Reviews - Page 129

Giving you our points of view on the latest docs in release and on the circuit.

Reel Books: One Hundred Years of Canadian Cinema

What does a body have to do to get noticed around here, anyway? In a contribution to Canadian film history, One Hundred Years of Canadian Cinema, George Melnyk attempts an answer. National identity is a slippery notion in this bi- polar country of French and English influences liberally affected and challenged by immigrant voices, which lives, like a mushroom, under an American shadow. While Melnyk admits that a book like his will omit much more than it encompasses, “one should think of this text as a kind of translation of the writings of others on Canadian film into a synthesized narrative.”

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Hot Docs 2005: A DOP’s POV

I didn’t get a chance to go to a large number of Hot Docs this year, but the ones I did get to see were looked at with the critical eye of a DOP. Docs with great visual content stand out from average fare. Some films, especially those shot on small camcorders, can be distractingly bad visually. I realize that small cameras fit tight budgets and are best for war zones, “diaries” and personal stories, but filmmakers should be aware of their limitations especially now that consumers are watching programs on very large widescreen TVs. The Three Rooms of Melancholia,

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Modernism, Images, Documentation and Television

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The 18th annual Images Festival boasted a fresh artistic programmer—Jeremy Rigsby, courtesy of Windsor’s renowned Media City—and a stronger emphasis on internationalism. Along with that commitment to international content, this year’s festival showcased an exhaustive potpourri of documentary strategies and impulses, although not that many formally-straightforward documentaries. The emphasis on documenting and its problematics was a motif of the international shorts programmes, the opening night gala feature, and many of the Images Off-Screen installations visible in downtown Toronto art galleries. A series of panels titled the Visible City Symposium was also presented in tandem with the 2005 Images Festival, and

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