Reviews

Hot Docs Preview: Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (Joan Tosoni, Martha Kehoe, 2018)

Posted on by Paul in Hot Docs | Leave a comment

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From his beginnings in the 1960s Yorkville scene through his rise to success and up to the present day, there’s no denying that Gordon Lightfoot is an absolute legend of Canadian music. Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could read My Mind takes a look at that legend, examining the life and career of Lightfoot through all of its ups and downs.

Through a mix of archival footage and extensive interviews with Lightfoot himself as well as many other contemporaries and admirers (including Ian and Sylvia,The Good Brothers, Murray McLachlan, Randy Bachman, Ronnie Hawkins, Sarah McLachlan, Steve Earle and um, Alec Baldwin … yeah, I don’t get that last one either), directors Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe delve into Lightfoot’s history and influence.

However, the filmmakers don’t shy away from looking at some of Lightfoot’s darker moments as well, presenting an interesting portrait of the man that will appeal to fans as well as those looking to learn a bit more about an icon of Canadian music.

Screenings:
Sat, Apr 27, 6:45 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Tue, Apr 30, 6:30 PM Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Hot Docs Preview: The Wandering Chef [Hye-Ryeong Park, 2018]

Posted on by Ricky in Hot Docs | Leave a comment

wanderingchef

The Wandering Chef is a slow moving yet moving documentary that explores a famous chef and a friend he happens to have met while wandering the countryside.

Yim Gi-Ho is a famous Korean chef who focuses on making something out of nothing. Throughout the film, you will find him picking ragged weeds and plants from a practically barren countryside and making seemingly Michelin star quality food out of it. However, this film is more than that, as it explores a relationship that Yim develops with an elderly lady that was built on the foundation of a communal meal.

The film looks at what food means to people and the bonds that can be derived from it. Foodies will love watching the chef forage and ultimately make tasty meals out of seemingly nothing but the core of the film explores the relationships of people through food.

Screenings:
Wed, May 1 | 6:30 PM Hart House Theatre
Thu, May 2 | 3:00 PM Scotiabank Theatre 3
Fri, May 3 | 9:30 PM Isabel Bader Theatre

Find out more about the film here

Hot Docs Preview: The Pickup Game [Matthew O’ Connor, Barnaby O’ Connor, 2019]

Posted on by Ricky in Hot Docs | Leave a comment

pickupgame

A documentary that will surely infuriate, The Pickup Game is a film that exposes the pickup artist industry. The film digs into the origin, the mythology and what the industry is like today. I’m surprised that the film actually included a lot of testimonials and footage provided by the pickup artist themselves. My roommate watched the screener with me and recognized the pickup tactics a few days later when someone approached her and tried them on her, so it’s also informative in a weird way.

Normally this type of film would only explore the one obvious angle, but the directors also took it in several unexpected directions that helped to add additional dimensions to the world of pick up artists. Definitely recommended.

Screenings:
Tue, Apr 30 | 8:45 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox
Wed, May 1 | 10:15 AM TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Sat, May 4 | 3:15 PM Isabel Bader Theatre

Additional information here

SXSW Review: Yola, March 13, Radio Day Stage

Posted on by Gary in Everything, Reviews, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Yola

Yola (Carter) has a gift with her voice. It is not only the volume and clarity with which she holds your attention. No, your 8th grade English teacher can do that. It’s the deep connection she has with the audience, and the layered delivery that allows her to pack much emotion into melodies that I would in all likelihood completely disregard had they been sent across the radio.

Working from her debut album, tracks like the eponymous “Walk Through Fire” and “It Ain’t Easier”, for example, are both classic country numbers in my book. If this were to go down as the only country set I visited at SXSW after a decade, then so be it. (But if anyone asks I would still staunchly, in a principled manner, deny ever having been). Coming from a background of gun-for-hire for other bands, Yola’s natural strengths in soul and country really do shine through. Here, hitting notes and harmonies, while important, are secondary to the electric feeling that builds up in the air. It’s like she and Dan Auerbach guard a box (or a cowboy hat) with magic dust and sprinkle it sparingly.

There are some gems in the songwriting as well. There is nothing more “real” than the lyrics which with I nearly laughed my fellow passengers’ heads off on the L:

Nobody moves the way you do
walking ’round the grocery store
Only you know what you’re looking for

What kind of sick and twisted person would double-entendre with your expectations in a longingly expressive love song? The British kind, of course. Other highlights for me were “Shady Grove”, “Still Gone”, and “Faraway Look”.

Check out the video for “Faraway Look” below: