Hot Docs: The Last Continent

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

Toronto – Sunny, sunny Toronto. On the first gorgeous weekend of the year, what better way to spend it then spend it indoors watching documentaries — about Antarctica? The scene was Sunday, at 12:45 and the documentary was “The Last Continent“. To spare you from my typical non nonchalant, semi-detailed-that-might-be-right-or-wrong description, Here is the description of the documentary, according to the press kit:

Biologist and filmmaker Jean Lemire, accompanied aboard the schooner Sedna IV by a
handpicked team of scientists and filmmakers, dared to experience climate change and
its consequences within Antarctica’s icy grip. More than a full year of daring, isolation, danger, intensity: it was a spectacular adventure full of risks and triumphs, joys and perils. The crew was prepared for the worst but faced even worse!

So how was this doc? The cinematography was off the charts. They get some excellent shots of everything in Antarctica. Icebergs, penguins, seals, birds, whales – everything looks nice. Most of this film, which runs about 90 minutes or so, you will be thinking ‘wow, this looks nice’.

The story itself is okay, as you can gather from press kit, the team is staying in Antarctica for a year, and they do face struggles, but it really doesn’t look or seem as hard as the summary makes it to be. I am sure its somewhat difficult, but from the movie itself, it barely touches on any of the difficulties of living in such a place. If you go from the documentary alone, it seems like a day in the park. That would be my only complaint. I was expecting like – mental breakdowns, arguments, hysteria, scurvy – and all I got was a seal pup that might have been abandoned by its mom, but not really.

The movie is in french, with subtitles and yeah, its about how climate change (and THE MAN) is destroying the environment. So as with a lot of french movies, theres a lot of pondering, rhetorical questions and green hippy subliminal messages splatter thru out the film. There are also some funny scenes which made a friend of mine compare it to ‘The Life Aquatic’.

Overall, I would recommend this movie – the cinematography is phenomenal and as green hippy as the messages you get from this film are, it is a valid one.


Hot Docs – Weekend Primer

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

Toronto – Every year, around this time, Toronto is home to the great Hot Docs Festival. It is North America’s largest documentary festival. There are all kinds of documentaries about all things that will probably depress you (as most documentaries do), but every year there are some quality documentaries that come out. Lets face it, documentaries are good information pieces and then when you go out afterwards to the bar or meet a girl at a party, you can recite some info you learn from these documentaries and impress them with your knowledge of the problems that some random kids in some non important third world country has. You can be like ‘Yea? Darfur? Have you heard of the issues they have in kazmikistan? Yea, its FAR WORSE then Darfur .. the kids there eat glass for desert’. It’ll get you props. Specially if you can shed a tear.

Anyways, here is some documentaries that interest me:

Emoticons (w/ Kids with Money)
Its about six girls obsessed with the internet. “these girls are lost souls in search of contact, consolation, help, friendship and love. “. I say, let them be obsessed with the internet, I work for an internet company, these people pay my bills probably.

Kids With Money
Its like a documentary version of the Hills, I gather. Some statement about consumerism is probably made.

7:15 @ Rom,

Carny (9:45 pm Saturday at Royal, other times available)
I imagine its about Carnies, so thats interesting enough by itself. It can also be about Carnivores, like Lions and Pumas. That’d be cool too. Either way, it should be good. Theres also a British Sea Power song called Canvey Island. I started that sentence thinking it was Carney Island, but I was wrong.

Montery Pop (11:55 pm Saturday, Bloor)
This movie is about the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, during the Summer of Love. You know, 1967, that year was nicely recapped in Forrest Gump. Expect a lot of Janis Joplin, and other hippies in this documentary. Also, Rick James saying ‘Coke .. its a hell of a drug’. Haha if only. I should make documentaries.

The Last Continent (12:45 @ Bloor, Sunday)
Its about Anarctica, its made by French-Canadians. Supposed to have some gorgeous pictures, being the Earthy guy that I am, that stuff appeals to me.

Junior (sunday, 7 pm at Alliance)
A documentary about Arnold’s 1993 movie about a man who gets preg– No, its actually a french canadian documentary about the lives of junior players. If you are a hockey fan, this will appeal to you.

Ps. Yes I know I don’t really have much information on these documentaries, but you can always click on the link to read the actual synopsis. I mean, those guys probably paid some publicist who probably spent a few hours typing up those descriptions.

Heres a song for all your troubles

Concert Review: Hot Chip, April 16, The Phoenix

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | 10 Comments

Toronto – Hot Chip live is awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. Theres really no other way to review this concert. The opening act – sucked. I don’t know who they were, but they seemed to think that rhyming in front of some electro beats can get it done. NOPE. They also ended one of the songs with one of those really large distortions of sound or something that was absolute rubbish and made me want to go cry for mama. Thank god they were done rather quickly.

Hot Chip came on some time after that, the break between the opening act and them was not very long, and that was great. From that point on, for about an hour and 20 minutes maybe, it was pure mayhem. Consisting of maybe five people or something, the band came on stage, said hi to everyone and proceeded to just rock it. I think they started out with ‘Shake a Fist’. I can’t recall. Either way, they went to ‘Hold On’ right afterwards and the concert shifted from a wow to a WHAAAAAAAAAAT. Their album material is nothing compared to their live show. The energy, the beats, the seamless transition from one song to the next – they had most people in the Phoenix moving (it is Toronto, town of the non mover mans).

By the time the faint beats of ‘Over and Over’ started churning thru the system halfway thru the set, they pretty had reach the point where you are like ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ to random strangers around you, and yes, that song sounds better live (I know, its possible) then it does on album.

Anyway, I could go on, but I am thinking you get the idea already. Hot Chip is spectacular live, you can not miss them if they are visiting your village. I think I danced so much I lost half the weight I gained while dining on fabulously great food in Asia. So that’s another bonus.

5 / 5

You can tell a concert is great when you are still pumped about it the next day. Now that’s a good time.

Grand Theft Bus, April 12th, El Mocambo

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything | 4 Comments

(Toronto) This past Saturday night, the well established Fredericton band, Grand Theft Bus, made an appearance here in Toronto for a CD release party at the El Mocambo for their latest, Made Upwards. As soon as I walk into the bar with my entourage of transplanted Frederictonians, I was greeted by fellow Frederictonian #84873, Chantelle Moobear, and her crew of transplanted Frederictonians. We gave each other the secret handshake and bought ourselves several rounds of Keiths. The night was off to a good start.

The last time I saw Grand Theft Bus live, some time in 2001, I remember them having a jammy, musical improvisation feel to them. Seeing them at the El Mocambo on Saturday night, I didn’t get this feel so much. They were tight, loud, a bit poppy, but still had the funk feel that I remembered. They were so funky that I found myself shuffling amongst my fellow Maritimers on the always sticky El Mocambo floor. The stand out performance of the night came from their shirtless drummer, Bob Deveau, who I was informed by several members of my entorage that he is one wicked drummer. Grand Theft Bus have some mad drums. Enough said.

If you ever find yourself on a bar stool somewhere between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia looking to make some conversation with the locals, throw out the name Grand Theft Bus and see who you hook.

Have a look for Grand Theft Bus in Halifax this Friday, April 18th, at the Seahorse.

Thanks to Kyle at Forward Music Group (more on them later)