Storm.
Courtesy of Mongrel Media. Photo by Bob Crone.


By Pat Mullen

Bust out your prettiest — and purplest — feather boa for the Queen of Burlesque! Catch the latest Canadian burlesque documentary Tempest Storm this week when this audience favourite from Hot Docs ’16 hits theatres. Like fellow doc The League of Exotique Dancers, Tempest Storm challenges mainstream depictions of sex appeal by showing how the performance of sexual desire empowers women who know how to use their bodies around men. Storm proves a particularly effective subject by exuding class, sex appeal, charm, and humour as she exposes her herself more nakedly than ever before. It’s a disarming character study. (Read Maurie Alioff’s Hot Docs review of Tempest Storm here.)

Movie lovers eager to celebrate some film on film, on the other hand, have two hearty offerings of docs about movies. The zany Raiders! is a love letter to film geeks of all kinds as this doc chronicles a summer movie project in which three friends made their own take on Raiders of the Lost Ark. The riotously cheesy footage alone is a must-see for film geeks. (Review here.)

On the other hand, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s De Palma gives audiences a survey course on film authorship in this in-depth study of the work of Brian De Palma. The film screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox alongside the TIFF Cinematheque’s Split/Screen retrospective on De Palma’s oeuvre, which includes his documentary Dionysus in 69 about an experimental play. Get a lesson from the director himself and then dive into his films to settle the ongoing debate if De Palma is an unsung artist, the master of the erotic thriller, or a derivative hack. (Read Jason Gorber’s Hot Docs review of De Palma here.)

Some new docs opening this week are bound to get doc fans talking. The controversial anti-vaccination doc Vaxxed, which was pulled from Tribeca amidst a brouhaha, spreads to Canada with a stop in Calgary. The acclaimed The Witness,finally, examines the shocking 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed while onlookers gawked and did nothing, gets re-opened with new perspectives and hits the Bloor this week.

Docs now playing:

After the Last River
Dir. Victoria Lean | Canada | 90 min.
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Sun, June 19 – Tues, June 21
—>Stay for a Q&A with director Victoria Lean and producer Jade Blair at the shows on Sunday and Monday!

Almost Holy
Dir. Steve Hoover | USA/Ukraine | 100 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Sat, June 18 – Thurs, June 23 (no Tuesday show)
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, June 17; Sun, June 19; Wed, June 22 – Thurs, June 23

Cut Out the Eyes
Dir. Xu Tong | China | 80 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Cinematheque – Thurs, June 23

Dark Horse
Dir. Louise Osmond | UK | 85 min.
-Guelph, ON: Bookshelf Cinema – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-London, ON: Hyland Cinema – Sat, June 18 – Wed, June 22 (no Monday show)
-Waterloo, ON: Princess Twin – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

De Palma
Dir. Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow | USA | 107 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Bell Lightbox – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

The Devil’s Horn
Dir. Larry Weinstein | Canada | 86 min.
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Fri, June 17 – Sun, June 19

Dionysus in ’69
Dir. Brian De Palma, Richard Schechner | USA | 1969 | 85 min.
-Toronto, ON: TIFF Bell Lightbox – Tues, June 21

Elder in the Making
Dir. Chris Hsiung | Canada | 95 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Tues, June 21
—>This free film screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the film, aboriginal culture and issues.

Gayby Baby
Dir. Maya Newell | Australia | 85 min.
-Regina, SK: Regina Public Library – Thurs, June 23

Goodness in Rwanda
Dir. Gord Rand, John Westheuser | Canada | 90 min.
-Regina, SK: Regina Public Library – Sat, June 18 – Sun, June 19

I am the Blues
Dir. Daniel Cross | Canada | 106 min.
-Medicine Hat, AB: Medicine Hat Public Library – Mon, June 20
-Montreal, QC: Cinéma du Parc – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Montreal, QC: La Cinémathèque Québécoise – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Quebec, QC: Cinema le Clap – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Toronto, ON: The Kingsway – Fri, June 17; Sun, June 19; Tues, June 21; Thurs, June 23
-Toronto, ON: The Regent – Sun, June 19; Tues, June 21 – Wed, June 22
-Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Cinematheque – Sat, June 18

Janis: Little Girl Blue
Dir. Amy Berg | USA | 108 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinéma du Parc – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

The League of Exotique Dancers
Dir. Rama Rau | Canada | 90 min.
-Guelph, ON: Bookshelf Cinema – Tues, June 21 – Thurs, June 23
-Toronto, ON: The Kingsway – Sat, June 18; Mon, June 20; Wed, June 22
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Wed, June 22

Mavis!
Dir. Jessica Edwards | Canada/USA | 81 min.
-Victoria, BC: The Vic – Sun, Jun 19; Tues, June 21 – Thurs, June 23

The Missing Ingredient
Michael Sparaga | Canada | 87 min
-Victoria, BC: The Vic – Sat, June 18

The Messenger
Dir. Su Rynard | Canada | 89 min.
-Canmore, AB: artsPlace – Sat, June 18
-Napanee, ON: Boulevard Cinema – Sun, June 19
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Fri, June 17 – Sat, June 18

Our Last Tango
Dir. German Kral | Argentina/Germany | 85 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinéma du Parc – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven
Dir. Phyllis Ellis | Canada | 70 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinéma du Parc – Mon, June 20

Rabin: In His Own Words
Dir. Erez Laufer | Israel | 100 min
-Ottawa, ON: Canadian Film Institute – Israeli Film Festival – Thurs, June 23

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made
Dir. Jeremy Coon, Tim Skousen | USA | 95 min.
-Calgary, AB: Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Charlottetown, PEI: City Cinema / TIFF Film Circuit – Fri, June 17 – Sun, June 19
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Fri, June 17; Sun, June 19; Mon, June 20; Wed, June 22
-Halifax, NS: Cineplex Scotiabank Halifax – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Montreal, QC: Cinéma Cineplex Forum – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Toronto, ON: Cineplex Varsity and Varsity VIP – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Toronto, ON: Cineplex Yonge and Dundas – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
-Vancouver, BC: Cineplex Odeon International Village – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

Sour Grapes
Dir. Jerry Rothwell, Reuben Atlas | USA/UK/France | 86 min.
-Toronto, ON: The Kingsway – Sat, June 18; Mon, June 20; Wed, June 22
-Victoria, BC: The Vic – Fri, June 17

Tempest Storm
Dir. Nimisha Mukerji | Canada/France/Germany | 83 min.
-Toronto, ON: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23
—>Director Nimisha Mukerji and subject Tempest Storm will participate in Skype Q&As on Friday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday, June 18 at 9:15 p.m.
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Fri, June 17 – Tues, June 21
—>Director Nimisha Mukerji and subject Tempest Storm will participate in in-house Q&As on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19.

This Changes Everything
Dir. Avi Lewis | USA/Canada | 90 min
-Montreal, QC: Cinema Politica – Tues, June 21

Trick or Treaty?
Dir. Alanis Obomsawin | Canada | 85 min.
-Regina, SK: Regina Public Library – Thurs, June 23

Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe
Dir. Andrew Wakefield | USA | 90 min.
-Calgary, AB: The Plaza – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

West of Memphis
Dir. Amy Berg | USA | 2012 | 147 min.
-Toronto, ON: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – Thurs, June 23
—>Presented by Harvard Seal Doc Club. Following the film, Lee Mellor, PhD (ABD) criminologist and author of Cold North Killers: Canadian Serial Murder, will lead a discussion and Q&A session about cold cases in the criminal justice system.

When We Were Kings
Dir. Leon Gast | USA | 1996 | 89 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Rio Theatre – Thurs, June 23

The Witness (check back soon for a review!)
Dir. James Soloman | USA | 90 min.
-Toronto, ON: Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – Fri, June 17 – Thurs, June 23

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Enjoy a week at the movies!