We talk to documentarian and photographer Lauren Greenfield about her latest project, The Queen of Versailles, and the challenges of making extremely rich Americans sympathetic.
Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance is one of those boilerplate hero worship documentaries that lionizes a subject through interviews with adoring friends, fans and colleagues. It does show why Joffrey was important to the craft, and even the fleeting glimpses of archival footage of his company in action are enough to gain an appreciation for the tremendous influence he had on the art form, but it’s a little ironic and very unfortunate that the doc is so pedestrian in terms of filmmaking craft when compared to the style of dance the movie’s subject shunned throughout his career.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has made many confusing policy choices during the first two years of his tenure. But for the filmmakers behind the new doc Between The Lines, it was his ‘war of graffiti’ that made the least sense. In a city with so many other problems, why was the most powerful mayor in Canada declaring war on ‘kids with paint and anger’? Brian Crosby spoke with producer James Meers about the doc (part of the Hot Docs' Docignite Project), graffiti as art, and getting Mayor Ford involved in the film.
The story of Joshua Milton Blahyi is a difficult one to peg down, but in Daniele Anastasion and Eric Strauss’ documentary The Redemption of General Butt Naked , the filmmakers examine a man who has found God but who might have been so notorious that no amount of divine salvation could ever help in this life or the next.
What sets Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern’s rock and roll documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits apart from other similar films isn’t necessarily the music of defunct post-rock pioneers LCD Soundsystem, but the willingness to explore a deeper human element behind the creative process rather than simply stroking the egos of the people involved.
Although still nothing more than just another concert film collaboration between icons Neil Young and Jonathan Demme, it still works largely on the strengths of the talents involved.
In the documentary Unfinished Spaces directors Alysa Nahmias and Benjamin Murray look at Cuba's unfinished and grand looking National Art Schools in a poignant way to depict the grey areas where politics, art, and commerce meet.
Oddly elegant for such a gritty project, the documentary Five Broken Cameras doesn't shed too much new light on the Israeli/Palestine conflict, but it will definitely leave audiences feeling angry and confused in some of the best possible ways.
The environmental advocacy documentary Kivalina Vs. Exxon could show Al Gore a thing or two by effectively putting a human face onto the issue of global warming in this portrait of a community faced with near extinction.
Don't let the name fool you, Indie Game: The Movie isn’t just something for gamers or geeks. The Kickstarter funded film follows several indie game designers as they struggle to complete their respective games - and it's a surprisingly familiar process. We sat down with filmmakers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky to discuss how they came to make a movie about game development, their Sundance success, and about some of the criticism that has been leveled at the film.
The very best kind of David and Goliath stories are the ones where the David in question eventually wins out. However in his battle against fruit giant Dole Foods, victory never feels completely assured for Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten. Big Boys Gone Bananas!* is an autobiographical documentary about Gertten's protracted moral and legal fight to get his 2009 doc Bananas!* released. The film is essentially a documentary about a documentary, with the director of both movies becoming the central character in his own story.
We sat down with China Heavyweight director Yung Chang to talk about making a documentary about boxing in a country where the sport was outlawed for decades.
After premiering recently at Toronto's Hot Docs film festival, the documentary Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire debuts tonight on HBO Canada. The film follows Theoren Fleury - among the most controversial and memorable figures in contemporary hockey history. Director Larry Day paints a shocking and honest portrait of a man who has battled personal demons, addiction, and sexual abuse.
Dork Shelf talks to the director of Hot Docs 2012 selection We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, Brian Knappenberger, about his fascination with Anonymous and his approach to making a film about and for the internet age.
As we reach the mid-point of Hot Docs 2012, we take a look at An Affair of the Heart, Canned Dreams, Shut Up and Play the Hits, Soldier/Citizen, Breath, Love Story, and Only the Young.