THE QUEEN OF VER­SAILLES

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Fest Guide -

(Lau­ren Green­field, USA, Nether­lands, UK, Den­mark). 100 min­utes. Rat­ing: Lau­ren Green­field’s bril­liant doc be­gins as a look at con­spic­u­ous con­sump­tion, then evolves into some­thing that plays with our sym­pa­thies.

Jackie Siegel is a buxom 40-some­thing for­mer beauty queen who’s rais­ing seven chil­dren with her sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian hus­band, David Siegel, owner of a multi- mil­lion- dol­lar time-share business. When we first meet them, they’re con­struct­ing a 90,000-square-foot es­tate mod­elled on Ver­sailles. Then the eco­nomic cri­sis hits and their em­pire and home life be­gin to crum­ble.

Film­ing over three years, Green­field cap­tures re­mark­able mo­ments – ev­ery­thing from ma­nip­u­la­tive real es­tate pitch ses­sions to shop­ping sprees and talks with the Siegels’ over­worked em­ploy­ees. She’s got a great eye for the telling de­tail.

Jackie is the most com­pelling character, bust- re­veal­ing out­fits and all: smart, gen­er­ous and to­tally in love with a man who once joked that when she turned 40 he’d re­place her with two 20-yearolds. May 2, 7 pm, TIFF Bell Light­box 1; May 3, 9:15 pm, Is­abel Bader The­atre; May 4, 8: 45 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cin­ema. You don’t have to be the type who keeps an Atari in a trophy case to be en­thralled by In­die Game: The Movie. The in­tel­li­gent, thor­oughly ab­sorb­ing doc is a de­light for both the avid gamer and those not so up to speed with Nin­tendo-speak.

A hand­ful of in­de­pen­dent video game de­sign­ers and pro­gram­mers bring us into the her­mit caves where games are con­ceived and walk us through the mount­ing anx­i­eties and gru­elling an­tic­i­pa­tion that come with de­liv­er­ing prod­uct. All the while, the film­mak­ers and their sub­jects mount a le­git­i­mate case for video games as a new art form, with cer­tain de­vel­op­ers tak­ing on the airs of the next gen­er­a­tion’s Jean- Luc Go­dard.

If video games are our New Wave, this doc is its Cahiers du Cinéma. May 3, 9 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cin­ema, and simultaneously across Canada in se­lect Cine­plex movie the­atres.

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