Jazz doc A Tuba to Cuba has a structure that’s similar to the musical genre’s free-flowing essence – the film is informed and pleasant to take in, but it’s also suspiciously unkempt.
By: Trevor Chartrand Director Ethan Hawke’s country music biopic Blaze leaves a lot to be desired – with a lot of atmosphere and not much narrative, this film is meandering and weak. To some, the film could perhaps be considered an abstract poem, akin to the music stylings of the late Blaze Foley, which I suppose should be commendable. However, given the more obscure nature of this film’s subject, the storytelling gaps will leave audiences…
Almost Almost Famous is high energy and often kind of cheesy – much like the performers it follows. While the film certainly isn’t terrible and there are a handful of moments that feel honest and genuine, this is a documentary that never quite manages to find its footing.
Eugene Jarecki takes to the road in Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce in The King. The documentary’s narrative itself is like Jarecki’s luggage – crammed-full and seeping out of the zippers. However, this stuffed film is interesting in ways thought-provoking open discussions can be.
Itzhak is a charming and easygoing documentary about renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman.
The ReelHeART International Film & Screenplay Festival is currently underway until Saturday, July 8 featuring events all over the city of Toronto. I’ve seen two of this year’s selected documentaries and while these films belong in separate categories, both have a comparable criticism.
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.
Lowdown Tracks (DIR. Shelly Saywell) By: Gregory Breen If you have ever stopped to smell the roses and listen to a busker, chances are Lowdown Tracks will bring a tear to your eye. In this heartfelt and engrossing film, activist and musician Lorraine Segato seeks to meet Toronto’s street musicians and record some of the wonderful tunes they play. Segato meets Woody Cormier, Anthony Van Zant, Maryann Epp, Bruce Bathgate and Katt Burr – five very special,…
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…