Planet B-Boy

This Week in Film: May 29th 2008

Toronto looks upon the world this week with film focusing on places from all over the world. Whether it's New York socialites, a French impersonator commune, missionaries in Africa, a global break-dancing competition or environmental films with a global focus, there's lots to choose from. With all these different places to represent, the one film that I'm most excited to introduce this week is Planet B-Boy by Toronto born filmmaker Benson Lee. The film follows the history of break-dancing from it's big screen debut to the present, where break-dancing teams from all around the world battle it out to be a part of the Battle of the Year competition. More about this film and other releases this week after the jump.

We first covered Planet B-Boy in our Hot Docs coverage this year as I predicted it would be the first ever sold-out midnight screening for the festival, and I was correct! But not only did it hit that record, Planet B-Boy went on to be the second highest rated film determined by audience ballots at the festival for this year. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the film. It focused not only on the teams competing for the Battle of the Year in Germany, but on the desires of the individual b-boys as they worked their way to the top. While I was moved by sacrifices many of them made to reach their dream, the moves these b-boys and girls bring out in the competition takes the word fierce to a whole new level. To really understand how great the film is, I recommend you take your crew and be ready to cheer as you can see this film at the Royal Cinema starting tomorrow night.

Mister Lonely opens this weekend and is the newest release from Harmony Korine, writer of Kids and director of Gummo. The film left me with a different feel than his previous films, depressing but with some sort of surreal optimism. The film features two story lines, one follows a Michael Jackson impersonator who goes to live with a group of impersonators such as Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin in a castle-farm-commune. The second has Werner Herzog as a priest leading nuns on a missionary trip in Africa, a bizarre subplot which I still can't directly tie to the main story. Despite all of this, I've never felt more touched by a close up of eggs before in my life. If this isn't making any sense, see Mister Lonely this weekend at the Cumberland and you'll know what I mean.

The Green Screens series that I featured last week continues until Saturday at the NFB Mediatheque, with Refugees of the Blue Planet tonight, a second screening of The World According to Monsanto tomorrow night and Toxic Trespass on Sunday.

In terms of marketing, the biggest film coming out this week has to be the heavily anticipated big-screen adaptation of Sex and the City. The fashion, the sex, the shoes and the girls are back! While the reviews have been luke-warm, it's the kind of film where reviews aren't going to change anything. Fans are going to be headed to the cinema in droves to the screenings which begin tonight at 10pm and have already sold out at various cinemas. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely ready to be 'Carried away' even if it just means that the series is finally over.

Image: Planet B-Boy from Planet B-Boy

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