#HOTDOCS: “DE PALMA”, “CAMERAPERSON”, “THE SLIPPERS”, “NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU”, “SPIRIT UNFORGETTABLE” + “UNLOCKING THE CAGE”
By Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
Hot Docs has reached the midway point. Thousands of documentary loves and newbies alike have been flocking to venues like the Bloor, the Lightbox, and the Isabel Bader for the chance to be among the first to catch these world class films. With directors, subjects, and even a few crews onstage to participate in Q&As it is no wonder that Hot Docs remains one of the top film Festivals of its kind in the world.
Here are some great titles you can still catch over the next few days.
One of the best Documentary cinematographers in the business, Kirsten Johnson has worked on everything from Fahrenheit 9/11 to Citizenfour. In this unique Documentary, Ms. Johnson has assembled footage from many of her favourite shoots around the world. This truly moving Film takes the viewer on a personal journey from New York to Darfur and everywhere in between, showing us some of the human moments behind the headlines and the soul of a truly gifted cameraperson.
Saturday, May 7 at 6:15 p.m. TBLB
Film buffs will be flocking to see Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s latest Movie. A retrospective on director Brian De Palma’s complete filmography, the Film takes on a journey from his early days in Film school right through to Mission Impossible. De Palma doesn’t shy away from discussing both the high and lows of the process behind making each film. He also finds time to drop anecdotes about his friends Steve (Spielberg), Johnny (Williams) and Bobby (De Niro) among others. This true masterclass led by the master himself.
Friday, May 6 at 9:30 p.m. TBLB
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Good Times, All in the Family and The Jeffersons; all these shows have one thing in common: Norman Lear. The grandfather the modern sitcom, he shaped what we watch on TV more than almost any person before or since. If there was a boundary that needed to be pushed, he obliterated it and left a trail of Emmys in his wake.
Friday, May 6 at 6:45 p.m. TBLB
Saturday May 7 at 3:15 p.m. The Revue
There are great Movies and Movies that drag you back in time to the first time you watched them, and then there’s The Wizard of Oz. Oz is movie that continues to hold the hearts and minds of everyone who has ever seen it. Some people, however, are slightly more obsessed than others. In this great feel good doc, director Morgan White explores the world of die-hard collectors who have devoted thousands of dollars and years of their lives to owning pieces of the movie. And no piece of Oz is more valuable than the ruby slippers.
Sunday May 8 at 6:45 p.m. The Regent
Canadian music legends the Spirit of the West were confronted with a challenge: their lead singer, John Mann, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 52. Rather than give up or retire, this Spirit family rallied behind their brother to support him and help him to continue making music. Using a combination of archival footage and interviews with bandmates, family, and doctors, the Film is centered around the band’s goal to have John play “one last” gig at Massey Hall in June 2015.
Sunday, May 8 at 12:30 p.m. The Royal
Unlocking the Cage
Directors Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker bring us story of Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project whose goal is to ensure the well-being of animals. In the Film, Wise and his team go to court to save a chimpanzee whom they believe deserves the same right to a cruelty-free life as a human. The Nonhuman Rights Project are a passionate group of people who sincerely believe in their cause and will have the audience at the edge of their seat awaiting the verdict.
Sunday, May 8 at 10:00 a.m. TBLB