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Reviews

The Wagner Files

By: Addison Wylie German music composer Richard Wagner is an enigma of sorts and produced music on a grandiose scale.  Ralf Pleger’s documentary The Wagner Files explains that Wagner’s lengthy compositions caused a stir in the 20th century and went on to be some of the most revolutionary work to exist in the world of music. Richard Wagner is a provocative subject.  His early failures with music erupted anger and vexation in him as he…

Reviews

The Crash Reel

By: Addison Wylie Who would’ve expected one of the most important movies of the year to come swooping into theatres during the final weeks of 2013?  Lucky Canadians are currently able to catch Lucy Walker’s The Crash Reel at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox – and I highly suggest they do. The documentary addresses a number of issues worth talking about, but it all begins with the stellar success of snowboarder Kevin Pearce.  Pearce was garnering…

Reviews

André Gregory: Before and After Dinner

By: Addison Wylie Regrettably, I haven’t seen 1981’s My Dinner with André.  I believe there’s an unwritten law that states that this is a cinematic crime being in the film critic position that I’m in. This also meant that I wasn’t in tune with the work of the classic’s star and co-writer André Gregory.  Gregory is his own renaissance man having taken on duties as a theatre director, an artist, and an actor.  You may have caught…

Reviews

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

By: Addison Wylie The conceptual idea of a philosopher (in this case, Slavoj Žižek) walking audiences through beloved and forgotten films and giving their outlook on the film’s ideological take has potential.  The documentary, however, has to have competent direction and a confident mind at the forefront in order for the project to work.  The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology has neither. Sophie Fiennes’ doc is hitting home runs with most movie goers (it currently holds an…

Reviews

InRealLife

By: Addison Wylie InRealLife is bothersome with its portrayal of the Internet, those who use it, and its overall miscalculated goal. It feels as if filmmaker Beeban Kidron is out to scare rather than to inform. Kidron even goes as far as to show the traveling of online information in the dankest of spots using creaky sound effects to get the viewer to put up their safeguard. I thought I signed up for watching a…

Reviews

Let the Fire Burn

By: Addison Wylie Jason Osder has taken on an anti-talking heads format with his striking documentary Let the Fire Burn and it pays off big time. The filmmaker chronicles the societal shakes that took place in Philadelphia during the late seventies through to the mid-eighties initiated by MOVE.  Members of MOVE would call the collective an organization inhabiting a peaceful, non-violent state-of-mind.  Others wouldn’t hesitate to call MOVE a cult with harassing methods bordering on…

Reviews

Hawking

By: Addison Wylie Stephen Hawking has – and is living – a miraculous and very special life.  His work is inspiring other students also looking for a career in science, and his theories have sparked many discussions and have sold many copies of his bestseller A Brief History of Time. Filmmaker Stephen Finnigan has given Hawking the chance to tell his life story in his own words to audiences with the self-entitled doc Hawking. Finnigan’s…

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Bridegroom

By: Addison Wylie Bridegroom is an expansion of a YouTube video titled It Could Happen To You.  The story documented in It Could Happen To You is powerful with how uplifting it is as well as to how unfair it all becomes. Anyone who saw Shane Bitney Crone and Thomas Lee Bridegroom laughing together, holding hands, or embracing each other had proof that true love existed.  It gave people confidence that two levelheaded people could…

Reviews

30 Ghosts

By: Addison Wylie Filmmaker Sean Cisterna and executive producer Avi Federgreen reunite after their likeable road trip romp Moon Point to collaborate in new territory. With 30 Ghosts, Cisterna trails the paranormal investigating life of Kim Hadfield and the rest of her Halton Paranormal Group.  The troupe head out on night long trips to capture suspicious spiritual activity hidden away in the looming shadows.  When she’s not hitting up abandoned houses and taking video proof…

Reviews

Muscle Shoals

By: Addison Wylie There’s a lot of talk about “magic” in Muscle Shoals, a documentary about the influentially groundbreaking music that was produced in a small Southern city in Alabama. It’s understandable as to why one would think “magic” was in the air during recording sessions with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and The Rolling Stones. There was an essence that lingered within the walls of studios FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound that…