This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Hot Docs

This Magazine picks five Canadian flicks to see before Hot Docs ends

This Magazine Staff

Brave New River Saturday, May 4 at 3 p.m. TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 WHAT: Director Nicolas Renaud takes us to James Bay, where hydroelectric development has been a controversial topic for decades—especially between the government and the Cree there who’ve called the area home for centuries. WANT MORE? Check out our September 2011 story by […] More »

Toronto Palestine Film Festival aims to look beyond the headlines

jasmine rezaee

While most Torontonians know about TIFF—the hugely publicized Toronto International Film Festival—very few have heard about TPFF, the Toronto Palestine Film Festival. Unlike TIFF, the TPFF isn’t attended by Hollywood stars, doesn’t receive much mainstream media coverage and has no paid staff. Despite these challenges, TPFF is an ambitious film fest that features over 40 […] More »

The Northwest Passage has no more pomegranates

This Magazine Staff

First off, apologies for the spell of darkness. I wasn’t trying to express certain silences of the documentary form with the silence of this blog. (Or was I?) No, a combo of slow internet, distractions, etc — these are to blame. There must always be something to blame. (Or must there?) On Wednesday I watched […] More »

Obstructed View

This Magazine Staff

[Hot docs media downloads are down, at least here in the Reference Library. So no photo for you!] Last night I watched another slow-paced doc about migrants — this time, asylum seekers — and I was lulled into such a deep ravine of slumbererous sludge I couldn’t even bring myself to get up and leave. […] More »

Catch me, I'm falling

This Magazine Staff

Well, if you’re going to duck into a dark theatre at midday in the middle of a beautiful, sunny Saturday — Toronto spring’s first such Saturday — you’d better get to see some pretty stunning landscapes. 20 Seconds of Joy didn’t disappoint. I should admit, I would never have gone to see 20 Seconds if […] More »

Mexican standoff

This Magazine Staff

I learned a new word watching the Mexican doc The Demons of Eden: narcopederasty. But to be fair to the film’s scope, it should be expanded even further, maybe ending up with something like, “narcokleptocapitalopederasty”. And there you have your subject line. If Demons of Eden cast a wide net, it must be admitted, it […] More »

Reporting the news, building the nation

This Magazine Staff

Before Shock Waves came a 30-minute short called Umiaq Skin Boat which followed a group of Inuit elders building the first Umiaq (a traditional skin boat) in the community in 50 years. Boat-building being only so riveting, we also get some tall tales of survival from the elders, reminding me of an incredible book, Uqalurait: […] More »

Danger is somebody's middle name

This Magazine Staff

Blogging a Toronto film festival may not be literally dangerous (despite being an act of aggression against actual literature), but real journalism often is. This evening, I’m hoping to explore the theme twice. Apparently, neither film is a “hot pick“. Then again, the margins are where the action is; as a German Jew might have […] More »

Heavy hammer, bright sparks

This Magazine Staff

Anvil is ostensibly a movie about a metal band, but like any classic narrative, it’s really about something more elemental–a self struggling against a context. Or in this case, two selves, Lipps (lead guitarist Steve Ludlow) and Robb (drummer Robb Reiner), who in the 1980s influenced and played with David Bowie and various metal luminaries […] More »

Documenting the documentaries

This Magazine Staff

DOWNTOWN TORONTO–Today begins the 15th Hot Docs, “Canada’s international documentary festival”. This is my first time blogging a festival–I’m excited. First off, as I’m not a documentary “expert”, I’ll spare you a long introductory rumination on the documentary form. For the moment. But I am a narcissist. So I’ll kick things off with a quick […] More »

Hot Docs coverage at Blog This

This Magazine Staff

For the next 10 days, Blog This will be alive with reviews and news from Hot Docs, a documentary film festival taking over the screens of Toronto. All this thanks to our special Hot Docs correspondent, Daniel Cohen. Daniel lives in Toronto and has written about politics and culture in Canada and South America for […] More »