Hot Docs Capsule Reviews – The Final Cut Edition

    The 17th Annual Hot Docs festival wrapped up a week and a half ago, so I should probably wrap things up as well. After 28 features and 4 shorts, I’m starting to see double…Here’s the last batch of films I caught:     AMERICAN: The Bill Hicks Story (2010 – Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas) – Like many people (at...

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Hot Docs 2010 – Marwencol

    After spending 40 days in a coma – the result of a brutal beating outside a bar – Mark Hogancamp woke up. He woke up a different person, though, with significant brain damage and a great deal of memory loss. He now needed to somehow build a new life and get on track, but he just wasn’t sure how to do that since professional...

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Hot Docs 2010 – Waste Land

    It’s where everything not good goes – including people.   The Jardim Gramacho landfill outside of Rio De Janeiro is the largest in the world in terms of the volume of refuse received to it on a daily basis. It’s rolling hills of garbage give the ground the consistency of Jell-o as hundreds of “pickers” walk...

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Hot Docs 2010 – The Kids Grow Up

    Director Doug Block (51 Birch Street) is an obsessive documentarian. He seems to have endless footage of his daughter throughout her life – following her around, asking her questions – and continues to add to the archives as she prepares to leave for university. She’s becoming less and less thrilled with the idea, but he just...

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Hot Docs 2010 Awards

    As Hot Docs 2010 has wrapped for another year – their most successful year ever by the way – now is the time to review some of the award winners. The Audience Award winner was announced today (along with the Top 10 top vote-getters) and the jury-voted Industry Awards last Friday. Before getting to the results though, a bit more about...

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Hot Docs Capsule Reviews – The Technology vs Nature Edition

    As Hot Docs 2010 winds down, here’s another sampling of a few of the films I’ve caught over the last week:     Soundtracker (2010 – Nicholas Sherman) – Tracking down sounds is indeed exactly what Gordon Hempton does. He’s finding it harder and harder to do, though, with the proliferation of technology...

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Hot Docs Review – A Small Act

    I‘m pretty sure I just saw the Audience Award winner of Hot Docs 2010. If I was a betting man, I’d plop a nice chunk of change down on A Small Act coming out on top after all the votes have been cast. Sure the Rush documentary has the built-in fan base and is a ton of fun (and it just won the Tribeca Audience Award), but Jennifer...

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Hot Docs: The Parking Lot Movie Review

  What happens when you throw a bunch of over-educated graduate students, slacker musicians and other creative and testosterone-loaded souls into a job where absolutely nothing is required of them except sitting there and taking money from customers? Well, Kevin Smith more-or-less answered this question with his indie-hit Clerks in 1994, but here is a...

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Hot Docs Capsule Reviews – The “I Love You Man” Edition

    As Hot Docs 2010 kicks into full gear, here’s a sampling of a few of the films I managed to see in the lead up to the fest:     Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010 – Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen) – The two images above are apropos for a discussion of the latest musical documentary by the team that brought us Metal: A...

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Hot Docs: And Everything Is Going Fine

    With only a desk, a glass of water, a few props and some cursory notes, Spalding Gray would sit before a live audience and tell them his story. Whether about his knowledge of death and sex before age fourteen or his mind-altering experiences in Thailand, his physical ailments or the suicide of his mother, what transpired in each monologue was half...

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