Hot Docs Review: INTEGRAL MAN (Canada 2016) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

He chose two young architects that would come to change contemporary architecture. Jim Stewart is the most published mathematician since Euclid, a concert level violinist, calculus professor, philanthropist, and gay rights activist. He is a true polymath, a modern day renaissance man. He had a bold vision and the conviction to follow through.

Director: Joseph Clement

Review by Gilbert Seah<

As this reviewer teaches mathematics at a college in Toronto, it is expected that INTEGRAL MAN be selected as a documentary to be reviewed.

The human subject of INTEGRAL MAN is Jim Stewart, the most published mathematician since Euclid, a man of unparalleled ambition. His books are sold the world over. But this man is also a music lover.

Stewart set out to create one of the most renowned pieces of residential architecture in North America and succeeded, demonstrating the perfect match between client and architect. The other subject of the film is this residence, overlooking a ravine in Rosedale, Toronto which the film spends more than half the time showcasing. Unbeknownst to Jim however, an unexpected turn of events is set to unfold.

He is diagnosed with cancer. The film is a worthy tribute to a man who has devoted his life to music and has paid back his dues to that art from. Beware! The film is full of glorified decadence!

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/209647946

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

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Hot Docs 2017 Review: ASK THE SEXPERT (USA 2017) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

ask_the_sexpert.jpgA longtime sex advice columnist gains popularity against the backdrop of a ban on comprehensive sex-education in schools in several Indian states.

Director: Vaishali Sinha

Review by Gilbert Seah

 The sexpert of the film is the columnist a 91-year old retired gynaecologist, Dr. Watsa of the Mumbai Times who has a column for years running that answers questions about sex.

Despite sex being a taboo topic in that country, the column’s brand of non-moralistic advice and humor has emboldened many to write in with their questions, the vast majority of whom seek basic information. Director Sinha follows the doctor often at work, as he sees patients or while he sitting by his computer dishing out often comical advice.

The film diverges to sex education in India and how Indians should be taught sex. There will be objections – those for the sex education curriculum and for Dr. Watsa’s column. It is not surprising that the angry people are always women. Sinha keeps her film light and flavourful.

While entertaining, ASK THE SEXPERT opens eyes on sex education in the huge continent of India.

Trailer: https://youtu.be/1yRR1_VU1cQ 

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

HOT DOCS 2017 Reviews: PECKING ORDER (New Zealand 2017) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

pecking_order.jpgPecking Order is a light-hearted documentary set in the world of bird breeding. The self-described ‘feelgood flockumentary’ canvases the personalities, power plays, fowl play and ‘best in show’ fervour of the 148-year-old Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club, as members prepare for the national championships.

Directed by: Slavko Martinov

Review by Gilbert Seah

Witten and directed by Slavko Martinov, PECKING ORDER is literally about the pecking order of chickens.

The setting is Christchurch, New Zealand – the 148-year old Christchurch Poultry , Bantam and Pigeon Club. The subject is competitive poultry pageantry as a highly entertaining hobby—it’s an obsession. For members of Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in New Zealand, it’s also way of life. Among the members are Seniors Beth Inwood and President Doug Bain who have tasted the glory of raising perfect rosecomb cockerels and rumpless pullets.

Most of the members are old. But Martinov injects some fresh blood into the film with newbie teenagers Rhys Lilley and Sarah Bunton (though they do not impress me as the brightest of kids) enjoying the fun. But there appears to be trouble in paradise. Feathers start to fly when infighting breaks out in the club during the run-up to the 2015 National Poultry Show.

The film traces the change of presidency while highlighting the chooks National Show as its climax. Still the film is totally fun, shallow that it appears to be, but perhaps some of life lessons can be learnt from watching these chicken lovers. There is always something amusing when one hears chicken clucking.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyqrX4ySvKg

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

HOT DOCS 2017 Reviews: DO DONKEYS ACT? Starring Willem DaFoe

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

do_donkeys_act.jpgDonkeys inhabit and communicate with each other – and the filmmakers – in a Sanctuary.

Directors: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin
Star: Willem Dafoe

Review by Gilbert Seah

 It has to happen eventually – a documentary on donkeys from the donkey’s point of view.

The film’s ethno-poetic-animal-fiction takes its playfully self-reflexive cues from Jean Rouch and Chris Marker.

Encouraging the audience to respect a major language barrier the audience might not otherwise consider––the mystery and intrigue of donkey utterances––DO DONKEYS ACT? invites the audience to “step into their shade, listen closely” as we attune to a series of dramatic performances in which one’s eavesdrop on donkeys speaking amongst themselves.

Narrated by Willem Dafoe, this tactic is amusing but sometimes, simplicity is the key.

Though it might seem trivial to learn more about donkeys, curiosity eventually has its day in this occasionally fascinating portrayal of the neglected animal who is still part of God’s animal Kingdom. Everything you wanted to know that happens inside a donkey sanctuary. The film was shot in several docket sanctuaries including the one in Guelph, Ontario. Present during Hot Docs will be Co-Director David Redmon.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/200043031

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

HOT DOCS 2017 Reviews: PACmen (USA 2017) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

pacmen.jpgThis observational documentary follows the men behind the Super-PACs that persuaded Dr Ben Carson to run for President. Believing Carson can save the Republican Party, they successfully draft him to run, raise millions of dollars and catapult him to the top of the polls. However, as Carson’s political inexperience begins to show, his constant media gaffes make fundraising increasingly difficult. Donors and voters abandon Carson’s campaign as wallets close, hearts open and faith is tested. As Trump inexplicably rises, the campaign descends into chaos and the PACmen begin to wonder – did they pick the wrong savior?

Director: Luke Walker
Writer: Luke Walker
 
Review by Gilbert Seah

Not to be confused with Pacman the video game, PACmen is a group, as introduced at the start of the film that has access to almost unlimited funds.

This observational documentary called PACmen, directed, producer, and written by Luke Walker, follows the people behind the Super-PACs that persuaded Dr​. ​Ben Carson to run for President.

​ ​ This is all true and Ben Carson is seen often in debate with now President of the United States Donald Trump, who was then just a competitive candidate. This makes the film more interesting though the audience now knows who won the Presidency. Believing Carson can save the Republican Party, they successfully draft him to run, raise​ ​millions of dollars and catapult him to the top of the polls.​ ​

However, as Carson’s political inexperience begins to show (he know nothing about the Middle East, which is really sad), his constant media gaffes make​ ​fundraising increasingly difficult. Donors and voters abandon Carson’s campaign as wallets​ ​close, hearts open and faith is tested.​ ​

As Trump inexplicably rises, the campaign descends into chaos and the PACmen begin to​ ​wonder… did they pick the wrong saviour? Walker’s documentary would be more relevant if the PACmen picked a winner instead of a loser. This is an example of the luck of the draw.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/205346326
 

 

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

HOT DOCS 2017 Reviews: SPOOKERS (New Zealand/Australia 2017)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

spookers.jpgA close-knit New Zealand family run the most successful scare park in the Southern Hemisphere; facing their fears so others can face theirs.

Director: Florian Habicht
Writers: Veronica Gleeson, Florian Habicht (story)

Stars: Claudia Aiono, Huia Apiata, Barbara Armstrong

Review by Gilbert Seah

 As night falls on the old Kingseat Psychiatric Hospital grounds (45 minutes from Auckland) which is presently New Zealand’ largest scare amusement park, out come the zombies, chain saw–wielding clowns and bloodstained freaks.

A thrilling amusement for the paying public, it is a family business for Beth and Andy Watson and a unique job for the performers who dole out the terror.

Director Habicht gives the audience a spectator’s point of view of the scare park as one enters the grounds (the bests part of the doc). For all that it seems, it look like a very scary venture. Interviews are intercut with the ‘spookers’ who appear to love the job of scaring people. The film runs out of material and the film repeats the same material.

The interviewed have nothing really interesting to say either offering little insight to the subject of fear or scares. Despite the interesting subject, the film is quite a bore.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfjqh2uE1NM

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

HOT DOCS 2017 Reviews: LET THERE BE LIGHT (Canada/France/Italy/Switzerland/USA 2017) ***

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

let_there_be_light.jpgLet There Be Light follows the story of dedicated scientists working to build a small sun on Earth, which would unleash perpetual, cheap, clean energy for mankind. After decades of failed attempts, a massive push is now underway to crack the holy grail of energy.

Directors: Mila Aung-Thwin, Van Royko
Writer: Mila Aung-Thwin

Review by Gilbert Seah

This documentary attempts to answer the question: Can mankind create a small sun on Earth? The purpose, to develop a clean, safe and unlimited power, has been an obsession for scientists and inventors for centuries, and an underlying preoccupation for society as a whole.

For decades, fusion has been delayed and thwarted by failure, miscalculation, fraud and politics. But today, fusion is being pursued with a renewed zeal.

The film explains the process of fusion, as simply as possible to the audience, assumed to know nothing about Physics. But as the film progresses, the doc gets bogged with the details of scientists explaining all the different processes involved in the collaboration, that according to the directors is taking place among 37 countries.

At times, the film plays like an educational piece slotted for schools. Still, the doc is educational, even if not always entertaining. The funniest segment involves a 40-year old native of Bowen island (Canada) working alone on his fusion reactor in his garage. Director Aung-Thwin and Royko do their best to get her audience to identity with the subject.

Attending Hot Docs will be director Mila Aung-Thwin and Physicist Michel Laberge.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/205254516
 

 

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com