Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Hot Docs 08 - Wrap Up


I have to say that Hot Docs was quite the experience! Never have I seen that many documentaries in such a short period of time: 20 films in about a week. It was clear that the fans love their documentaries as there was always energy in the theatre and healthy rush lines. Let's take a look at some of the stand out films:

Artistic work of wonder: Man on Wire, it is amazing to see someone with such a strong, singular artistic vision. Absolutely astounding.

Most Haunting: Men of the Lake

Most Inspiring: Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, a beautiful film and well deserved of receiving a standing ovation

Quintessentially Canadian: Passage, where some moments reminded me of Canadian Heritage Minutes.

Best Day: Day 7, all the films were fantastic: Passage, Man on Wire and Bigger, Stronger, Faster *

Best Line: "Mindblowing!" - Shot in Bombay

Best experience & audience: Anvil! The Story of Anvil, the audience was so pumped, there were Anvil fans all about and the band & director were present for the Q&A. Tons of fun.

Best Q&A's: Eleven Minutes with Jay McCarroll and directors Rob Tate and Michael Selditch. Very entertaining.

Still has me thinking: Corridor #8, Mechanical Love, The Unbearable Whiteness of Being, Second Skin and Bigger, Stronger, Faster *

The weird and bizarre: Green Porno, Isabella Rossellini as various bugs delightfully bizarre.

Favourite Short: I'm including two, Peter and Ben because it was the cutest film I've seen in ages and Kids + Money for it's shocking insight to LA kids and their relationship with money

Almost to hard to watch: Be Like Others. I can't imagine what it would be like to be faced with having a sex change operation to hopefully lead to being accepted for who you are.

Wasn't expecting: TTC Strike! Totally through a wrench in the works for the final weekend, and leads right into .....

Wish I hadn't missed: Planet B-Boy, Dreams with Sharp Teeth and Blast!

Unexpectedly loved: Bigger, Stronger, Faster *. Although I'm not American and it's been years since I lifted weights I felt very connected to the common experience of growing up watching wrestling and action movies.

Fullest Screenings: Passage, Man on Wire, The Unbearable Whiteness of Being and Be Like Others

Most Enthusiastic Crowd: Eleven Minutes, Man on Wire

The festival experience was more than the films, but full of film lovers too. I got catch up with Bob from Eternal Sunshine of the Logical Mind as well as meet James from Toronto Screen Shots and Milton.

Hot Docs 2008 ran from April 17-27/08 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Jamie said...

Wow, sounds action-packed and so varied! I hope to experience even more of it next year. At least I could vicariously enjoy it here :) Thanks, Movie Moxie!

SCAW Webmaster said...

Hey Shannon,

Great wrapup. We saw many of the same films and you did a good summary about each one & echoed my sentiments. Not much to add. Glad to have met you too. See you in September at TIFF, I hope.



Suzie Ridler said...

Excellent Shannon! I love your wrap ups, they give enough info to help me focus on the ones I really want to see plus I love getting the general feel of your overall experience. Just seeing one documentary can have me thinking for days, I can't imagine seeing 20!

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