Saturday, April 28, 2007

HotDocs #9: Loving Lovable

As the fest winds down, I find myself feeling more and more emotionally exhausted. I hadn’t taken into account how psychologically draining it can be when you see one heavy film after another – so far, the only “light-hearted” docs I’ve seen are Girls, Rock!, Yoga Inc. and Forbidden Lie$. The rest have hardly been laughing matters. Not surprisingly, as much as I love film festivalling, my mind and body are ready for it to be over.

First up today was the Doc It! Showcase, a collection of short documentaries made by youths between 14 and 18. There were nine films shown, and they ranged from the benign (school uniforms: good or bad?), to the poignant (Sent to the Right, about the after effects of the Holocaust), to the self-indulgent (City of Names, which felt very staged and tracked teenage graffiti artists in Germany). The quality of the films also varied widely, with some standing out for their skilled execution while others felt a little sloppy, especially since all but one of the films were done as assignments for school (spelling errors? really?).

My next film of the day had been hotly buzzed about (as great) earlier in the week, and the screening I attended was sold out...with a rush line so eager to get in that people were actually standing by the Bader doors asking for extra tickets. The film was Lovable (8/8), director Alan Zweig’s look at what it means to be single – more specifically, what it means to be a single woman – once you hit your 30s, 40s and beyond, and examines why it can be so hard to find love. Based solely on its description, I (correctly) suspected I’d enjoy the film before I even saw the first frame, but I didn’t expect to be so moved by it. Alternately funny and poignant, the film exposes the stigma often associated with being alone at a certain age, and how singledom is viewed as some sort of deficiency in so many circles. As one single woman in the film puts it (I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember her exact words), “If you’re still single in your 30s, that immediately becomes your most unattractive quality.” I thought the documentary was exceptionally, but very subtly, powerful. And, on a rather telling note, I also noticed more people checking each other out as they exited the theater than I have at any other screening.

Folks in Ontario can catch Lovable when it airs on The View From Here on TVO on Wednesday, May 2nd at 10pm.

If you’re single, you should watch. If you’re coupled, you should watch. And if you’ve ever said “I can’t believe you’re STILL single!” to anyone you’ve ever met, you should watch it AND tape it and then watch it again.

1 comment:

Lou said...

Happily, by 60, most people are glad they're not hooked up! Okay, okay, it sounds poignant.