Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Hot Docs 2010 Day 5 - Monday May 3, 2010
Day 5 of Hot Docs I went with just 2 film so the day felt a little short & sweet, but I ended up with 2 great films (and to repeat the 2-ness, they both has 2 directors and all were present at the screenings), both played to completely filled audiences at the Isabel Bader Theatre. So although it was only 2 films, they both filled with openness, sharing and personal journeys that I felt honoured to be able to hear.
Also check out my Hot Docs 2010 Day 5 Vlog!
Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work
Dir: Ricki Stern & Annie Sundberg
A stunning and open documentary focusing on a year in the life of Joan Rivers: actress & comedienne extraordinaire. Anyone who has heard her will not be surprized that this that not only is she very funny, she's extremely frank about her life as well. With an uncompromising drive to work and paper datebook that wants to be filled, we spend lots of time with her as she discusses the ups and downs of her career and life. It floored me to see the reminder that even after her wealth of experiences that each and every performance comes with the emotions of will they like me? I always feel for artists, especially performing artists, that this must be such a weight to bear and we see here that it just keeps weighing but Joan is brave enough to just keep at it. She was always willing to do the work. Always. For that alone, she's an inspiration.
See selections from the Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work Intro and Q&A with directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg here
See also: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work DVD Review
Joan Rivers - A Piece of Work directors Annie Sundberg, Ricki Stern and Hot Docs programmer Myrcia Watamaniuk
Steam of Life / Miesten vuoro
Dir: Joonas Berghäll & Mika Hotakainen
To say the premise alone of Steam of Life / Miesten vuoro, which is Finnish men talking in sauna's, really doesn't do it's justice. It's the truth - the film is all about Finnish men talking in sauna's, which got me curious but not hooked, which is why I'm thrilled I saw a clip during the press conference which completely sold me on the film. Seeing men express emotion feels like quite the rare thing, and I gathered from the Q&A that this is particularly rare for Finnish men, which made it all the more touching to hear these stories from them of love and of loss. The stories themselves are often heartbreaking, and you can feel that they are words that are rarely spoken the film gives the opportunity not only for people to connect with the stories but for a release for the men telling them. Extremely powerful from all sides, it's a film that resonated strongly with the audience and is sure to be an audience favourite as not only are the stories emotionally powerful but the film also seamlessly incorporates humour as well, giving the audience even more than it could ask for. I'm thrilled and honoured that I had an opportunity to see it.
It's one of the few films that the audience didn't ask the directors if the men had seen the film and what their reaction was. If anyone went to the other screening of it, I'd love to hear if this was asked and what the response was.
See selections from the Steam of Life / Miesten vuoro with directors Jonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen here
Steam of Life directors Mika Hotakainen & Jonas Berghäll
Another packed house at the Bader!
To see more about the festival screenings check out the festival schedule online at the Hot Docs website or purchase tickets at the online box office.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival runs from April 29 - May 9, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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