HotDocs, North America’s largest documentary film festival, began on Thursday last week and my screenings are on their way. Woohee, I’ve umpteen films coming up over the next week … not to mention a big presentation tomorrow morning to a Chinese delegation (from Beijing) visiting our office (yippie, I will get to practice my mandarin). But, on to the films:
All In This Tea
We ran into eggyplant Sunday (while in line for Helvetica) and she had an very interesting take on this film that got me to thinking. When I asked her about this film, she said, (paraphrasing) ‘it was quite imperialistic’. Thinking back on it now, she has a point. The film, directed by Les Blank, follows the trail of American tea importer David Lee Hoffman, who – imperialism aside – has been in the forefront of America’s tea renaissance and who is a staunch supporter of organic production and cutting out the middleman to deal directly with the farmers in China growing some of the finest teas in the world. The film – made over 10 years – chronicles his journey and love of all-things-tea. While I thought the film’s subject matter was fascinating (I’m British so love my tea!), its execution was not top-notch: further editing would help. Worth a view if you are a tea fan. My rating: 6 out of 10.
A lad with the rather unfortunate last name of Gary Hustwit directed this homage to all things font-related. As someone who knew next-to-nothing about where all the fonts we see in Word or Wordperfect software come from, this was an eye-opening experience … and one well-worth the price of admission. The documentary traces the history of Helvetica font and its ubiquitous
existence everywhere. Seeing this film, if nothing else, you’ll wander the streets and read all advertising, with a new eye. Well produced, directed and edited. Worth the price of admission. My rating: 8 out of 10.
Oh, and it’s earth day so go fcuk hug a tree …. or whatever!