Men of the Cloth
The only new film to open at The Bloor this week takes place in the niche and dying world of bespoke suit making. It’s not a bad movie overall, but you definitely need to have a keen and vested interest in how tailoring works to enjoy it.
Focusing primarily on a trio of aging tailors (one in New York, one in Italy, and one just outside of Philadelphia who just turned 90), director Vicki Vasilopoulos looks at the talent, dedication, and lifelong learning process that goes into being a tailor. There are plenty of great personal anecdotes about what led these men to their chosen calling, and a lot to be said about the three stages of suit making, how to use a thimble, praying to the patron saint of tailors (there is one, naturally), and how hard it has become to find suitable replacements in a profession that time seems to be passing by.
That’s all there is to it. It’s definitely not a good looking film (some scenes are so low-fi I wondered if I wasn’t watching a test print) and there isn’t a real thorough through line that Vasilopoulos seems to be following, but the facts are all there. It gets especially tedious down the stretch during a far too lengthy sequence of training apprentices that will strictly be for die hard fabric connoisseurs. It’s really only for the curious, but there’s some learning to be had for those who don’t already know what the film is laying down for the viewer. It’s custom made for the choir of people who would listen.
On Friday, July 11, at 3:30 p.m. director/producer Vicki Vasilopoulos will participate in a Q&A and will be joined by ‘The Bespokeman’ John De Laurentiis (founder of Le Firme Italian Designer Fashions), and retired master tailor Nello Sansone (former head tailor, Harry Rosen).
On Friday, July 11, at 6:15 p.m. director/producer Vicki Vasilopoulos will participate in a Q&A and will be joined by ‘The Bespokeman’ John De Laurentiis (founder of Le Firme Italian Designer Fashions), and master tailor Senior Francesco (Francesco Sr. Bespoke).
On Sunday, July 13, at 8:45 p.m. director/producer Vicki Vasilopoulos will participate in a Q&A and will be joined by ‘The Bespokeman’ John De Laurentiis (founder of Le Firme Italian Designer Fashions), master tailor Isaac Ely (owner, Isaac Ely Bespoke), and master tailor Sebastian Deluca(owner, Sebastian Tailors).
On Monday, July 14, at 8:45 p.m., Wednesday, July 16, at 9:15 p.m, and Thursday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m. The Bespokeman’ John De Laurentiis (founder of Le Firme Italian Designer Fashions) and master tailor Sebastian Deluca(owner, Sebastian Tailors) will participate in Q&As. They will be joined by director/producer Vicki Vasilopoulos via Skype.
On Thursday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m., Robert Ott, chair and associate professor, School of Fashion at Ryerson University will participate in a Q&A.
Also at The Bloor this week:
The other major release to hit The Bloor this week is actually a rerelease of the 1984 documentary Tosca’s Kiss (Saturday at 1pm, Monday at 6:30pm, Tuesday at 3:45pm, and Thursday at 3:30pm). The inspirational basis for Dustin Hoffman’s fictional directorial debut Quartet last year, Daniel Schmid’s film takes a look at the daily goings on at Milan’s Casa di Riposa, a retirement community for musicians founded by Verdi in the late 1800s. It pairs nicely with Men of the Cloth’s Italian-centric look at aging professionals.
The rest of the week is jam packed with special events, starting tonight with a special sing along screening of South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut at 9:30pm. Finally, someone has offered audiences a chance to sing and shout along with the gleefully deranged, Canada hating, toe tapping musical version of the hit TV show. Will there be punch and pie? Who knows? (Probably not, don’t get pissed if there isn’t.) I do have it on good authoriTAY that there will be Cheezy Poofs. I’m holding out for Snaky Smores.
If that isn’t edgy enough for you, world renowned sex columnist Dan Savage’s Hump Tour makes its way to the cinema on Saturday for two screenings made up of the world’s best amateur “dirty movies” at 7pm and 9pm.
If you would rather be shirtless and sweaty rooting for either the Germans or the Argentineans in the final game of the World Cup on Sunday, head to the Bloor for a free screening of the game! They have beer! (Note: Please do not be shirtless and sweaty at The Bloor. They will probably kick you out.)
As soon as the biggest sporting event of the year is over, The Bloor gets cultured with the first in their Exhibition on Screen fine arts series with Manet: Exploring Life on Sunday at 6:30pm. You might remember the guided tours in this series from when Cineplex first started rolling them out last year. These appear to be the exact same programs, but those were a lot of fun, and worth checking out for art lovers who can’t afford to learn about the masters up close.
Speaking of special series at The Bloor, two more continue this week. The Gender Matters series wraps up on Tuesday at 6:30pm with a screening of Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars, the story of one young Iranian woman who dreams of someday becoming an astronaut. The Toronto Star’s Linda Barnard will once again moderate the post film discussion, this time with Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first ever female astronaut and the first neurologist to ever go to space.
The Globe and Mail’s Foreign Dispatches series continues on Wednesday at 6:00pm (hosted by the paper’s Report on Business editor, Paul Waldie) with the economically minded and genuinely unnerving documentary Master of the Universe. Director Marc Bauder follows former German investment banker Rainer Voss as he looks back on the recent economic collapses around the world. It’s equally reflective and cautionary, and well worth checking out if you get a chance.
AND on top of all that, For No Good Reason, the recent documentary look at artist Ralph Steadman, comes to the Bloor for a pair of return engagements on Tuesday at 9:15pm and Thursday at 8:45pm.
I think that’s it. One new movie, but tons of stuff going on.