Hot Docs Preview: Anote’s Ark, Matthieu Rytz

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Anote’s Ark is a beautifully shot documentary about the effect of rising sea levels on the South Pacific island of Kiribati. Situated in the Pacific near the equator, Kiribati is a nation that comprises of numerous atolls and islands. These islands are only a few meters above sea levels are currently in danger of being wiped off the face of the Earth with rising sea levels and change in weather patterns.

The film primarily follows two individuals – the president of Kiribati and a mother. While the president furiously travels the globe seeking a solution to his island’s problems, the mother has to evaluate things on a much more personal level, assessing how to care for her family as her home gets continually flooded. Not really mentioned in the film are the economical factors that would drive citizens to travel abroad for work.

The film is a stark reminder of the natural powers of the Earth and provides great insight into how climate change can greatly affect people in other areas of the world instead of just being a minor nuisance.

Check it out.

Wed, May 2 @ 10:15 AM TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Fri, May 4 @ 1:00 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

More info here

Hot Docs Preview: The Republic of Desire, Hao Wu

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Eerily similar to what you would think was a Black Mirror episode, The Republic of Desire is an interesting and ultimately depressing look at the world of live streaming in China.

In China, live streaming has become extremely popular, and much like youtube stars, the promise of fame and fortune has driven a lot of individuals to great measures to attain popularity online. The film follows the a few of these online celebrities as they attempt to win an annual competition that promises fame and reward. We also follow other players in the world of live streaming, including the fans and the people behind agencies that promote the personalities.

Without getting too much in the movie, it is pretty clear that desire is a strong theme in the movie – there is desire for fame, desire for money, desire for recognition, desire for friends and a desire for identity. Everyone in this film is in the search of something and it brings to the forefront just how disconnected we have become from each other as we become more connected on the internet.

There is a lot going on in this film to digest and it makes you wonder where we are heading as a society. Check it out.

Sat, Apr 28 @ 9:00 PM Hart House Theatre
Mon, Apr 30 @ 3:00 PM Scotiabank Theatre 4
Sat, May 5 @ 6:15 PM Revue Cinema

Click here for more info

Hot Docs Preview: The Cleaners, Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck

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The Cleaners is an astonishing, terrifying and disturbing look at the hidden side of the internet. While we celebrate the fact we are able to share our thoughts and content to anyone and everyone across the globe, we learn there’s always a catch.

On the internet, most of us are content with sharing memes, random life updates and curated pictures of our lunches. However there is a small section of society who want to share more nefarious things. TPropaganda, acts of violence and nudity are among the nastier things on the internet and throughout this film, we realized that’s just peeling back the top layer. This content doesn’t often reach the masses, so the question is … so who moderates them?

The Cleaners is a film about the people who moderate our content. Based out of a non descript office in Manila and working as third party contractors for our tech giants, the people we meet really do look like they have seen it all.

The film brings us insight into the lives of these people but also dives into many other topics including right free speech, corporate and government responsibilities on the web and also contract work in poor countries. It is a very well rounded and slick film that brings forth a ton of information without exercising judgement and leaves a lot of food for thought. It’s not a very happy topic as one would imagine but it’s definitely one that should be looked at.

Highly recommended

Wednesday May 2nd @ Scotiabank: 2:45 pm
Friday May 4th @ Revue: 9 pm

For more information, go to this page

Concert Review: Wreckless Eric, April 11, The Baby G

Posted on by Paul in Concerts | Leave a comment


Near the beginning of his set at The Baby G, Eric Goulden, better known as Wreckless Eric, announced that while he had every intention of planning things out a bit better, he would be working without a setlist. “I’m just finding my way,” he admitted, later wondering aloud about which songs to play – old songs to please the old guys, new songs to confuse everyone, or stuff from the middle of his “illustrious career.” Unsurprisingly, he settled on a mix of songs from throughout his career, making sure to include enough of the new stuff since he is touring behind his new album Construction Time & Demolition.

And while new songs like “They Don’t Mean No Harm” and classics like “A Pop Song” and his best known song “The Whole Wide World” sounded great and went over well, his stage banter ended up being just as important a part of the show. Working without a setlist or a band, Goulden was free to go off in whatever direction he wanted, which often included digressions into talking about whatever topic he felt like, be it touring life, crossing the border, or American politics (he combined the latter two topics when assuming that Canadian border guards must just expect that anyone crossing over from the US are looking to take a break from Trumpland). Goulden often seemed to be amusing himself with his own banter, which was admittedly kind of funny, the oddest and funniest being a bit on whether one could have a career as a professional sleeper – commenting how he would want new pyjamas for every job like how a mechanic changes his rubber gloves for each new job. “My pyjamas would be cotton though, not rubber … that might send the wrong message. I’m not sure why I’m telling you all this. I’m just trying to figure out my life.”

Wreckless Eric may have claimed to be just finding his way early on in the night, but while he may have been working without a map, so to speak, he definitely found his way – and the audience was happy enough to follow along on the trip.

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