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A Geek’s Month in Review: September 2012

by on 2012/09/30

This month I took a (belated) look at non-fiction through Canadian eyes. I got off to a later start, delayed by a trip to Toronto, during which I watched a lot of reality TV, which is somehow appropriate.

There’s something compelling to a fan of documentaries about this new fascination with “reality”. Yet, no matter how varied or interesting, how compelling the kernel of an idea, these series try me a bit in the end for their ongoing similarity.

Whether it’s American Restoration, The Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Life After People, Mountain Men, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, Swamp People, or The Universe . . . it all gets kind of samey after a while, with their bait-and-switch techniques of provocation and fear-mongering.

Which is why I was distraught to hear of the cancellation of Canada in the Rough, an outdoors documentary series about hunting and, sometimes, cooking. For several years now it’s been the antidote to the mainstream’s formulaic tension. Who’d have thought I would find it so compelling? I’ll miss its music, its scenery, and its actual “reality” . . . hell, I’ll even miss the commercials for Rocky Boots and Yamaha.

I was able to find some comfort in spending time with this month’s videos. And perhaps I can find some solace — a quantum? — in the forthcoming James Bond documentary, Everything or Nothing, releasing October fifth.

Until then, here’s a last look back at my five picks for September: the favourite, surprise, disappointment, least-liked, and an amazing suggestion from Gru. There’s some great stuff here, so seek them out.

If you get the chance, you’ve got to do it!


Favourite
Shakin’ All Over (2006) on 2012/09/19

* * * *

“Not only is Shakin’ All Over an archival treasure, it’s also heartening to see a new generation respectful of, familiar with, and impressively knowledgeable about their forerunners.”

.


Surprise
Comic Book Confidential (1988) on 2012/09/28

* * * *

“Ron Mann’s Comic Book Confidential is an amazing documentary. It won’t make a hater love funnybooks, but it reminds us aficionados why we care.”

.


Disappointment
Souvenir of Canada (2006) on 2012/09/23

* * *

“In Souvenir of Canada, Douglas Coupland raises some interesting subjects, no doubt, at least for us navel-gazers, but I often disagreed with his observations and conclusions.”

.


Least-Liked
The Canadian Conspiracy (1986) on 2012/09/22

* *

“If Canada is training for success in America, then The Canadian Conspiracy suggests we’ll never get near the border.

“Offers reason enough perhaps to leave such videos out of print”
.


Show Me
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (2011) on 2012/09/15

* * * *

“You know what? Just because you’re a certain age, you don’t have to stop loving the things you loved as a child. That love can evolve.”

“When a woman tells you to grow up, that’s God’s way of telling you to get a new woman . . . there’s three billion women on the planet, and not a lot of great comics, so it’s an easy choice.”


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