Friday, April 06, 2012

What’s Hot at Hot Docs 2012 (Part 1)

As the 2012 edition of Hot Docs gets ready to kickoff in a few short weeks, we are already feverously working behind the scenes preparing our coverage. In order to wet your appetite for this year’s festival, each week leading up to the festival we will to take some time to highlight some of titles screening at Hot Docs 2012:

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hactivists
We Are Legion is a guide into the world of Anonymous, the “hacktivist” collective with no defined leadership or structure that’s responsible for numerous acts of a new internet-based civil disobedience. Through interviews with current members and those awaiting trial, as well as with other major online figures, writers and academics, we gain an understanding of motives and what it means to be involved with a group redefining online activism. We hear from a group that began as a forum to share jokes, learning about the development of their ideology and their ability to mobilize thousands worldwide. A history of the internet’s evolution, the film traces the birth of a powerful democratic activism that’s making corporations and governments very nervous.

Screenings: Tuesday May 1st 6:15 pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema; Thursday May 3rd 3:00 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1; Saturday May 5th 7:00 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox.

An Affair of the Heart
Some may find the rabid devotion of Rick Springfield fans perplexing. But if his power-pop mega-hits like “Jessie’s Girl” or his stint as General Hospital’s Noah Drake didn’t convince you, watching him blast out pure charisma and positivity in his live shows and spontaneous fan drop-ins would convert anyone. Somewhere between the introvert haunted by depression and darkness, and the 60-something extrovert who still rocks it in 100 high-energy performances a year, lies the real Rick Springfield. For most fans, it’s much more than a celebrity crush. Many have overcome deep trauma by connecting with his music; all feel a special bond with him. But what makes him unique is that the bond is often quite real and flows both ways. A fascinating look at a singular celebrity culture, An Affair of the Heart is as much about Rick’s fans as it is about him.

Screenings: Sunday April 29th 8:45 pm - Bloor Cinema; Monday April 30th 7:15 pm – The Royal Cinema; Thursday May 3rd 6:30 pm – Cumberland

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
In this corner, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling! Step back into the ‘80s and cheer on the beautiful, glittered and powerful ladies whose wrestling personas and over-the-top comedy sketches captivated television audiences. An open call for auditions brought together an unlikely group of young women, some with no wrestling experience. After grueling training with wrestling legend Mando Guerrero they became overnight sensations, rising to global stardom. Pushing through their personal and physical insecurities, these women found strength and power in the art of wrestling, comedy and the unbreakable bonds they developed for one another. GLOW is a nostalgic and at times tearful look back on these women’s lives, their joys, regrets, injuries and disappointment over the unexpected cancellation of the show in 1990. For many, their brief time in GLOW would influence their lives for years to follow.

Screenings: Friday April 27th 11:30 pm – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema; Saturday April 28 1:30 pm – The ROM Theatre; Saturday May 5th 6:30 pm – The Regent.

Aida: A Natural-Born Artist
Far from home, Japanese contemporary artist Makoto Aida endlessly tweaks his latest masterpieces in a Beijing studio. His provocative, perverted and political large-scale paintings—one a mountain made entirely of dead salarymen; another a waterfall surrounded by carbon copy schoolgirls—occupy all of his attention. That is, when he’s not procrastinating by smoking, drinking or spending time with his visiting wife and son. Never boring, this portrait of the artistic process is also the portrait of an artsy family that doesn’t fit the mold. Makoto’s son’s trouble in school is seen as a good thing, a sign of individuality, not cause for concern. The pleasure and pain of creating art and letting it go out into the world, completed or not, also applies to raising a child. An artist’s work is never done and neither is a parent’s.

Screenings: Friday April 27th 7:15 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox; Saturday April 28th 1:15 pm – Cumberland; Saturday May 5th 1:15 pm - Cumberland.

All film summaries are courtesy of the Hot Docs website. Please visit the site to purchase tickets and find out about the other great films playing at the festival.

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