By Kathy Kay
Monday Magazine columnist
While this column has a focus on indie films, it makes sense that anything Oscars-related would be verboten, but not quite so. In the documentary world, most of the films are by independent directors and producers who often work for years to capture the essence of their subject on film, as well as find the funds to fuel their projects.
Once the Academy Award nominations are announced in late January, audiences sometimes get a second chance to see what all the acclaim is about, with some theatres bringing back the nominees or winners. As 2018 fades away, here is a recap of some of my favourites – if you missed them the first-time round, keep an eye out for them:
FREE SOLO: This was an edge of the seat thrill as a world-renowned climber tackles the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park – without a rope. This strong film reaches beyond the interest of the avid rock climber to be fun for couch potatoes, too.
RBG: This look at US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is more timely than ever. The only question is can she stay on until another Democrat takes the office? I think so!
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR: Ah, Fred Rogers. I was a Friendly Giant kind of girl, but I can certainly see the appeal of the man who hosted Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. It must have been interesting for filmmaker Morgan Neville to go from creating the vibrancy of 20 Feet of Stardom to the mellowness of Mr. Rogers, but he switched gears with great affect.
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS: Once you close your mouth from the gob smacking revelations, it’s a very well-told tale about the ties that bind.
MCQUEEN: Since I have a predilection for fashion films, this one was immediately up my alley. It’s so intense and the man so riddled with anxiety that his creativity is almost overshadowed, but ‘almost’ is the key and McQueen’s influence on fashion is palpable.
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING: This film by Nathaniel Kahn (who delivered with My Architect, the story of his father, Louis Kahn) raises an eyebrow on the state of the pricing in the contemporary art world. Can you say Ponzi scheme?
Kathy Kay is director of the Victoria Film Festival.