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Hot Docs 2015 radiates with personal, high-stakes stories

Photo: How to Change the World

Hot Docs 2015 has a lineup with some fabulous documentaries this year and as I peruse the pickings, I see it's going back to some fundamentals. Over the years, North America's biggest documentary showcase has become a glossy panorama of over-produced, TV-centric films. This year, I'm finding a lot of personal films, focussing on individuals and their challenges, that harken back to basics.

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face2face

James Alan and Mike Close on wonder in the 21st century

February 15, 2015
| Taped in front of a live, enthusiastic and thoughtful audience from the Centre for Inquiry I chatted with two magicians about magic, wonder and reason in the 21st century.
Length: 57:18 minutes (65.59 MB)
Columnists

The loss of public values at CBC begins with management

Photo: Paul Gorbould/flickr

Amanda Lang had her Leslie Roberts moment this week, as Roberts had his Peter Mansbridge moment a week before. Lang is CBC's "senior business correspondent" (titles matter to these people, Lang lovingly repeats hers). She was found taking money for speeches from banks she reports on.

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Left in Love: Roz and Sam cross political lines with creativity

Photo: Meghan Murphy

Left in Love is a dating column for progressive daters who give a damn! Each month, Meghan Murphy matches couples looking for radical love and documents the date in this space. Our couple this month is  Roz and Sam.

Roz is a 28-year-old student, support worker, visual artist and children's author. Creative/optimist.

Sam is 33-year-old professional musician, amateur cook and armchair scientist. Leggy/pensive.

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Photo: Phil Norton/flickr
| November 19, 2014
Columnists

Girls Rock Camp: Chords of confidence and co-operation

Photo: Carmen Leah

I was privileged over the summer to be allowed to drop in on Toronto's Girls Rock Camp, hopscotching from room to room as various groups were working out songs. It was a marvel to witness girls teaming up musically:

"Well I think it might work better in F-sharp."

"You think so? Let's try it." (they jam)

"Or maybe we can try this chord?"  (audio sample)

"Oh that works better!"

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| October 14, 2014
Photo: flickr/peasap
| September 5, 2014
Columnists

Outstanding Emmy nominees signal a Great Leap Forward for television

Photo: King-of-Herrings/flickr

Flipping channels Monday night, I was amazed at what caught and held me. I stopped flipping for -- the Emmys! What the %&$#?@! I hate awards shows. I totally concede to the mavens who dismissed this year's Emmys compared to the Video Music Awards the night before on grounds of red carpet, performances and a dazzling ending with Beyoncé en famille.

What gripped me in the Emmys was the list of nominees (excluding categories like Outstanding Hairstyling in a Single Camera Miniseries). I don't even care who won. Winning is usually a lottery based on criteria like vote-splitting among other contenders and sentiment. (Breaking Bad was an inevitable winner because it ended this year.)

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Columnists

Left in Love: Can Selina and Cass create a united front despite political differences?

Photo: Meghan Murphy

Left in Love is a dating column for progressive daters who give a damn! Each month, Meghan Murphy matches couples looking for radical love and documents the date in this space. Our couple this month is Selina and Cass. 

Selina is 29-year-old who works in the arts. She loves documentaries that aren't really documentaries, karaoke and friendship. Short/idealist.

Cass is a weirdo who lives on Commercial Drive and works managing festivals, concerts and political campaigns. He enjoys a good cappuccino and is in a casual relationship with local gin. Jaded/pragmatic.

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