Saturday, 28 April 2012

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2012 - Greg Klymkiw's First 10 Must-See Feature Films of the Festival (presented in alphabetical order).

DETROPIA:Rachel Grady/Heidi Ewing's (Jesus Camp) probing, provocative portrait of urban blight. Amidst crime, poverty and decay, there's still a pulse and heartbeat of something very cool. FULL REVIEW HERE

DRAGAN WENDE - WEST BERLIN: Vuk Maksimovic, a burgeoning cinematographer in Serbia, had, for years, heard tales of his legendary, high-rolling Uncle Dragan in Berlin. Now he was going to get to know him. Armed with two cameras and two trusted colleagues, he has made one of the most original, entertaining and penetrating documentaries about the wild days of pre-and-post communist society. FULL REVIEW HERE

FINDING NORTH: Focusing upon hunger in America, this important, passionate film moves like a shark, attacking its subject with precision and ferocity. Beautifully shot and edited, the craft is very high. We not only get great music from T Bone Burnett and the Civil Wars, but fervent appearances by Tom Colicchio AND Jeff Bridges. FULL REVIEW HERE

HERMAN'S HOUSE: This is an extraordinary film about extraordinary people in a country that has sadly learned nothing since 1776 but the right of might, the power of the dollar and the exploitation of the poor. Here's the Klymkiw Film Corner review of Herman's House: FULL REVIEW HERE

JEFF: It's a testament to the director's ability to work with three fascinating subjects and get the phenomenal footage he wrenches out of them - in spite of the unwelcome and unnecessary dramatics recreations, that this film still holds up as the most powerful rendering of the atrociously horrific crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer yet committed to film. FULL REVIEW HERE

THE LEGEND OF A WARRIOR: A personal doc wherein filmmaker Corey Lee reclaims his Chinese roots by training with his Dad, the legendary Frank Pang Lee, a great master of the martial arts who personally trained the equally legendary Billy Chow, the reigning world kickboxing champion through much of the 80s and a stalwart actor in over 50 martial arts pictures. FULL REVIEW HERE

THE PROPHET: Very similar to Godfrey Reggio's Qatsi trilogy (Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi), as well as Ron Fricke's Baraka, Gary Tarn's film uses music and image to convey Kahlil Gibran's philosophies which, I grudgingly must admit, work perfectly within the context of the contemporary events used. That Gibran's words are delivered with such power by Thandie Newton sure doesn't hurt. FULL REVIEW HERE

THE PUNK SYNDROME: "Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day" is, without question, one of the greatest punk bands of all time. They are the unforgettable subjects of this breathtaking feature documentary that declares: "I demand your immediate attention or you die, motherfucker!" FULL REVIEW HERE

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES: If I hadn't know otherwise, I might have thought that Lauren Greenfield's feature documentary was, in fact, an intensely satirical mockumentary on consumer culture in America. It's real, alright! All TOO real. FULL REVIEW HERE

THE WORLD BEFORE HER: What is the future for the young women of modern India? Is it adherence to thousands of years of subservient tradition or finding success through beauty? The chasm between the two couldn't be wider, but we discover in Nisha Pahuja's extraordinary film (recent Best Documentary Winner at the Tribeca Film Festival), the differences are often skin deep as parallel lines clearly exist beneath the surface. FULL REVIEW HERE