Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hot Docs 2009

These are the 6 I watched/will be watching:

The Red Chapel by Mads Brügger
The subject matter of this film is what caught my attention. A crew of Danish folks convinced the North Korean government to let them bring Koreans pleasure by showing them what comedy is about, that's how they got in the closed country and got this film made. The film itself is kinda quirky. The so-called play they were rehearsing is bizarre. I admire the courage of the director. Becoz I saw the VICE travel guide to North Korea, so really this is not a surprise to see how crazy the country is. Everyone seems to try so hard to pretend Kim Song II is the greatest. The crazy thousand people synchronized dance is one thing that really creeps me out. Wasted energy goes in practicing the most useless shit. Just be thankful we live in a imperfect, but at least somewhat normal and free country.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 4/5 Stars

Burma VJ by Anders Høgsbro Østergaard
Another brilliant creation from yet another Danish filmmaker. He document a really brave young man who live in Burma, a closed country with zero democracy. No news coverage could ever leak out the country. To show the world the truth of Burma, he risked his life and recruit over 15 like-minded individuals to go and secretly record the demonstrations of Burma and sent them thru sateillite to all over the world. The 2007 Sept Burma demonstration results in a shooting of a Japanese journalist was filmed and broadcast on BBC. It's amazing how brave and single-minded these young people are. Again, thankful for being in a free country, after seeing how insane North Korea and Burma is.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 5/5 Stars

We Live in Public by Ondi Timoner
Review coming soon.

Orgasm Inc
by Liz Canner
A film about how pharma companies love to make up condition and sell drugs to healthy normal people. It's not a huge revelation but then the investigation of how lack of sexual desire of women being linked to huge profit is fascinating. The film was well researched, and narrated with multiple point of views. The most educated 2 hr I spent for a sat afternoon.

Lily's hotdoc rating:4.5/5 Stars

Carmen meets Borat
by Mercedes Stalenhoef
I was initially drawn by the eye-catching title. I thought it's a jackpot for the filmmaker that when she was filming a girl in Romania, it would turn into the fact that that village was about to sue Borat's film co. Although I find it's a stretch to say that little girl actually meets Borat - it's an interesting study of how lives is like in Romania. Just wonder if that girl got paid for being filmed in this doc again.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Art and Copy
by Doug Pray
Some of the ad campaigns are well documented and well known, it's interesting to see how some of the veterans of the ad world despite their age, their minds are still sharp and as charismatic as the were in their young age. Ad people are entertainers and performers, as the film director put it, I found that It's totally true. It's inspiring to see how many of those ad legends' upbringings are extremely similar to Don Draper in Mad Men, meaning Matthew Weiner the Mad Men producer really did his home work for the show.

Lily's hotdoc rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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