Jay Kerr’s Hot Docs 2014

Hot Docs Film Festival is in full swing and runs until May 4. Here is a quick rundown of some films that I have watched so far.

Rich Hill is a heartbreaking portrait of three teenage boys that is beautifully crafted by Tracy Doz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo. Forget about the American dream. These kids live in a world that will be foreign to most viewers and at the same time fascinating. I found it moving and recommend you get to one of the three screenings for this film.

What could be better than a film about some crazy old broads from NYC with eclectic fashion style, a love for life and more energy than the average teenager? Advanced Style follows several women from Ari Seth Cohen’s popular fashion blog and shows us how old age can be embraced despite its challenges. This doc will put a smile on your face.

I wanted to like Self(less) Portrait but I never connected with the film. 50 people talk directly to the camera to share some of their most personal experiences — suicide, abuse, love, bullying, etc. Most of the subjects are interesting but it feels like the film takes on too much making it difficult to engage with any one of the portraits.

Penthouse North is an engaging portrait of 62-year-old Agneta Eckemyr. The former Swedish model and fashion designer had it all — magazine covers, movie offers and celebrity clients. Now she’s losing her penthouse apartment which overlooks Central Park and struggles to make ends meet. Johanna St Michaels captures the entire train wreck with a few surprises.

If you watched Jane Campion’s award-winning television show, Top Of The Lake then you won’t want to miss From the Bottom of the Lake by first time director Clare Young. She examines the creative process behind the show revealing how much time and energy goes into perfecting a script before casting and shooting begins. From word choice to framing a scene, Campion sweats the small details and strives for perfection.

This entry was posted in Documentaries, Film Festivals, Hot Docs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.