Big Easy ExpressThree bands set out on a musical adventure through America by vintage train. Journeying through six cities and covering thousands of miles, L.A.’s Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Nashville boys Old Crow Medicine Show and Londoners Mumford & Sons climb on board in Oakland and embark upon an adventure that will lead them to the heart of New Orleans. Making pit stops along the way to play sold out shows, this is a journey of late-night musical discovery, enrapturing golden landscapes and adoring crowds. From renowned music documentarian Emmett Malloy, this rock ‘n’ roll “tour of dreams” allows us to ride the rails with a group of musicians as they collaborate and celebrate their love of playing music on one very memorable trip.
Screenings: Saturday April 28th 9:45 PM – The Royal Cinema, Sunday April 29th 1:15 PM – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
The ImposterThe Imposter is probably the most unusual story in this year’s Festival. In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnap and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? And why doesn’t the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It’s only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes an even stranger turn…
Screenings: Friday April 27th 9:00 pm - Bloor Cinema; Saturday April 28th 1:15 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 1; Monday April 30th 11:00 pm – Isabel Bader
TchoupitoulasLate one night three teenage boys sneak out of the house and take the ferry across the water to embark upon a clandestine adventure through the French Quarter in New Orleans. We participate in their wonderment as they begin a forbidden night of peeking behind cabaret curtains and playing in back alleys, encountering burlesque dancers, hustlers, drag queens and street musicians as they go. The beauty of Tchoupitoulas (pronounced chop-ih-TOOL-us) is that the Ross Bros’ modern vérité style allows us to re-experience childish wonder, the camaraderie of adventure and the joy of discovery. Subtle and gorgeously enveloping, Tchoupitoulas is a nighttime piggyback ride through a city of music, debauchery and dancing, with a cast of characters and an atmosphere that only New Orleans could offer.
Screenings: Saturday April 28th 9:45 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2; Monday April 30 4:00 pm – Isabel Bader Theatre; Saturday May 5th 10:00 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Dragan Wende – West BerlinIn the eyes of his nephew, Dragan Wende was a myth. The stories of his uncle chronicled a man who left Yugoslavia to seemingly became the king of the common man in 1970s West Berlin. Dragan’s disco-era world was filled with strippers, champagne and a crime racket with guys known as The Crow and The Baker. Over three decades later, Vuk decides to seek out his uncle. In place of the hedonistic playboy, he finds an aging bordello security guard longing for the days before the Wall came down. Soon Vuk becomes directly entangled with Dragan’s skewed world, where doing street-side bordello promotion is a hard day’s work, smuggling jackets is a perfectly logical way to make quick cash and political correctness is never a priority. This is not a tourist’s guide to Berlin; this is Dragan Wende’s version.
Screenings: Saturday April 28th 9:00 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3; Sunday April 29th 9:00 pm – Cumberland 2
Shut Up and Play the HitsOn February 5, 2011 the message went online:
good people of earth: lcd soundsystem are playing madison square garden on april 2nd, and it will be our last show ever. we are retiring from the game. gettin’ out. movin’ on.
James Murphy, the creative force behind LCD Soundsystem, posted the message on the band’s website, officially announcing that the end is here. With only three full studio albums and a handful of EPs, the band’s swift rise and relatively quick exit only added to their frenzied appeal. The film depicts the pre-show anticipation with footage from the incredible event along with Murphy’s revealing interview with pop culture journalist Chuck Klosterman. Blending the concert you never want to end with the intimate personal moments that follow (where the ringing of the show can still be heard), the film appropriately echoes the title of the band’s final album: This Is Happening
Screenings: Tuesday May 1st 9:30 pm – TIFF Lightbox; Thursday May 3rd 9:30 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox; Saturday May 5th 6:30 pm – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
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.