Thursday, May 10, 2012

I went to Hot Docs for a quick second and now I am writing some stuff about it.

Here are the docs I saw in my 48 hours in Canada.

Vivan Las Antipodas!
Charles Bradley: Soul of America
There Is No Sexual Rapport
Love Story
Ping Pong
We Are Wisconsin
Call Me Kuchu

By far my favorite was Vivan Las Antipodas! which might be my favorite doc of the year so far, if not top three.  I tweeted something about it having the visual grandeur of Samsara mixed with the emotional intimacy of Life in a Day.  But I failed to mention how desperately it made me want to jump on a plane and go somewhere, anywhere.  Hawaii, really. Oddly.

This fest has been on my "one day I'll go to there" list for a few years now, ever since my dear friend and Toronto cheerleader Alison began a campaign that somehow lambasted me for missing Hot Docs all the while she continued missing Sundance year after year. "But it's so easy!" She'd urge. "If you don't get in to the screening from the rush line, they give you a free ticket to see something else!"  I'm a sucker for a chill film festival. Combine documentaries and the Toronto setting? Done and done.

Vacation days are my currency, folks. Money's nice, but you can always get more, push comes to shove. Vacation days are finite.   Twenty - no more, no less. Christmas trip home to mom and dad, birthday long weekend, TIFF, Sundance, an indulgent week staying long past I should have gone home from SXSW - all of those needs to be crammed in to 20 precious days.

So, Hot Docs had to be a 48 hour sojourn. I am lucky to live an hour's flight from the city. I planned an eight or nine movie weekend and pulled it off.

I saw a nice mix of stuff I'd missed from SXSW, stuff that I'd never heard of before but jumped out at me in the program, and a few that weren't even on my radar til Twitter buzz chained my mind.

How about a bit of a list.

Best film of my 2012 Hot Docs:  Vivan Las Antipodas!

Best festival popcorn: Hot Docs Bloor Cinema popcorn mixed with a handful of M&M's - a Zemell original.

Worst festival venue: The Cumberland.   Sorry. So long.  Crap seats, and their bathrooms? really? The hand dryers had all the strength of an old lady blowing you a kiss from 20 feet away.

Oddest quirk of the festival: The audience award ballots were on the back of your ticket stub.  yeah no. I'm keeping that shit.

Movie Shiri would love the most: Ping Pong.  All about senior citizens from around the globe competing in the 80+ table tennis world championships. Some fierce bitches up in there, folks.

Saddest part: In McCullin, about a war photographer, the part where he met starving children in a Beirut hospital.

# of Days I will try to attend next year: 10.

1 comment:

  1. I just saw this post, and obviously love it. Not just because of the shout-outs to me, but more because of "# of Days I will try to attend next year: 10"