The Manor

The Manor is a documentary that takes place in Guelph, Ontario — namely, at a strip club/hotel in Guelph. The club/hotel is owned by a fairly unique family — an overweight father, and anorexic mother, and two sons — one who enjoys the strip club scene; the other who does not.
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Internet Archive

If you ever used the “Wayback Machine” you may find this interesting.
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Rent a Family Inc.

Rent a Family Inc I truly enjoyed. Follow a Japanese man who has a side business where he rents himself (and others he hires) to stand in for real people. Need a father or a best man or a boss? He’ll be it. He gets his clients via his self-created website (good SEO!), but his family has no idea about the business.
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Just the Right Amount of Violence

Just the Right Amount of Violence‘ documents the occurrence of kids who are sent away by their parents to a facility/program that can (hopefully) straighten them up. It shows scenes of the ‘program’ waking up kids early in the morning (with their parents consent, of course) and taking them away – against their will – to a facility in Utah in hopes of reform.
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The Kill Team

You’re out fighting in Afghanistan. Your new superior is all about killing innocent civilians for no reason – and covering it up. The rest of your platoon buys-in. If you don’t play along, you could be dead. What do you do.

The Kill Team documentary is about such a case — a young American soldier faced with such a predicament and ends up discharging his weapon when the rest of the group are ‘setting up’ a kill of an innocent Afghan. It’s unknown whether his bullet was the one that killed the man, but he’s charged with murder regardless.
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12 O’Clock Boys

12 O’Clock Boys follows a young lad in inner-city Baltimore (cue the environment from “The Wire”) over a few years, as he yearns to become one of the 12 O’Clock Boys — i.e. part of a group of lawless dirt-bikers who parade down city streets doing wheelies and such – much to the annoyance of city police and residents.
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Hill of Pleasures

Hill of Pleasures, a documentary about policing a Rio de Janeiro slum, sounds really interesting from the write up. And then, all settled in the theatre, and you get:

  • a minute of watching a woman get her hair buzzed
  • 2 minutes of ‘grandma’ walking down the path, clutching the building walls as she goes (“watch out for that parked motorcycle!”)
  • cops caught on film intervening for things like… searches that turn up no drugs or weapons — and noise complaints.

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Downloaded‘ is the Napster story. How it began, what happened, and how it ended. I found it really well done. Not too much to say, as many of us used the program back in the day – and know the story of it’s demise. One thing I found interesting, is that the co-founders actually met over IRC as Shawn Fanning was working on the project. It’s well put together. At one point (the legal battle) it drags a bit, but it’s overall very well done. I rate it 4/5 — as seen at Hot Docs.
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Valentine Road

Valentine Road, shown a Hot Docs yesterday, contains so many levels. It’s definitely emotional and complex. Take a young gay/transgender student, Larry, who starts dressing more feminine in class as he begins to feel more comfortable with who he is. Then, in a game of ‘Valentine’ he asks a white male student (Brandon) to be his valentine – in front of his friends. Larry also happens to be biracial – a point that we later find out may be part of the motive.
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We Cause Scenes

We Cause Scenes documents the rise of Improv Everywhere in New York City. Basically, it’s a story about how a guy who moved to NYC with basically nothing, is out at a bar one night and they play up his resemblance to Ben Folds… People buy it… and it goes from there — creating ‘scenes’ across the city, starting with friends and eventually a bunch of people who simply want to join in.
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