It stings to call Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan an indistinguishable documentary because of who the film is about.
Film, as a physical material medium, is an unusual object: film reels can often survive in strange settings, remaining undiscovered for decades, and yet these same reels can suddenly go up in a blaze, often taking their surroundings with them. This is an underplayed theme in Dawson City: Frozen Time, the newest work of filmmaker Bill Morrison. Film is at once destructive and salvageable, destroyed and saved.
Nowhere To Hide portrays war-torn life through curious interviews and on-the-fly videography. The doc’s results are unnerving and scary, but essential when understanding a culture who were rediscovering themselves.
The craft of brilliant costume designers and make-up artists can transform the most recognizable actors into strangers. Such is the case for Manifesto, a one-woman-show featuring two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett portraying 13 different roles. Of course, the production is also lucky to have one of the greatest living actors at the forefront. However, what Manifesto also displays is that sometimes the best artists overshoot their target.
Canada turns 150-years-old on Saturday, July 1, and film aficionados have been given two homegrown films to anticipate this historic birthday.
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press is a balanced documentary about what has inspired the current state of journalism.
A Better Man seems to have a concise albeit well-filmed production. It’s structured around a few confrontational chats and therapy sessions, along with a brief tour of pivotal locations mattering to filmmaker Attiya Khan and ex-lover Steve. The truth is A Better Man has been 20-plus-years in the making.
There’s not much to say about Matt Schrader’s ever imaginatively titled Score: A Film Music Documentary. A documentary made in praise of the Hollywood elite composers (who, to be fair, deserve the praise), Score has the presentation quality of a TV special or DVD bonus feature with no original thoughts about its subject.
If documentaries were solely graded on how much they teach, then Charles Wilkinson’s Vancouver: No Fixed Address would get full marks.
I love my mom, which is why I won’t be taking her to see Mom & Me for Mother’s Day. Well, to be fair, we live four hours apart from each other, so we were planning on spending this day apart anyways – her card is in the mail. But, if there were a sudden change of plans and we could watch a movie together, I would still insist we steer clear of Ken Wardrop’s doc.