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#HotDocs14: Tenth Batch of Reviews

May 3, 2014

By John Corrado

Hot Docs Poster

We have just finished the second last day of Hot Docs, and here is my tenth batch of capsule reviews.

Yesterday I published reviews of Focus on Infinity, The Boy From Geita and Songs for Alexis.  Below are my thoughts on three more films that I had the pleasure of seeing today, including the wonderful Marinoni which received a generous standing ovation this evening.

Please come back tomorrow for my final set of capsule reviews, and on Monday for my highlights and closing thoughts on the festival.  Feel free to follow on Twitter for more immediate thoughts on the last few films that I’m seeing, and you can get more information on Hot Docs and purchase tickets for tomorrow right here.  Enjoy!

Marinoni: At 75 years old, Giuseppe Marinoni is determined to break the one hour cycling record for his age group.  An Italian immigrant who came to Montreal to professionally race while making money as a tailor, he now spends his days making custom bike frames that are used and respected by cyclists around the world.  Director Tony Girardin follows the eccentric senior in the two months leading up to the race, getting him to reluctantly open up about his life to the camera, as he struggles through his training to shave mere minutes off his time.  Beautifully edited together for maximum emotional impact, Marinoni is an immensely charming crowdpleaser, and a wonderful testimony to not letting age stop you from pushing forward.

Friday, April 25th – 7:30 PM @ Royal Cinema
Sunday, April 27th – 1:30 PM @ Scotiabank Theatre
Saturday, May 3rd – 7:00 PM @ Scotiabank Theatre

Guidelines: Director Jean-François Caissy follows a group of rural Québec teenagers over a semester in Guidelines.  These subjects never interact with the camera, which stays steady and sometimes observes from afar, as we merely watch their exercise classes and meetings with the principal for bullying.  We also see them hanging out after school, revving the engine of their jeep and launching bottle rockets, as well as climbing the outside of a bridge during one memorable scene.  The result is a vérité observation of high school life that is relatively plotless, but also beautifully filmed and sometimes meditative.

Monday, April 28th – 6:00 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
Tuesday, April 29th – 4:30 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Saturday, May 3rd – 4:30 PM @ Scotiabank Theatre

Bronx Obama: The life of Louis Ortiz, a Puerto Rican single father struggling to make ends meet in the Bronx, changed when he realized that he looked a lot like Barack Obama.  His work as an impersonator heated up after the President was elected in 2008, and his career really took off during the 2012 reelection campaign, going on a comedy tour with Mitt Romney and Bill Clinton lookalikes.  But this includes signing with a racist agent who only cares about cheap laughs and making money.  At this point, Bronx Obama asks some surprising questions about how far you should go for fame, and this is an entertaining look at the life of a Presidential impersonator.

Tuesday, April 29th – 7:00 PM @ Scotiabank Theatre
Wednesday, April 30th – 12:30 PM @ Hart House Theatre
Saturday, May 3rd – 1:30 PM @ TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

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