Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Hot Docs: Only the Lonely

Alcan Highway
Wed, May 1 9:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Thu, May 2 2:00 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Sun, May 5 6:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Ok, so Alcan Highway is a doc for the vehicle-curious; the Phineas Bogg type (Dick Van Dyke character) who would buy a junk heap like Chitty (as in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) because they can see it's hidden beauty, and they're going to be out there in the yard, tinkering under its hood until they prove it to you. Well, Hesse is that type of guy. Except instead of Chitty, there's a truck that's even older than Hesse (forty-something) sitting in Alaska that he buys with the intention of adding an equally old trailer and driving it to Vancouver where he hopes to settle for the remainder of his life. Why, Hesse wants to say good-bye to his Finnish homeland is never made clear, and it really doesn't matter because it's what happens along the way, and where he's headed that matters; that, and the tinkering that goes on with the restoration of his new, portable "home". We see Hesse argue with his travel companions, two mechanically inclined buddies who want to help him fulfill his dreams, but who can't stand Hesse's slow decision-making process, and sometime stubbornness. Hesse also meets some fine, upstanding Canadians who come to his aid with the old beater, and, courtesy of his journey we get to see some picture postcard shots of the Western Canada. So, get that guy/gal that you know who thinks that there's no better way to spend a Sunday than fixing something, and grab them a ticket to see this doc. Your mind might wander a bit, but they'll be focused on what Hesse and his friends should be doing to fix the truck and how they just might do things differently. As for me, I liked the way director, Aleksi Salmenperä just lets the film unfold, because I'm sure even he must have wanted to jump in and say to Hesse, "Come on, already! Get 'er done!".

Gangster of Love
Fri, May 3 9:00 PM
Scotiabank 3
Nedjeljko Babic (at left with his wife) is the Gangster of Love in Nebojsa Slijepcevic's film about a Croatian matchmaker who has seen many of his clients' meetings result in marriage. You can find him wherever there is a social event happening: bars, cafe's, bull vs. bull matches, peddling his CD of love songs and drumming up business for himself and mates for his clients. The main female subject of the film is Maya, a Bulgarian single mother who moved to Croatia in search of a better life away from her abusive husband.  Maya goes on many matches throughout the film, and each time we hope the match will take, but when the men's eyes land on her child, they are no longer interested. Stubborn, and desperately lonely as the men are, like in so many parts of the world, children are a deal breaker. Whether or not Maya finds a match is one thread of the film; other clients we follow are a German man who has heard wonderful things about Croatian women, a construction worker who worked hard abroad to make money and build a three-storey house, but has no wife to fill its emptiness. Then there is the extremely lonely, underemployed man who says he wants a mate, but finds excuses for why he won't find a suitable one. His friends posit that he is gay. Who knows? All we know from watching this film is that finding a true match is not easy, even with the help of a matchmaker who approaches the task with the intensity of a gangster cupid.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
April 25 - May 5, 2013

Box Office
Phone number: 416-637-5150
Address: 87 Avenue Road – Hazelton Lanes, Lower Level
Closest Subway: Museum or St. George
11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Individual tickets to regular screenings are $14.60. Tickets to Hot Docs late night screenings are $6.20. Hot Docs ticket prices do not include HST

Students (with valid ID) and seniors (60+) can attend daytime screenings (screenings before 5 pm) for free. Same-day tickets are available at the participating venue one hour before the first screening of the day, subject to availability

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