Reviews

Hot Docs – Music

Posted on by Wade in Everything, Hot Docs, Movies | Leave a comment

hot docs

Well the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival announced its official line up this past week. For those of you who don’t know, Hot Docs is happening in Toronto from April 17th – 27th and is the best film event that happens here each year. Here is why:

1. The films are good
– Truth be told, most people who make documentaries are not film people. They are regular people who have access to a good story and decide to get into filmmaking. Story telling is an art and this festival has stories that you didn’t even know existed.

2. It is accessible and you can afford to go – My suggestion is to get a 10 pass for only $90. This pass is transferable, so you can split the cost with a buddy and you can each see 5 movies for $45. My only suggestion is to get your tickets NOW. Two weeks before the festival, the high profile films will be sold out.

Make sure you check out the full schedule. Take the time and spend an hour reading through the films. You will find a few that will speak to you.

Lets start with some docs about music.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil
anvil
At the age of 14, best friends Lips and Robb Reiner make a pact to rock together forever. Their band Anvil, hailed as the “demigods of Canadian metal,” influences a musical generation including Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Though Anvil never makes it big, they never stop playing or believing. Following a calamitous European tour, Lips and Robb, now well into their 50s, set off to record their 13th album, This Is Thirteen, in one last attempt to fulfill their boyhood dream.

All Together Now
Music is the star in this dizzying documentary about Montréal-based Cirque du Soleil’s new Beatles-inspired Las Vegas show, Love. After three years of negotiations and with a budget of $180 million, director Dominic Champagne has to wrangle an international cast and crew of 500, and an approvals process that includes the founders of Cirque, the Beatles holding company, Apple Corps Ltd., Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison’s widow Olivia, and Yoko Ono-one wonders how he didn’t have a nervous breakdown. With fabulous archival footage and spectacular performances-this is one behind-the-scenes story you won’t want to miss.

Talking Guitars
Talking Guitars is an engrossing portrait of master guitar craftsman, Flip Scipio, an unassuming Dutchman with an obsession. Based in New York, Flip is revered in the music industry. His clients include Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Ben Taylor, Paul Simon, David Tronzo, Leni Stern and Carly Simon. The film is a musical journey that follows Flip from his quiet, sunny workshop to captivating face-to-face sessions with his famous clients. Watching him at work is as interesting as hearing the musicians play. The film draws you into his world, and makes you want to hear what he hears

Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London
tonight
One of the few filmmakers trusted within the perfumed gardens of the 1960s Brit rock illuminati, Peter Whitehead was allowed unparalleled access into the centre of the pop circle to capture the moment for his kaleidoscopic film. With contributions from the likes of Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, Julie Christie, Lee Marvin and David Hockney, Tonite presents a dazzling and intimate record from the very core of the “in-crowd.” With music by Pink Floyd, among many others. “Not a documentary in any ordinary sense,” wrote Variety, “but rather an impressionistic view of the ‘land of mod’ as seen by a sympathetic participant.”

Monterey Pop
This vanguard concert film is an explosive portrayal of the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival at the height of the Summer of Love. Monterey launched the careers of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding and ushered in a new era of rock ‘n’ roll. Other performances by artists like Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, The Who and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar are vividly captured by both Ricky Leacock and Al Maysles, who were camera operators. Monterey Pop lives up to its legendary status, making it as timeless as it is powerful.

Planet B-Boy
b-boy
Kids in Osaka, Paris, Seoul and Las Vegas are all doing it-B-boying, breakin’, bustin’ moves you’ve gotta see to believe! Planet B-Boy features insane dance performances, unforgettable power moves, impossible synchronization and sweet choreography. The film tracks the evolution of a street dance turned universal art form, culminating in an international showdown. B-boy crews from 18 different countries face-off in Germany at the annual “Battle of the Year” World Championships, eager to reprazent.

haiku movie reviews: Darjeeling Limited, Eastern Promises

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything, Movies | Leave a comment

Darjeeling Limited – 4/5

Colorful Backdrop
Flawed Brothers On A Journey
Funny Times ahead

Eastern Promises – 4/5

Dont Mess With Viggo
Not Even if he is nude
Or you will get owned

Movie Review: Joy Division

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything, Movies | 1 Comment

Toronto – Man I had written this ridiculously awesome post about this movie, and how it is that I got tickets to see this at tiff, but then i accidentally hit forward on my web browser and now its all gone, so what you have left is whatever i write now, in my fragile, broken state of mind as I mourn the death of my previous post.

The documentary I saw was : Joy Division

As you have most likely deduced, it is a documentary about the band Joy Division, one of the most influential bands in the past thirty years. Don’t believe me? what other band has had 1 documentary and TWO full length movies made about them. Not even Bono can pull that shit off, no matter how many trips he makes to Africa.

Needless to say, I was super excited to see this documentary, as Joy Division is one of my favorite bands ever. So imagine my joy when the Tiff person said that Peter Hook was in the house and was giving Q and A sessions after! Holy crap, da hook is in da house. Too bad I had to go to vfest after.

So details about the documentary .. basically, its about how the band formed, how they made it big, and of course the Ian Curtis suicide. The great thing about this film was that it had everyone you would want to hear from in a Joy Division documentary, aside from Ian Curtis. All the former members were there, Tony Wilson, Peter Seville, Anton Corbjin and even Ian Curtis’s belgian waffle – Annik Honore. The amount of information and footage shown in this documentary was great. There were many stories I have not heard before and its just great to see a nicely done music documentary.

In conclusion – if you are a fan of joy division, new order or any sort of respectable music – its a much watch. If you are a fan of anything interesting, then its also a must watch. If you are thinking about suicide, and wonder if people will grieve a long time for you after you die (no, they’ll form new order), you should probably watch this too.

5/5

Here is a link to the wiki entry for Joy Division if you have not heard of them (shame on you…and your mother)

here is a youtube video of their song Love Will Tear Us Apart

Movie Review: Bourne Ultimatum

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts, Everything, Movies | 1 Comment

Toronto – Any debate of Bonds vs Bourne ends with this movie. Oh my god was it fantastic. Some naysayers will say that this movie was just one big chase scene, or a movie from one chase scene to another, but for pure adrenaline sakes, this movie was just off the charts. For those who don’t know, Bourne Ultimatum is the last (maybe) movie for the Bourne series. The first was one was good will hunting, where we learn how Jason Bourne became an adult, then he became a spy and killed Robin Williams, Ben Affleck (twice) and Minnie Driver in the prequel to the Bourne Series (to be released still). Anyway, in this movie, Bourne is mad and trying to figure out how it all went wrong. Somehow this leads him to places like London, Madrid, Tangiers and New York City.

But really, who cares about the plot. This is the summer baby! its all about mindless action and this movie definitely delivers. There are some chase/fight scenes in this movie that will definitely impress and its non stop action for pretty much two hours. I think it is probably the best action movie of the summer. My only complain would be the over-usage of quick zooms and cuts, but that is pretty much every action movie now days.

5/5