Friday, 6 May 2011

Hot Docs: What's On for Saturday

Here are my thoughts are some of the films that I have seen that play again this week-end. For complete details visit or call 416-637-5150 The festival runs until Sunday, May 8th.

Screening Saturday, May 7th (various venues)

The Chocolate Farmer-Indigenous land rights, fascinating images of the Belize landscape and chocolate farming, and a family story about a man who wants to pass his knowledge on to the next generation, who don't seem to value what his love of the land that is linked to their culture and history.

Limelight: Peter Gatien owned four of the top nightclubs in the US, including the Limelight, a historic converted church that saw thousands of people dancing and interacting each night. The influx of Ecstasy broke down class barriers and drove the techno and hop hop music scenes. Peter ran his clubs like a business, not a partier. He employed hundreds of people and gave many musicians their starts (Madonna, Jay-Z, P-Diddy etc), but New York Mayor Guilianni goal was to lower crime in New York and make a name for himself. Caught up in the furor of Giulini's mission, Gatien was accused of using his clubs as a gateway to sell drugs. "Get Gatien" was the mantra of law establishments, and the case against him cost the city and Gatien a lot of time and money. An interesting time and an interesting subject matter, but the non-stop music in the film was too relentless for me as the director tried to do a retro vibe to his documentary. Wish he had chosen music that fit each scene rather than used a monotonous melange of music that had no impact except to irritate the eardrums.

Matchmaking Mayor: I thoroughly enjoyed the short film, Two's A Crowd that screened before this feature documentary. The short followed two New Yorkers in their prime, who are married but have lived separately for the four years that they have been married. Economics has driven them to live together, creating a tension as each share their trepidation about moving in together. Will living together destroy the happiness and companionship they have established for four solid years? Hilarious look at non-traditional, monogamous love. I would buy this film because the subjects are so wonderfully funny individuals. As for Matchmaking Mayor, I enjoyed the scenes with the Mayor doing his planning to get single people in his village together so that they can procreate and contribute to the Earth's population and keep their village alive. However, when the doc strays away from him making his announcements to the village over the PA system, or strategizing over the street maps showing singles, the film suffers. There are too many wasted scenes with some of the singles. Had these been tightened up, the film would have been better. Still, worth seeing because of the Mayor's misguided but well-intentioned ambition.

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