What to see today at Hot Docs.
Bill and Turner Ross’ Tchoupitoulas () proved to be one of the hottest tickets of Hot Docs’ opening weekend, with Saturday night’s sold-out screening leaving dozens of rush-line hopefuls disappointed. Fortunately, there are still two further opportunities to catch the SXSW grand jury award-winner, beginning with this afternoon’s 4 p.m. screening at the Isabel Bader Theatre.
A follow-up to the Ross brothers’ acclaimed 45365, Tchoupitoulas is a beguiling evocation of the wonderment of boyhood that invites audiences to tag along as three adolescent siblings embark on a nocturnal odyssey through New Orleans. With an impressionistic, deeply immserive vérité style, the co-directors capture the Big Easy’s uniquely vibrant brand of revelry as seen through the teen trio’s wide eyes. And when the boys miss the last ferry home, Tchoupitoulas sees their French Quarter all-nighter become our vicarious adventure.
Our second recommendation is also a collaborative celebration of youthful imagination, though this film, from spousal tandem Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, is more bittersweet. Entitled Inocente (, 6:30 p.m., TIFF Bell Lightbox 3), it’s the poignant, self-told story of a 15-year-old San Diegan, who is poised to realize her aspirations of becoming an artist, despite her history of homelessness and abuse, and her status as an undocumented immigrant.
Moving on to decidedly more adult-focused subject matter, our third pick is the Hot Docs world premiere selection The Mechanical Bride (, 9 p.m., Cumberland 3). Allison de Fren’s provocative doc looks at the sub-culture of the technosexual: Men who favor the companionship of synthetic females over traditional, flesh-and-blood mates. Foregoing exploitative gawking, de Fren engages in a non-judgmental exploration of the fascinating phenomenon, while pondering its wider social and philosophical ramifications.
For our full index of festival reviews, head over to our handy Hot Docs hub.