Day 266. First Three

You remember I mentioned I’d be seeing ten films at this year’s HotDocs? Well, I’ve now seen three of them. “Ballerina”, “Anita” and “Tough Bond”. With the exception 3moviesof Anita, I can’t say I loved all of them. But I am happy I saw them.

Does that make any sense at all? Probably not. It does to me, though. Because there was something in all three I found worth seeing.

“Ballerina” was, perhaps, the biggest surprise. Why, I’m not exactly sure.

Maybe because I’ve seen several films on dance and dancers over the years, so now I have pre-conceived notions. And a couple of years ago at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) I saw “Pina”, an absolutely magnificent Wim Wenders documentary about Pina Bausch, a famous German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director.

Shot on 3D it has, for me, forever changed my expectations for this genre of film.

So maybe it just wasn’t ever going to be possible for me to love “Ballerina”. Maybe I was just unable to appreciate it, on its

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Day 262. Movie Madness

Seems like it was just yesterday I was writing about how busy the month of April was going to be for me.  And here we are.  April’s just about over.  Amazing.  It has projectorbeen a fully-packed month, both work wise and socially.

And “no”, I’m not complaining.  It’s been terrific.  I was sure, as I looked ahead, I’d be exhausted.  But I’m not.  I’ve had blogs and ads to write for clients, an event to plan, videos to shoot and, of course, my own writing to work on.  There’ve been brunches, lunches, dinners, coffees and drinks.  And a couple of nights out at the theatre.

Hot Docs (Canadian international documentary festival) starts tonight and lasts until May 5.  A friend and I are seeing ten (culled from a choice of 205).  So the month will end on as busy a note as it began.

Anyone who knows me well, will be surprised I’m seeing so few films.  I always bought the fifty-movie pass for TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), which meant I was seeing five or six movies every day for ten days.  Most people I told thought I was nuts.  They never believed I’d remember what I’d seen. Continue reading

Day 243. The End

I’ve loved movies since I was a little girl.  I came by it honestly.  My mother loved them, too.  I grew up hearing her stories of how, every weekend, she paid a nickel tofilm see a movie and a show, when she was young.   A vaudeville act, a singer, a tap dancer, whatever.

Movies were her passion her entire life.  In fact we were planning to go to a movie the afternoon she fell, and broke her hip.  An event she never recovered from, unfortunately.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear I could go to the movies every single day.

Which is why I can’t let the week go by without mentioning Roger Ebert.

In my opinion, he is as synonymous with the film industry as the 45-foot high Hollywood sign situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains, in Los Angeles.  In my opinion, he is as synonymous with the film industry as the actors, themselves.

A phenomenon I bore witness to, every year at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).  There he’d be, with his wife, holding hands as they walked from one theatre to the next.  And wouldn’t you know, amid the hundreds and hundreds of critics, reporters and journalists who were also there, he’s the one who always stood out.  He had as Continue reading

Day 218. Missing Musician

Yesterday I made a passing reference to a film I’d seen over the weekend.  It was Saturday afternoon, we went.  And the movie was absolutely amazing.  Extraordinary, I’d go so far as to say.  “Searching For Sugar rodgriguezMan” is a Swedish-British documentary about an American folk musician, Sixto Rodriguez.

Have you ever heard of him?  I hadn’t until a friend of mine mentioned, at least a couple of months ago, she wanted to see the movie.  She is one of the most avid fans of music I know.  All genres.  So of course she knows who he is.  And of course, she’s been a fan of his for quite a while.  We do talk about music a fair bit, so it’s interesting we never talked about him, until now.

Before I go on, just let me say, now I’ve heard him sing and, in particular, listened to his lyrics (in most of his Continue reading

Day 181. Extraordinary Reunion

In 1965 a white, Jewish, twenty-one year old living in Toronto was sitting, in his family home, watching the news on television.  What he saw so moved him, so civilrightsdisgusted him, he was compelled to go to Greenwood, Mississippi.  To help.  To do something.  To get involved.  To join the fight for equal rights. To be part of the Civil Rights Movement.

To help black residents register to vote.

The twenty-one year old Canadian was Paul Saltzman; and, while on his way into a Greenwood courthouse, he was stopped, and chased, by three white youths.  Even though he ran for his life, they caught up with him.  One slugged him, knocking him to the ground.  In hindsight he was very lucky.  They might just as easily have shot Continue reading

Day 54. Repeating Cycles

At the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), I saw a movie that was so visually stunning it literally took my breath away.  As I sat there, totally mesmerized, I had three thoughts:  One, I didn’t want the movie to ever end.  Two, I was so lucky to be seeing it, because I was sure it would never make it into a mainstream theatre.  Three, if I could have, I would have stayed right there, and watched it all over again.

For that matter, if I’d been told, right there and then, that I couldn’t see any of the other movies I had tickets for, I would have gone home more than happy.  That’s how sated I was.

Well it’s been a little over a year since that incredible evening and yesterday, in the Toronto Globe & Mail Arts Section, I read that Samsara will be playing in Toronto, beginning next Friday, October 5.

If you’re looking for me, that’s where I’ll be.  Maybe more than once, too.

Before I say another word about the film, here’s what Wikipedia says about what its name, Continue reading