In 2015, The Tragically Hip’s iconic frontman Gord Downie revealed he was battling incurable brain cancer. The following year the band set out on a final tour across Canada that captured hearts across the nation. In support of their album Man Machine Poem, The Tragically Hip went on to play 15 shows culminating in a historic final concert in Kingston broadcast on CBC to over 10 million viewers.
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Step inside the world renowned New York Public Library and explore its many facets, from newspaper archives to photo collections to after school classes to excerpts from talks featuring Elvis Costello and Patti Smith. Ex Libris also follows the high level staff as they try to balance public and private funding and face the challenges of bringing the library into the 21st century. Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman has made a career of studious dissections of institutions but this feels closer to a love letter.
Is there a more romantic image of a writer than that of someone hunched over their typewriter passionately working away, the clicks and dings sounding off as they go? Discover extensive collections of trusty typewriters, all carefully selected by brand and generation, curated by those who are not so quick to shrug off old technology. Many artists and writers who still swear by the machine—among them Tom Hanks, John Mayer and the late Sam Shepard—share their thoughts on its value as a tool and source of inspiration.
Films Changing the World: Must-see docs revealing staggering new perspectives and stories.
Blues musicians Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin may not be household names—but they played pivotal roles in shaping rock and roll as we know it, influencing legendary bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. As the “sidemen” behind Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, their sound is unmistakable. Director Scott D. Rosenbaum pays tribute to their musical genius in this doc narrated by comedian Marc Maron, bringing them together for their final live performances.
Pay tribute to the weird and wonderful Jerry Lewis, who died in August of this year. At one point, Lewis was the most famous funny-man in America, having risen quickly to the top of Hollywood through his hit act with Dean Martin. Then he took over the silver screen, starring in a number of comedies before stepping behind the camera himself to craft classics like The Bellboy and The Nutty Professor.
This isn't Dead Poets Society, but it will fill you with the same zest for the power of education—and an excellent teacher. For John and Amanda Leyden, work as instructors at Headfort School over the past 46 years has been more than just any vocation. Within the walls of the school, they are caregivers and coaches, music managers and theatre directors. No matter if you’re an introverted recluse or an easily distracted troublemaker, in the eyes of John and Amanda, you belong.
Baltimore is so full of rats that its garbage cans are designed according to how high a rat can jump. Home to the Black Lives Matter movement, the city is one of the most segregated in the U.S. With a sly and cutting approach, Rat Film examines the dismaying divide by turning its lens on to the rampant rodent population. Baltimore’s failure to control its "rat problem" reflects a systemic neglect that fosters desperate communities.
The 1990s TV phenomenon Bill Nye the Science Guy educated and entertained a generation with a mix of facts and zany fun that made learning exciting. Today, the bow-tied Bill Nye has returned to the public eye—but his mission has evolved as the stakes have risen. There’s a dangerous wave of people in power whose fundamental lack of scientific reasoning is causing destruction to the planet we all inhabit. As a public figure, Bill is now taking every opportunity he can to openly call out and debate those who are twisting facts or outright denying them.
The acclaimed winner of the Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award at Hot Docs 2017, Unarmed Verses follows Francine Valentine, a 12-year-old Black girl who is just one of many people facing eviction from a low-income housing block in Toronto's north-east end due to the impending demolition of their home. With a creative spirit, love for art and perceptive point of view beyond her years, Francine and other neighbourhood children turn to creative expression, as they prepare to record music and poetry at a local studio.