Hot Docs: A Simple Rhythm [Tess Girard, 2010]

Toronto – Rhythm is a dancer.  Rhythm is gonna get you.  Get rhythm when you get the blues.  These are just a few of the words of wisdom spoken (or rather, sung) on the topic of rhythm.  But what is rhythm really?  According to  A Simple Rhythm, it’s the basis of all life and pretty much everything relies on rhythm.  It exists at a cellular level.  In a sense then, music is everything and everything is music.  This is a concept I can get behind. 

Through interviews with various scientists, musicians and other experts, director Tess Girard presents her argument.  One of the most memorable subjects is Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think fame, who explains the concept behind his Happiness Project and how it illustrates the rhythm and musicality that can exist in everyday life and in people’s patterns of speech.  One scene in particular that stands out is when he shows his daughters how to listen to their heartbeats and then describe what they hear.  It’s not only a cute scene, but a nice encapsulation of the basic theme of the entire film. 

There are several other effective scenes, including the use of the metronome as a visual aid and talk of circadian rhythms and other biological examples.  I could go on about the deeper meaning of rhythm, but instead I present you this 1989 clip from a BBC kids music program.  Why?  Because it’s awesome. 


Sat, May 7 6:30 PM, Cumberland Four
Sun, May 8 3:45 PM, ROM Theatre

Posted on by Paul in Hot Docs

Add a Comment