When it premiered at TIFF last year, Radiant City, ostensibly a documentary about urban sprawl, stirred up a bit of controversy. Its portrayal of the soul-rotting effects of the suburban environment on one aggressively average family was met with a variety of bemused reactions, some positive, others less so. (End of Suburbia this wasn’t.) Torontoist’s Mathew Kumar, for example, savaged it in his spoiler-happy review. But three months later a panel of “filmmakers, festival programmers, journalists, and industry professionals” decreed it one of the ten best Canadian films of the year. And when it opened in New York last May, even the hard-to-please Village Voice seemed to like it, deeming it “enlightening and disturbingly funny.”
Sure, you could just rent the DVD now, but with whom would you have the inevitable argument about what Eye‘s equally-hard-to-please Adam Nayman called “the crucial piece of gamesmanship upon which the picture pivots”?
Better to come to the Brunswick Theatre this Saturday evening at 7:00 and put your money towards a good cause (not that Canadian film, we suppose, isn’t in itself a good cause). Streets to Screens, the Toronto Public Space Committee’s increasingly-autonomous film unit, is holding a fundraising screening of the movie to coincide with its national DVD release. Tickets are $9, and the money may or may not go towards the purchase of not-long-for-this-world blow-up dolls.
Jonathan Goldsbie is a member of the Toronto Public Space Committee. Image from the movie’s official site.