Doc Blog

David Wilson, who collaborates with Paul Sturtz to program the plucky True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO, weighs in with three picks from the Real to Reel titles announced so far. In this photo from TIFF 06, he appears with Blindsight director Lucy Walker at the aforementioned Summercamp! party (snapped by Indiewire). David says:

One of the great things about seeing the film lineup from a fest like Toronto is knowing that, as a viewer, you're in capable hands.  Each of these films has beat out hundreds of others for its slot, and each has earned its place through a combination of great story AND great storytelling.  Which is all to say that at a fest like Toronto, I'm more willing than I might normally be to place myself in the capable hands of the programmer/tour guide. Digging past the obvious hits, here's my attempt at sussing out some lower profile films that still manage to tell their stories with a high degree of verve and creativity.  

HEAVY METAL IN BAGHDAD Suroosh Alvi and Eddy Moretti
The title is hooky as all get out, and still my programmer's prejudice against well-trod topics almost made me miss this.  Looking closely, though, reveals some interesting details. Alvi co-founded Vice Magazine, a publication that I love to read and hate to love.  Their Iraq issue (which inspired this film, I think) was one of the best overall magazines I've read in the last few years, and offered perspectives on that country that no other magazine has even touched.  Moretti is running (I think), which is Vice's foray into web tv, and has started to turn out some of the most compelling viewing I'm seeing anywhere.  I'm counting on this film to put politics in the background, aesthetics in the foreground, and, in doing so, offer more depth and dimension on Iraq than most other efforts.  

David Schisgall, USA
Ok, yes, you know it's about teen prostitutes.  And that alone may decide whether you want to spend 90 minutes with this film or not.  But maybe you're not remembering/imdbing that Schisgall also directed the decidedly unprurient yet revealing The Lifestyle.  And worked on True Life, which gets no respect despite being one of the best doc series on television.  So I've got a good feeling about this film.

PLEASE VOTE FOR ME Weijun Chen, China
This is probably the film that my co-conspirator Paul most wanted to have at True/False, and failed (despite extensive and heroic efforts) to get.  Well, life's not fair.  But at least I get to see it in Toronto.  And, fwiw, Paul's very rarely wrong about these things.  

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