Author: Jordan Adler

Hot Docs 2014 Review: The Writer With No Hands

In June 1997, Hollywood screenwriter Gary DeVore disappeared on the way home from a trip to New Mexico. A year later, a man found DeVore’s car in an aqueduct. The writer was inside, with his hands cut off. Before he disappeared, DeVore had finished a script about a classified military operation and the story’s explosive subject matter made his death even more mysterious. The Writer With No Hands follows Matthew Alford, a British author obsessed with Hollywood conspiracies, as he tries to uncover the truth behind DeVore’s death. Was it an accident or is there a clear link between the...

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Hot Docs 2014 Review: The Boy From Geita

Adam lives in northwestern Tanzania and has horrible nightmares of men coming into his room and killing him. The 12-year-old boy lives in a country that has more people with albinism per capita than any in the world. Surrounded by a dark-skinned population, albinos’ white complexion ensures they are victims. Witch doctors believe that possessing albino bones will make you rich; as a result, people in the villages hunt down albinos and try to hack off their arms and legs. After Adam’s father tries to reap some of this gold by maiming his son, the boy’s story becomes known...

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Hot Docs 2014 Review: David & Me

David McCallum was 16 in 1985 when police charged him with the robbery and murder of Nathan Blenner. Since then he has claimed that he was convicted for a crime he did not commit. McCallum says he was forced to confess by Brooklyn police, had no motive or had ever visited the place where the crime happened. Ray Klonsky was a wannabe filmmaker from Toronto who also got into trouble with the law as a teen. Ray’s father, Ken, was a friend of David’s who had been fighting to get him out of prison. After David writes a teenage...

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Gaspar Noé: cinema’s ultimate provocateur

As more directors bend the R rating through graphic stories of sex, violence and sexual violence, it feels like audiences are becoming numb to shock value. Movies that would be tough to stomach 10 years ago are easier to digest. Films that push the boundaries of taste aren’t as common anymore, but that has more to do with our tastes than the directors trying to punch us into submission. However, there is still one director making films both transcendent and numbing. Some praise him as a visionary and innovative stylist, while others are tempted to turn his movies off....

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Review: The Face of Love

Los Angeles decorator Nikki (Annette Bening) is still not entirely over the death of her husband, Garrett (Ed Harris). Five years after her husband drowned during a trip to Mexico, Nikki finds a friend in Tom (also Ed Harris), an art teacher with an uncanny resemblance to the man she used to love. As they slowly fall in love with each other, Nikki does not quite know how to reveal this new love in her life to family and friends still accustomed to Garrett’s face. Annette Bening and Ed Harris have eight Oscar nominations between them, but despite their...

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Films you won’t believe were banned

Movies with controversial content are often banned around the world. On the other hand, films that audiences young and old would have no issue with at your local multiplex are also a cause for ridicule in many other countries. Here are some films you won’t believe were banned and the (sometimes crazy) reasons behind that. Back to the Future No human should be forbidden to see Robert Zemeckis’s 1985 comedy classic Back to the Future, but audiences in China do not have this luxury. Time travel is considered a taboo topic in China. The concept of returning to the...

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Review: Mistaken For Strangers

The National is one of the hottest indie rock bands of the moment, led by tense, brooding frontman Matt Berninger. Berninger invites his brother, filmmaking impresario Tom, on the band’s tour around Europe and North America. Tom comes with a camera in hand, ready to make a documentary about The National. However, as tensions flare between the Berningers, Tom’s film becomes a searing look at his relationship with his brother. One is an international rock star, while the other is an offbeat outcast who vies for the same love and glory his brother gets from sell-out crowds. Part Stories...

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