Last week saw the release of Gimme the Loot, the SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner by Adam Leon, which sees two graffiti artists seek revenge after their replica of the…
The documentary programming at the Toronto International Film Festival is thick this year, and included is a sure-to-be divisive biographical doc about Canadian entertainment/cinema mogul Garth Drabinsky. A divisive biographical documentary can only mean one thing: an even more divisive subject.
You can basically thank Drabinsky for what we know as the modern multiplex in cinematic spectatorship. Founder of Cineplex (along with Nat Taylor), Drabinsky wanted to bring the most spectacular (and, according to some, the most depraved) aspects of the film industry from Hollywood to Canada: the sparkle and pizzazz of big money, big names, and big productions. In these goals, he was undoubtedly successful (he produced the infamous Canadian horror film The Changeling (1980) and founded the now-defunct live theatre production company Livent). But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses: Drabinsky was as revered as he was detested, for what some perceived to be his brash, spontaneous, and abrasive character. He and Livent partner Myron Gottlieb were eventually convicted and jailed for defrauding investors with some, um, creative bookkeeping.
Why should you see it?
It’s rare that we debate the merit and downfalls of such an obviously egoistic and ambitious figure in Canadian culture (ahem, Conrad Black). We aren’t exactly a nation known for our self-aggrandizing nature. And yet Drabinsky was a singular personality with a unique and powerful vision that inarguably shaped the state of the entertainment industry in Canada. I’m practically licking my lips with the thought of the salaciousness and gossip in this film.
Show Stopper: The Theatrical Life of Garth Drabinsky is screening on:
- Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at 6:45 pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1, and
- Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 2:00 pm at the Cineplex Yonge & Dundas 7.
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