picks for the hottest films from the first 25 years of Hot Docs.
-Food for Thought: Maya Gallus's The Heat - Chatting with the director of Hot Docs' opening night film about female chefs breaking through a male-dominated field.
-A Song of Reconciliation: The Power of Gurrumul - Director Paul Williams and producer Shannon Swan discuss their film about the late Australian singer.
-"Rocky Mountain High: Grant Baldwin's The Mountain Life" - Be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the mountains in this visually stunning trek with a mother-daughter duo.
-"Ain't that America: The Films of Barbara Kopple" - a look at the career of Barbara Kopple, this year's Outstanding Achievement Retrospective subject at Hot Docs. She's easily my favourite documentary filmmaker. Harlan County, USA is my pick for the best doc ever made.
-"An Acadian Tragedy: Samara Chadwick's 1999": chatted with director Samara Chadwick about her haunting film that returns to her high school in Moncton, New Brunswick, which saw a wave of suicides at the eve of the new Millennium.
- "Tube Stakes: Michael Sparaga's United We Fan": Director Michael Sparaga discusses his film about passionate TV fans who campaign to save their favourite shows.
-The American Meme
-Andy Irons: Kissed by God
-Bathtubs Over Broadway
-Call Her Ganda
-Don't Be Nice
-Eternity Never Surrendered
-I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story
-Letter from Masanjia
-On Her Shoulders
-Pick of the Litter
-The Reckoning: Hollywood's Worst Kept Secret
-Shorts: Prince's Tale and Turning Tables
-The Strange Sound of Happiness
-Witkin & Witkin
(Canada, 95 min.)
Written and directed by Darren Curtis
Starring: Nabil Rajo, Jahmil French, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Oluniké Adeliyi, Fanny Mallette, Brent Skagford, Théo Pellerin
One of my guilty pleasure when it comes to cheap Canadian cinema nobody’s heard of is Darren Curtis and Pat Kiely’s cracked-out and ridiculous comedy Who is KK Downey? A wonderful discovery at the 2008 Kingston Canadian Film Festival that some of my friends still cite as a reason why they won’t see Canadian films with me, KK Downey is a riotously silly parody of faux-author JT LeRoy who gained fame by penning a bestseller allegedly based on a previous life as a truck stop hustler. It’s a hoot largely due to its madcap direction and to Curtis’s fearlessly looney performance as the privileged white guy who crafts a story of oppression to sell his shitty book.