Hot Docs 2010 Picks

2010 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

The 2010 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival starts on Friday, April 29th. Showcasing the best in documentary filmmaking from Canada and around the world, Hot Docs is playing some really wonderful films this year. Like last year, Dork Shelf has compiled a list of the suitably dorky films that we’re planning to see at this years festival. These are just our picks, Hot Docs is playing so many amazing documentary films this year. We encourage you to check out the full Hot Docs Film Fest Schedule.

Dork Shelf’s Hot Docs 2010 Picks after the jump.

American: The Bill Hicks Story

American: The Bill Hicks story is a documentary about the life and times of comedian Bill Hicks, easily one of the funniest and most important comedians to ever take the stage. Hicks passed away in 1994, but his influence continues to be felt. Bill Hicks was a man who despised bullshit and loathed hypocrisy, which sadly makes his comedy even more prescient today. American is a must for Bill Hicks fans, but if you haven’t seen his standup before, you’ll certainly be a fan after seeing this movie.


American: The Bill Hicks Story @ Hot Docs

Blank City

Blank City examines the New York’s No Wave scene of the late 1970’s and the underground film movement that would eventually help to spawn the independent film as we know it. The documentary uses Super 8 and 16mm film from the time, plus interviews with people who were there like Jim Jarmusch, Richard Kern, Steve Buscemi, John Waters and Debbie Harry among others. It was an interesting and wild time on the Lower East side of Manhattan, Blank City aims to shed some light on the events.

Blank City @ Hot Docs


David Wants to Fly

What started as a quest for inspiration leads filmmaker David Sieveking to take a closer look at the transcendental meditation movement… with a little help from director David Lynch. Sieveking begins to see a movement that started with the best of intentions, and has now become an international business interested in making money. Plus you get to hear David Lynch talking about meditation. Sign me up.

David Wants to Fly @ Hot Docs

Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No


An hilarious animated short film about Major League baseball pitcher Dock Ellis, who under the influence of LSD managed to pitch a no-hitter: one of the rarest feats in all of baseball. Yes, you can watch the whole film right here if you’d like. Or you can watch it before both screenings of American: The Bill Hicks Story with a crowd that is ready to laugh. I recommend the latter.

Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No @ Hot Docs

How I Filmed the War

Filmmaker Yuval Sagiv unravels the secrets of Geoffrey H. Malins 1916 propaganda film  The Battle of the Somme. Malins shot his film on the front lines of the First World War battlefield, and it was perhaps the most brutal and gruesome look at the war effort the public had ever been exposed to. Quotes from Malins autobiography are intercut with the visuals, and historical accounts of the battle are also compared to what the original film portrayed. How I Filmed the War is probably suited for anyone interested in the history of the Great War or the history of propaganda films.


How I Filmed the War @ Hot Docs

The Parking Lot Movie

A film about a group of over-educated, under-achieving (by the Man’s standards!) men who have made a career out of working as parking lot attendants. Appropriately, The Parking Lot Movie is part of Hot Docs Rooftop Docs Series which will screen on the roof of the Cumberland Cinema.

The Parking Lot Movie @ Hot Docs


Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

You either love Rush or hate them. I put myself in the latter camp, but don’t let that stop you from seeing what looks to be a pretty great documentary about the Canadian rock trio. Geddy Lee *shudder*

Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage @ Hot Docs

Shadow Play: The Making of Anton Corbijn

A documentary about the life and career of Dutch photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn. From his days spent photographing the famous, to his more recent career as music video and feature film director. If you enjoy his work, learn more about the man behind it.

Shadow Play: The Making of Anton Corbijn @ Hot Docs

Sins of My Father

Sins of My Father is a film about Sebastián Marroquín, son of vicious Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, as he struggles to come to terms with the legacy of his father. Featuring interviews, archival footage and home videos of Escobar’s private family life, the film is sure to be a fascinating examination of the life of one Latin America’s most infamous men.

Sins of My Father @ Hot Docs

Space Tourists

Exploring the dynamic between the millionaire space tourists who use Russia’s Baikonnur Cosmodrome in Kazhakstan and the locals who salvage the rockets that fall in the area. Space Tourists is an interesting look at the down-to-earth business side of the Russian space program.

Space Tourists @ Hot Docs

The People vs. George Lucas

Director George Lucas inspired a generation of young people with the original Star Wars films, and then slapped them in the face with the prequels. The People vs. George Lucas is an examination of the man and his legacy, featuring interviews with fans, critics and academics, as well as Lucas’s friends and contemporaries. Any Star Wars fan who felt betrayed or let down by the prequels should probably add this movie to their list. Does George Lucas really owe you anything?

The People vs. George Lucas @ Hot Docs

Thunder Soul

The story of band leader/teacher Conrad “Prof” Johnson and his extraordinary high school funk group The Kashmere Stage Band. Thunder Soul promises amazing music and a truly great story about a little known but highly influential group of musicans.

Thunder Soul @ Hot Docs

Stay tuned for our reviews of films playing at Hot Docs over the next few weeks.

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