Classic Movie Reviews (32)

The Falls: a cautionary tale
(1991 Canadian non-fiction film
about mankind's interactions with Niagara Falls,
directed by Kevin McMahon)
Bloor Hot Docs cinema, Toronto
by Live Music Head
May 18, 2016

The Falls

Attended the screening of The Falls: a cautionary tale at the Bloor Hot Docs cinema in Toronto, with Kevin McMahon, the film’s maker in attendance, and I’m disturbed. But I knew I would be.

Made 25 years ago, McMahon felt it was better to call it “non-fiction” then, rather than “a documentary” because if you told somebody a film was a documentary, they would think... boring! I, however, was not bored watching our idiotic culture and the destruction upon nature it brought then, and still does.

Truth be known, I was hoping to hear and see more of the daredevils who threw themselves over the Falls in barrels, speaking of idiotic culture. Did you know that the first person to do that was a woman? (The daredevils of the 1970s were a big part of the idiotic culture I grew up with, falling madly in love with the likes of Evel Knievel for one, when I was like, 10).

This film (part of the Bloor Hot Docs cinema’s “Discover Ontario” series) brought me back to the  days when Niagara Falls was still very, very wondrous to people, and the honeymoon capital of Ontario. My sister went there for hers. During the Q&A, McMahon talked about it being his home town and what it was like growing up there – the main reason for making the film. But it was the heartbreaking stories of the Love Canal (remembered as a "national symbol of a failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations") that had me leaving the cinema feeling sick, for the lives destroyed by toxic contamination brought about by our idiotic culture. I really didn’t need to see that deformed bird! And the realization that, 25 years later, mankind only continues to increase their violence against nature, despite all we’ve learned.

The official website for Bloor Hot Docs cinema...
How To Change The World
2015 documentary film about environmental activist Bob Hunter
and the rise of Greenpeace; directed by Jerry Rothwell)

Bloor Hot Docs cinema, Toronto August 7, 2015
by Live Music Head
Benigni & Braschi at the Lightbox
by Live Music Head

The Last Impresario

The Last Impresario
2013 documentary film directed by Gracie Otto,
based on the life of Michael White,
theatrical producer and film maker
by Live Music Head

Life Itself

2014 documentary on the life and times of Roger Ebert
directed by Steve James
by Live Music Head
July 11, 2014
2012 documentary film about the 1950s pin-up model
Directed by Mark Mori
Featuring commentary by Hugh Hefner
Bloor Hotdocs premiere, Toronto
March 7, 2014
by Live Music Head

360 Screenings

360 Screenings
Ontario Heritage Centre, Toronto
October 24, 2013
by Live Music Head
Filthy Gorgeous:
The Bob Guccione Story

2013 Canadian documentary directed by Barry Avrich
by Live Music Head
Remembering: The China Syndrome
American thriller directed by James Bridges
Starring Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, Michael Douglas
Released 1979
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head
Remembering: Joe Versus The Volcano
American romantic comedy directed by John Patrick Shanley
Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan
Released March 9, 1990
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head
Remembering: Analyze This
American comedy directed by Harold Ramis
Starring Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal
Released March 5, 1999
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head
Remembering: Norma Rae
American drama directed by Martin Ritt
Starring Sally Field
Beau Bridges and Ron Leibman
Released March 2, 1979
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head

Remembering: M*A*S*H

Remembering: M*A*S*H
American satire directed by Robert Altman
Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould,
Robert Duvall and John Schuck
Released January 25, 1970
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head
Remembering: The Sopranos
American television crime-drama created by David Chase
Starring James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli,
Steven Van Zandt, Tony Sirico, Drea de Matteo
Premiered January 10, 1999
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head
Remembering: The Exorcist
American horror film directed by William Friedkin
Starring Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair,
Jason Miller and Max von Sydow
Released December 26, 1973
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head

Trainspotting (1996)

Short Movie Review - By Jack Ferdman

Remembering: Rocky Balboa
American drama directed by Sylvester Stallone
Starring Sylvester Stallone and Burt Young
Released December 20, 2006
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head
Remembering: Valley of the Dolls
American drama directed by Mark Robson
Starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke, Sharon Tate
Released December 15, 1967
by Lisa McDonald
Live Music Head