Hot Docs Planner: Rolling High, Falling Hard, and Fighting the Power
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Hot Docs Planner: Rolling High, Falling Hard, and Fighting the Power

First full day of Hot Docs and it’s going to be a beauty day, as the fella says.

Docs, docs, docs. It always seems like you’ve got too many docs! Well thank your lucky stars for Torontoist, your virtual Critic-At-Arms for sifting through which docs are sufficiently hot, and which ones, well, are not. And for this, the first real day of Hot Docs 2011, Kiva Reardon and John Semley tracked down some of the best of the bunch.
If you grew up in the Niagara Region in the ’90s and watched a lot of cable access, you probably remember Captain Video (and those infectious Niagara Airbus commercials). And even if you don’t know him, you should still check out Jay Cheel’s Beauty Day ( 4 STARS ), a look at the channel 10 madman who predated Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and all those other self-mutilating jackarses.
Everyone knows it takes a combination of skill and luck to play poker well, but there’s no “gamble” (see what we did there?) seeing Matt Gallagher’s Grinders ( 4 STARS ), a glimpse behind the scenes of Toronto’s underground poker clubs. Or if you want to get really heavy, there’s Göran Hugo Olsson’s Black Power Mixtape
( 5 STARS ), an excellent look at the Civil Rights movement in the US during the ’60s and ’70s. Also, if you’ve never seen James Marsh’s memorable Wisconsin Death Trip ( 5 STARS ), well now’s your chance. (You’d know if you’ve seen it. Because it’s memorable. And even if you have seen it, you can always remember it all over again.)
For complete coverage, including capsule reviews of most feature films, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.