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Good Vibrations

By: Addison Wylie Across the pond, Good Vibrations has been considered a crowd pleaser.  During its release earlier this year, its swept audiences off their feet with vivacious music and a profound true story about Terri Hooley’s struggle with individuality in 1970’s Belfast and acquiring peace through music. This holiday season, Toronto gets the opportunity to see this highly regarded movie.  Well, call me a Grinch because Good Vibrations didn’t do it for me. I…

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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…

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The Broken Circle Breakdown

By: Addison Wylie I get worried when I feel emotionless at the end of a movie like The Broken Circle Breakdown. Felix Van Groeningen’s drama didn’t make me feel depressed to a point of numbness.  In fact, he wants his audience to feel high levels of emotion more than anything.  The film offers a lot to smile and cry about with its themes of love and loss, and a lot to tap your toes to…

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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…

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The Sheepdogs Have At It

By: Addison Wylie I went into The Sheepdogs Have At It with interested, persuasive ears. I had heard some of the band’s work and liked it, but never found myself yearning to find out more about the band members themselves. I would take the music at face value and soak in the nostalgia that lined the tracks. The Sheepdogs Have At It offered insights here and there regarding how the band got started and how…

Reviews

Charles Bradley: Soul of America

By: Addison Wylie It’s hard to find dislikable qualities in Poull Brien’s crowd pleaser Charles Bradley: Soul of America.  Whether you attend a screening of the film because you like Bradley’s music, funk/blues music in general, or a good underdog story, Brien’s doc will have you leaving the theatre with a giant smile plastered to your face while you bob your head to the funky tunes streamlining through your cranium. The doc quickly lets movie…

Reviews

Hot Docs 2013: Alias Chokes at the Mic

By: Addison Wylie Alias made me frustrated.  Watching Michelle Latimer’s documentary provoked me in a way that pushed me to talk back to the screen – something I rarely do. Alias focuses on a small handful of Toronto rappers trying to be heard and to please an audience with their music and lyrics.  According to the synopsis, Latimer’s doc “digs deeper than the usual portrait of the rap world as glamour, guns and swagger.”  I…

Reviews

Katy Perry: Part of Me

By: Addison Wylie These recent concert documentaries have done a terrific job at peeling away layers of a hot musical artist and presenting them to audiences in a vulnerable way. Katy Perry: Part of Me may just be the most naked one yet. That’s not to say Perry DOES get naked. That would obliterate any chance of getting a PG rating and creating an accessible product for her young fans. Perry does however keep up …