Well, it’s interesting to note in this week of HotDocs that our favourite film released this week in theatres is also a documentary – The Devil and Daniel Johnston. We happened to catch it at TIFF2005, and noted “The Devil and Daniel Johnston is a powerful documentary with no easy answers. While fans of his music will enjoy it more than those who have never heard of him, anyone who has ever felt life was pain will find meaning in this movie.” A view that we consider validated by the fact that NOW’s John Harkness spends most of his review complaining that he doesn’t ‘get’ Johnston’s music. Still 4 Ns, though!
Other releases this week are a bit more of a mixed bag. There’s United 93, Which is about Manchester United in 1993 or something right? (Directed by Paul Greengrass, writer of the superb Omagh, this is almost certainly not the jingoistic flick we could expect, but it’s still a bit hard to get excited by it, eh?) And if we’re sticking with disturb-o-films there’s Hard Candy, a revenge flick based on the internet led PEDOGEDDON that threatens our world constantly (“Hard Candy’s style and energy make it a fearsome contender, especially when [protagonist] Hayley gets the knives out, both figuratively and literally.” – Eye Weekly’s Jason Anderson). Montreal Film Festival winner Katamaki has received a much less enthusiastic response from Toronto’s critics, but particular ire is saved up for the Robin Williams vehicle RV (do you see what I did there?), which proves that Arrested Development should NEVER HAVE ENDED, as Torontoist Will Arnett languishes in a cameo in this fetid sounding slice of family fodder. Eye Weekly’s Adam Nayman confirms ‘Family Comedy recast as a soul-killing ordeal.’
TIFFG children’s film festival Sprockets winds up this weekend with it’s weekend workshops and and tonight’s showing of Emmanuel’s Gift, and this week Cinematheque Ontario begins it’s heavily covered Werner Herzog retrospective (our picks can easily be called ‘anything with Klaus Kinski’, which this week means Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, The Wrath of God) but the Herzog blitz is overshadowing some other worthy contender’s from this week’s Cinematheque, including a couple of exclusive showings of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, and Luc Moullet’s comedies of love and work – including tomorrow night’s Brigitte & Brigitte and Monday’s La Comédie Du Travail. All showings are at Jackman Hall, AGO, 317 Dundas West.
And finally, how could we forget, tonight’s Kung Fu Friday is A Life of a Ninja. Check it out if you’re ready to get pumped, because ninjas are so cool. And by cool, I mean totally sweet. 9:45pm, The Revue, 400 Roncevalles.
(KFF devotees might also be interested in “Pirate Baby’s Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006”, a nice, and ultraviolent, short animation currently doing the rounds).