Last year, Toronto's Hot Docs was full of interesting documentaries, many of which trumped the fictional features that I checked out in 2007. There were pounding beats and screeching tykes with the likes of Girls Rock!, first love with Billy the Kid, Euripides in Jessica Yu's Protagonist, and even messie moms and foul odors with Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse. This year, after an impressive 1800 submissions, 173 films have been picked for the festival, which runs from April 17-27.
The fest will open with Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Sacha Gervasi's film about the "demi-gods of Canadian metal," which our James Rocchi reviewed at Sundance and said: "I am about as metal as your aunt, and I was spellbound by Anvil! The Story of Anvil -- laughing, yes, but also inspired to think and feel, literally moved to the edge of tears by the complicated-simple, stupid-smart, goofy-serious story."

From there, the docs hit all walks of life. Erik Davis' beloved Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father will get its Canadian premiere, which Erik thinks will make for an interesting night because of what is said about Canada (me, I'm trying my darnedest to go in fresh). There's also As Slow As Possible, which details a man who found out on his 18th birthday that he would slowly go blind, a biography of the late musician Wesley Willis called Wesley Willis's Joy Rides, Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno, a doc about an orthodox priest with strong views about abortion and social issues in The Tadpole, the Rabbit, and the Holy Ghost, a look at a tough American writer with Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?, and Dreams of Sharp Teeth -- Grizzly Man producer Erik Nelson's look at Harlan Ellison.

But really, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Go to the festival's website and check out all that great films that will screen this year. I don't know how I will choose between them all.
categories Movies, Cinematical