TIFF Day 4 – The Central Park Five

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here.

It does matter if you’re black or white – ★★★★★

[TIFF listing]

Directors: Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns  //  Country: USA  //  Year: 2012  //  Language: English  //  Runtime: 119 minutes 

Ken Burns is best-known as a history documentary-maker and the man who pioneered the method of slowly zooming in on or panning across a photograph or illustration in order to create a sense of movement. For his latest film he teams up with his daughter Sarah and producer/director David McMahon to share the sensational story of a miscarriage of justice which saw five male teenagers – from black and Hispanic communities in harlem – serve between six and 13 years in prison for the alleged rape of a white woman in New York’s Central Park.

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TIFF 2012 – A look ahead

Read all our TIFF 2012 coverage here.

| o | – It’s TIFF 2012 time!


I finished up at my job at the tail end of July and we all (@dunnez, @oheag2 and previously @parallellevision) moved out of our lovely old house on Toronto’s Davenport Road. Since then I have spent time faffing about with my family, camping in Canada’s wondrous Algonquin Park and travelling around the eastern side of the US. Usually you do all those things and then go back to your homeland, but since Christmas when I formulated this plan I knew I had to base my exit strategy from Toronto around one thing – TIFF.

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This review was originally published in March 2012 during the film’s North American theatrical run.

Glory of the gridiron – ★★★★½

Cynics, please stop reading. Undefeated is not for you.

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What’s wrong with Katy Perry’s Part of Me popumentary?

Louise Bruton is a freelance pop-culture writer from Dublin. Her work has appeared in The Irish Times, The Dubliner and Hot Press. She blogs at notverywise.blogspot.com. Read her previous work here at spooool.com/author/louisebruton.

| o | – ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’ aka ‘Where Katy’s mirror confuses us all’.

Katy Perry’s cinematic release of Part Of Me (★★) - in 3D for added swirling, candy bra action – is described as an “intimate look at the fun, glamourous, heartbreaking, inspiring, crazy, magical, passionate, and honest mad diary of Katy”. You get these things but at absolute face value. There is no evaluation of what a hectic year it was for the Perry machine, with 124 live shows across the world and a high-profile divorce from that lovable vagabond, Russell Brand. We learn no more than we would from one of E!’s True Hollywood Stories.

Perry did minimal press following the high-profile end of her marriage of 14 months so this was her time to have her say. In one moving scene, filmed minutes before she’s due onstage at a sold-out show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, we see Perry hunched over, crying. The show goes on regardless, with her manager, Bradford Cobb, and assistant, Tamra Natisin, describing it as depression. That is one of the isolated scenes that shows the real Perry. Artists often claim that they want fans to know the ‘real me’ and popumentaries are a great way to do that but Part Of Me was mostly surface water.

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Under African Skies

Music is king - ★★★★★

Joe Berlinger, one of the men behind the Paradise Lost trilogy (a series of documentaries about the West Memphis murders), has journeyed with Paul Simon back to South Africa to uncover the story of the “Graceland” album. He may just have made the greatest music documentary ever.

Ezra Koeing the lead singer of Vampire Weekend says how “Graceland” was the album that every family had in their car for road trips. It has passed through generations imparting something new each time. We were once such a family, it was either The Beach Boys “Greatest Hits” or “Graceland” on cassette for each holiday for a solid 15 years. I just knew the album for the great music, the like of which you hadn’t heard before but instantly grabs you and you start nodding your head without realising. Initially I knew nothing of the controversy surrounding the album, the anger from the anti-apartheid movement and the political storm if created back in the summer of 1986.

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Woody Allen: A Documentary

Heavy lies the crown – ★★★½

Robert B. Weide takes us on a pretty pedestrian journey through the works of Woody Allen in this enjoyable but at times unnecessary documentary.

Starting pretty much from the year dot, the film covers extensively how Allen got his break writing jokes for different newspaper columns, got picked up to write jokes for TV and eventually landed himself in the world of cinema. With all the usual interviews from renowned directors, family and friends, the film ambles along at a steady enough pace with few new or illuminating facts about Allen.

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Hot Docs reviews [Pt.1]

Reviews for The Invisible War, Brooklyn Castle and The Imposter are below. Check out all our Hot Docs coverage here.


The Invisible War - ★★★★

Kirby Dick has made a name for himself by rallying for the under-dog against “the man”. Whether it was his exposition of American politics’ anti-gay agenda in 2010′s Outrage, sexual abuse victims and the Catholic church in 2004′s Twist of Faith or independent film-makers and critics fed up with the MPAA’s often inexplicable rating choices in 2008′s This Film Is Not Yet Rated.

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A film about a chair. Narrated by James Franco.

Charles and Ray Eames

Last night I saw the trailer for the Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey documentary Eames: The Architect & The Painter which showed up on PBS and in selected cinemas in the U.S. at the tail end of last year. I’d read a bit about it then but the opportunity to see it never arose and I forgot about it. Which happens, us Spoooolers are human too.

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Room 237 – Taking Kubrickian obsessions to a whole new level…

Room 237 - Taking Kubrick obsessions to a whole new level

This past week saw a quite, eh, “special” documentary debut at Sundance – Rodney Ascher’s Room 237.

I’ll let the blurb explain it… Read More