Sunday, April 29, 2018

From muffins to movies

It is time once again for the Hot Docs film festival. My cup runneth over already!

A couple of weeks ago, I got to see a sneak preview of Three Identical Strangers when the cinema showed it to donors, and Stephen and I saw it again last week. Really, really good! I can't tell you much more than is in the blurbs without giving some good stuff away.

A young man goes to college. On his first day, people recognize him although he's never been there before; they call him Eddy, but his name is Bobby. He meets Eddy... his identical twin he'd never heard of before. They get in the paper, and a guy named David says, hey, they look just like me! So, identical triplets all adopted by different families in the New York area. The story is quite amazing.

They did the wild 80s disco thing, they were on all the talk shows, they opened a restaurant... They realized that there were things they did differently. And after a bit, things sort of fell apart. The director was at the show last night and it sounds like there are about a million movies they could still make: each triplet had a family they spent 19 years with before they knew about the others, so there are all sorts of other people involved in the story we didn't learn much about; there are wives and children; there are the politics of adoption and psychology; and there is the fifteen minutes of fame story. So, so interesting!

Friday I volunteered at a Docs for Schools day. We saw two movies, Mercury 13 and Don't Be Nice.

Mercury 13 is on Netflix in Canada, so you can maybe see it for yourselves. It's about women pilots who were tested and trained to be astronauts, but clearly, since none of us had heard of American astronauts in the Mercury program, things didn't work out there! Again, so many stories that don't fit into 90 minutes of movie.... The kids, including grade 7s and 8s, were mostly interested, but there were a number of "bathroom breaks" that lasted a while, and some squirming in seats.

The afternoon movie, Don't Be Nice, had them all glued to the screen! These were all high school students, and they were completely spellbound. The movie follows a team preparing for the national Poetry Slam competition. Competitive poetry slam is practically a sport, and quite different from just reading a poem. They had coaches who encouraged them to dig deep, get personal, tell their own story. One of the results was this, Google Black. This isn't from the movie, but they did this poem in the movie. Contains questionable language.

As a volunteer, I get a voucher for working a shift, and usually one voucher will get you one free movie. They also offer certain shows as 2-for-1, so a friend and I went to see Mr Soul! on Saturday at 10 am. Soul! was a black variety show on American public television, in the era of Leave it to Beaver and Gunsmoke. So much music, talking to Toni Morrison, a young Arsenio Hall, poetry, art, dance, rabble rousers and great thinkers. And such perfect afros. (I wanted to just put up a picture of Kathleen Cleaver, but now I must send you to that page to read more about the show and watch some clips.)

Tomorrow, three movies!

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