Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hot Docs in Toronto Kicking Off Tonight

It took long enough but for the first time I'll be diving into Toronto's Hot Docs documentary film festival. Kicking off tonight officially and running until May 6, the festival will be offering many documentaries including local, national and international productions on an array of topics which one is sure to find something of interest. I haven't yet decided what docs I'll be seeing / covering but I hope to catch at least a few  of the music documentaries, most of all Shut Up And Play The Hits which documents LCD Soundsystem's final concert which took place at NYC's Madison Square Gardens on April 2, 2011. And since this is a music blog, I thought it'd be appropriate to give a rundown of the music documentaries at this year's festival:

As you may have guessed, this is a documentary on the life of Bob Marley. Directed by Kevin MacDonald (Last King of Scotland, One Day in September), the film apparently includes interviews with Marley's family as well as early concert footage. Uo

Beware Of Mr. Baker
Mr. Baker refers to a one Ginger Baker, the undisputed inventor of rock n roll drumming and best known for his work with Cream and Blind Faith. Apparently he's a character.

The Punk Syndrome
This doc focuses on Finland punk rock  four-piece Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day. That each of the members happens to be mentally disabled is what makes their story interesting.  Well, my interest is piqued.

She Said Boom: The Story Of Fifth Column
Back in the 80's I was knee deep in the wave of alternative bands coming from the UK (The Smiths, The Cure, New Order) and perhaps a bit immature to appreciate Toronto's own all-girl art-punk outfit Fifth Column. I remember they were one of the only Canadian acts on US indie label K Records. I remember they had a song called "All Women Are Bitches". I'm expecting that this doc would fill me in on everything else I'd want to know about the group

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
The story focuses on the life of guitar prodigy Jason Becker who in 1991 was hired as the lead guitarist in David Lee Roth's band, recorded an album with him but never made it on tour after being diagnosed with ALS.  More than 20 years later, Jason is still living strong and making music by communicating with his eyes. 

Shut Up And Play The Hits
Part interview and part concert film, this documents NYC's LCD Soundsystem's final show which took place at Madison Square Gardens on April 2, 2011. I remember watching the streaming webcast and wishing I'd got into this band sooner. The music and the show was that good.

Big Easy Express
L.A.’s Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Nashville boys Old Crow Medicine Show and Londoners Mumford & Sons take a train from Oakland to New Orleans along the way making stops to play sold out shows.  And I'm assuming shenanigans ensue.

Charles Bradley: Soul Of America
 Soul artist Charles Bradley played a sold out show in Toronto this year and has been making waves everywhere. He's an old gentleman whose talents were  discovered later in life (better late than never) and this film tells his story.

An Affair Of The Heart
From what I've read this doc is as much about 80's icon Rick Springfield as it is about his fans.

In The Year Of Hip Hop
This is a documentary about rappers in the Republic of Slovenia documenting the cultural uprising that paved the way for hip hop to form in the country.

No Room For Rockstars
Documenting the 2010 Vans Warped tour and especially the new school and broader range of artists that the tour has been showcasing in recent years, the film will either entertain the masses or else anger old-school punks who'll launch into a diatribe about the death of punk rock.

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