We are back again for the 2017 edition of the Hot Docs Film Festival reviewing films, and keeping an ear to the ground to see what has audiences buzzing. Last year’s festival screened two of the nominees for the 2017 Best Documentary Feature Oscar including the eventual winner OJ: Made in America, so there’s no doubt that once again the year’s best docs will be on full display.
One of the interesting trends to emerge out of this year’s Hot Docs Festival is films that blur the lines of traditional documentary filmmaking. We are seeing examples that play with a blend of fact and fiction and examples that are experimental in how they present their material, deviating from the standard formula. John Bolton’s Aim for the Roses is an unusual film that pushes boundaries of what it means to be a documentary film. It pairs several unlikely elements in an effort to be an ode to a composer and to a legendary Canadian daredevil.
Terrifying stage fright. Crippling anxiety. Asperger’s Syndrome. The demands and pressures of fame. For legendary singer/keyboardist Gary Numan, these were the daily realities that he battled against while being one of the most famous men on the planet. With intimacy and honesty, Steve Read and Rob Alexander’s film Gary Numan: Android in La La Land tells the story of this brilliant man’s career while documenting his quest to rediscover his love for music after years of struggle.
You know those CD Towers/shelves that IKEA sells? The Gnedby units seen here? Yeah…I have four of those in my apartment filled to the gills with CDs. To say nothing of the two crates of full-sized vinyl records, as well as the separate crate of 7-inch vinyl singles, and the collection of miscellaneous odds-and-ends in my iTunes collection. Needless to say, music collecting is a bit of a hobby of mine, and making the pilgrimage to Toronto’s Sonic Boom is my act of plugging back into the source.
Returning for its second year, The Gentlemen’s Expo once again took over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in a display encompassing the many facets of what makes a true gentleman. A wide range of vendors, retailers, and activities appealing to men came together as a counter-offering to the myriad of trade shows and conventions targeting women. This year, in a bid to increase attendance and recognition, the show expanded its offerings and their roster of special guests.