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Long Time Running

A documentary about The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem Tour needed to be made.  After all, it was a pivotal imprint in modern Canadian culture as the entire nation collectively considered the band’s timeless legacy and paid respects to terminally ill musician Gord Downie.  Finding filmmakers to handle such sensitive subject matter would be an intimidating order, yet Jennifer Baichwal (Watermark) and Nicholas de Pencier (cinematographer on The Ghosts in Our Machine) rise to the occasion and exceed…

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All Eyez on Me

Benny Boom, the music video director/indie filmmaker behind Next Day Air and 48 Hours to Live, has been given a chance to swim in a larger pond with the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me.  On paper, this should work.  Boom’s been working upwards to larger projects, and the source material is certainly in his wheelhouse.

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The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith

The documentary form of filmmaking has been around since the very beginning of the moving image.  In well over a century, it has been transformed in a variety of ways, leading to some of the most innovative cinema.  This is exactly why it is always so frustrating when someone takes an interesting individual or event and makes a documentary that takes nothing from this history, instead opting to utilize the same old cookie-cutter style of…

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Score: A Film Music Documentary

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.

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I Called Him Morgan

Pardon me it this sounds silly, but I Called Him Morgan – a music documentary about jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan – has too much music.  The music itself isn’t bad, but director/producer Kasper Collin has included so much of it that the tunes actually engulf the rest of this otherwise adequate film.

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Exit: Music

Nazis plundering art has been a subject of much consideration and curiosity ever since the objects began to be recovered.  Plenty of focus has been placed on paintings that were lost and found in this way, and the reasons for it are plain to be seen: the paintings have famous, long-deceased names attached and, due to their singular status, they can only be experienced by a limited number of people and can be valued at…