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Showing posts from 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, soAlcan 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 restorati…

Hot Docs: There's Something About the Women...

The Women and the Passenger
Wed, May 1 1:00 PM
Scotiabank 3
Thu, May 2 9:15 PM
Scotiabank 4
Thanks to directors Patricia Correa and Valentina Mac-Pherson, we get to enter a world that some of us would normally not have access to: a tryst motel and the chamber maids who work there. The hotel, El Passajero (The Passenger) is like a lush, aging madam and the extravagantly decorated chambers, her lavish wardrobe that would be elegant if not for their tired excess. The clientele book rooms for illicit affairs as well as romantic couples' retreats, and the hotel offers rooms and menus to meet various budgets, tastes, and needs. As they change sheets and dust the rooms, four chamber maids share insider stories about the patrons and reflections on their own love life and past and present relationships. A young maid talks about meeting her boyfriend, another talks about the prospect of introducing one of the hotel's furniture pieces, a muli-purpose chair, to her husband, while others ta…

Hot Docs Cornucopia

Whew! I've had a busy few days covering Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Film Festival (April 25 - May 5, 2013). Some of my time has been spent viewing media screeners, never as good as watching films on the big screen, but it's my way of giving you the heads up on a few films--mostly through The More the Merrier's Facebook page ( and twitter (

I always try to watch the social docs because I love observing how people go about their daily lives. The political docs are not my first choice any more. Having been on the planet a few decades, I find I can't stare Truth in the face as often as I used to. Not that I hide my head in the sand, it's just that I now need something to balance out the ugliness that I'm constantly made aware of. So, if you're like me, then you will appreciate the films I've seen.

Felix Austria Mon, Apr 29 6:00 PM
Scotiabank 3
Sun, May 5 3:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightb…

The Circle asks: Where Did We Come From

First time director, BRAM CONJAERTS used money from his grad school projet to fund his first film, The Circle. Next Hot Docs screening is Sunday, May 5, 9:30pm at the Isabel Bader. DETAILS:

Nordic Films at TIFF KIDS International Film Festival2013

DID YOU KNOW my love of Nordic films was born out of attending Sprockets: The Toronto International Film Festival for Children? Well, Sprockets has morphed into TIFF KIDS International Film Festival, and Nordic flms continue to play a part in the festival's screening schedule. I attended the festival as an adult, but there is no reason why the children in your life can't get started on international films. Who knows, they may end of covering them at TIFF when they grow up. As for me, I continue to focus on Nordic films, and at TIFF10, I met and interviewed director, Fridrik Thór Fridriksson  who produced of one of my favourite films from Sprockets, Ikingut (2000).

Ella and Friends
When their beloved school is shut down by the schemes of a fame-hungry race-car driver, Ella and her friends must band together to take on their nemesis in the race of a lifetime! Wednesday April 17 12:15 PM Director: Taneli Mustonen
Country: Finland Year: 2012
Language: Finnish
Runtime: 8…

TANGO LIBRE: Are You Man Enough For This Chick Flick?...

Director: Frédéric Fonteyne
Country: France, Luxembourg, Belgium
Cast: François Damiens, Sergi López, Jan Hammenecker, Anne Paulicevich
Language: French, Spanish, subtitled in English
Runtime: 105mn
Year: 2012
Awards: Mostra de Venise 2012 : Prix spécial du Jury Orizzonti ; Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur 2012 ; Festival BFI du Film de Londres 2012 ; Festival du Film de Varsovie 2012 : Grand Prix
Rating: 14A

The provocative title of this post is meant to lure men who have never been to a film festival, or seen a foreign film, to go and see TANGO LIBRE at Cinéfranco. Along with this invitation, is a challenge to see how they would react to the given set up of a woman being the Queen Bee to not two, but three men and a teenage boy. Alice (Anne Paulicevich) is the woman around whom, the plot and the love, hinges. Alice loves to tango, but her husband, Fernand (Sergi López, whom I loved in Partir) is not into it, and neither is her…

Cinefranco Mixes It Up

APRIL 11, 8:40 PM, ROYAL CINEMA, 608 Carlton
Director: Daniel Cohen
Country: France
Cast: Michaël Youn, Jean Reno, Raphaëlle Agogué, Julien Boisselier
Language: French, subtitled in english
Runtime: 85mn
Year: 2012
Awards: Festival International du Film de Comédie de l’Alpe d’Huez 2012 ; Festival du Film francophone à Vienne 2012 ; Berlinale 2012 : Culinary Cinema
Rating: G

An amuse-bouche of a film starring, Jean Reno as a famous chef, being challenged to create gastronomic cuisine based on molecular technology (taken to extremes here!) and Michael Youn as a cook whose sensitive palate is offended by the pedestrian demands of diners. A formula film that succeeds based on the adage that if "it ain't broke, why fix it?" You know exactly where this film is taking you, and menues are a feast for the eyes, so relax follow where its lead. A perfect film for those who want to step into the waters of viewing foreign films.