Seven groundbreaking Allan King documentaries air Sunday July 5 to Friday
July 10 2009
You can only judge what is true or not true based on your own experience
of life. Documentary filmmaking is not about telling the truth, it is
about exploring reality. All that you can expect is that which you
experience, and that the film corresponds with your sense of actuality.
TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - From Sunday July 5 to Friday July 10, TVO
broadcasts a retrospective of the work of legendary Canadian filmmaker Allan
King, who died on June 15 2009. King's renowned, often controversial films
explore the complex and bittersweet psychological and sociological aspects of
people's lives. They tackle challenging subjects such as emotionally disturbed
children, marriage conflict, racism, the mythology of dementia, and the fear
and dignity of dying. The opening night also features Actuality: The Art and
Life of Allan King, a portrait of this great filmmaker commissioned by TVO.
TVO first aired this retrospective from April 26 to May 1 2009 as the
Allan King Film Festival, hosted by Allan King himself. The director
introduced each of his films, with a discussion of their themes and anecdotes
about the making of each film. Added to this upcoming retrospective lineup is
Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and company (replacing the film drama Who Has Seen
Viewers can watch seven Allan King documentaries during TVO's July 5-10
- Warrendale - first aired on TVO
- A Married Couple
- Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and company - commissioned by TVO
- Empz 4 Life - commissioned by TVO
- Dying at Grace - commissioned by TVO
Broadcast dates, times and descriptions follow.
Viewers can also go online to tvo.org/akfestival for additional
behind-the-scenes features, such as interviews that TVO conducted with Allan
King about the making of some of his landmark films. The site also includes an
interview with A Married Couple's Antoinette some 40 years after the film was
Schedule: The Allan King Film Retrospective on TVO: July 5-10 2009
Sunday July 5: Opening night triple bill:
9 pm Skidrow (1956, 37 minutes)
Exploring the lives of several homeless men and revealing how their pasts
explain some of the reasons why they've turned to booze and survival on the
streets of Vancouver's Lower East Side.
9:40 pm Rickshaw (1960, 28 minutes)
In Rickshaw, we meet Ram, a 16-year-old who moves from a small village to
pull a rickshaw in Calcutta, India. The film deals with the endless cycle of
poverty as father teaches son the trade. Lighter moments include Ram's first
sighting of the big the city and the silent yet loving bond between father and
Skidrow and Rickshaw are early examples of King's work, both employing
10:30 pm Actuality: The Art and Life of Allan King (2006, 52 minutes)
Allan King's career spans 50 years, during which time he has challenged
the conventions of the documentary art form. In this definitive portrait, we
see King still at work, and still challenging the viewer. The film looks back
at pivotal moments, seamlessly weaving together interviews with King, images
and passages from his major works (1956-2006), and a cinéma-vérité look at his
film Memory for Max, Ida and company, a TVO commission.
Monday July 6
10 pm Warrendale (1967, 101 minutes)
A controversial film about troubled kids. The staff at Warrendale use
"holding" in an effort to have kids talk through their complex emotions.
Warrendale is one of King's most renowned films. Even though it was produced
for the CBC back in 1967, it was shelved due to disturbing content, and King
released it theatrically. TVO was the first to broadcast the film, in 1997.
Tuesday July 7
10 pm A Married Couple (1970, 97 minutes)
A raw exploration of a marriage in free fall. In an effort to salvage
their marriage, a middle-class couple opens the door to their home to expose
the complex dynamics inherent in coupledom.
Wednesday July 8
10 pm Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and company (2005, 112 minutes)
Over a four-month period, this film follows the daily lives of Max,
Claire, Ida, and five other residents at an elder care facility in Toronto.
Allan King, in collaboration with Baycrest's Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for
the Aged in Toronto, has created a powerful and compassionate film that
deconstructs the mythology of dementia.
Thursday July 9
10 pm Empz 4 Life (2006, 112 minutes)
Brian Henry has been to jail and reformed. Now he works with at-risk
youth. Racial stereotyping and the threat of violence and jail block these
kids at every turn. Mathematician John Mighton helps them discover how
brilliant they can be and gives them hope.
Friday July 10
10 pm Dying at Grace (2003, 148 minutes)
A highly respectful, brave and emotional "actuality drama" about five
patients dying in the palliative care unit of the Salvation Army Toronto Grace
Health Centre. This film is difficult to watch, yet reassuring in the loving
way family and friends gather to witness the intimacy of dying.
For more information on the Allan King film retrospective on TVO, visit
TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and
stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information,
Where to find TVO
Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265,
Star Choice channel 353.
For further information:
For further information: Media contacts: Anne Rubenstein, TVO
Communications, (416) 484-2600 ext. 2881, firstname.lastname@example.org; Angela Garde,
TVO Communications, (416) 484-2600 ext. 2305, email@example.com