An unheralded film about champion 80s arcade gamers that I serendipitously found on Hulu turned out to be one of my favorite documentaries of the decade.
‘The Imposter’ is about a missing San Antonio boy named Nicholas Barclay, who was supposedly taken off the street after a basketball game in 1994, when he was 11 years old.
Hot Docs is the young stud of Toronto film events. Just eighteen years old, it’s already the biggest documentary film festival in North America. I had a press pass and spent ten days watching movies about Mexican drug-war killings and the healing power of dolphins amidst rapt audiences who really hated it when you came in late or wrestled with the packaging on your granola bar. Here is some of what I saw.
In the beautifully shot short documentary “Undercity,” Duncan takes director/cinematographer Andrew Wonder on a tour of a few of the coolest—and most dangerous—restricted areas of the city. The film sees the two of them jumping third rails and dodging trains beneath the Fulton Street subway station, breaking into the sewer system, and climbing above the Williamsburg Bridge.
For a while, they are able to function without their mother, but slowly over time their conditon deterioates. The film is fascinating for the way it patiently documents this slow decline. The children seem to accept the absence of their mother as if it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but eventually as they run out of money their condition worsens and tragedy creeps up.
Lloyd Kahn, the do-it-yourself pioneer and former champion of the geodesic dome, is the focus of a new documentary titled Shelter. Directed by Jason Sussberg, and shot in 16mm film, Kahn discusses how home is more than a shelter, that it provides an intangible sense of safety and warmth that you feel the moment you walk in the door.
The term itself is absurd: Influencer. Any reasonable person would laugh at such a title, perhaps go as far as classify it as a fairly pretentious way to view one’s self. But it turns out more and more “young creatives” have adopted the moniker as a badge of honor, an indicator of how they perceive their role in life.