If there’s one thing CUFF knows how to do right, it’s documentaries. They don’t messing around when it comes to screening the best and most innovative documentaries. While you can’t go wrong with any of the six documentaries screening at CUFF this year, here are three picks you absolutely cannot miss.
Ask Dr. Ruth
Sun., April 28 @ 3:45 pm
For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Ruth, she is a tiny (now) 90 year-old woman with a German accent who likes to talk about sex. A Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist, Dr. Ruth became an unconventional “sex icon”, hosting five television shows on Lifetime, as well as an acclaimed radio show, and writing over 40 books on sexuality and sex education. In this Hulu-produced documentary we’re not only treated to the larger-than-life personality of this 4’7” dynamo and her prolific career, but get a rare glimpse into her painful past, and how it shaped her into the sexpert at the forefront at the sexual revolution that we have all come to know and love.
• Morgan Cairns
Who Let The Dogs Out
Weds., April 24 @ 7:00 pm
Thurs., April 25 @ at 4:00 pm
One-hit-wonders and novelty songs seem unlikely candidates for compelling, rich histories. Although the Wikipedia page for the long-forgotten R&B stomper, “Louie Louie,” first popularized by the The Kingsmen in 1963, lists no less than 114 citations and a book dedicated to the legacy of “the world’s most famous rock ‘n’ roll song.” While the Jah-infused, feel-good, party-pumper, “Who Let The Dogs Out?,” can’t make the same claim to fame, it does have a complex history as to where the song originated and who were the actual composers.
The Baha Men scored big internationally with the track in 2000. But it can be traced back to a demo tape made by Jonathan King, an eccentric British pop producer/performer who, in turn, learned of the song from his hair stylist vacationing in the Caribbean. Prior to that, the song made its appearance as a radio jingle for a pair of Canadian DJs in the mid-90s, and it was the rally-cry for both a Michigan high school team in 1990 and another bunch of high school footballers from Texas in 1986.
And so, the question beckons: “Who let the dogs out?” As to who actually wrote the song? That became an eight-year obsession for Ben Sisto, an out-of-work New Yorker looking for a meaningful purpose in the midst of a career void. His amusing but curious adventure would crown Sisto as the world-authority on the song, which is artfully documented by Canadian filmmaker Brent Hodge.
• B. Simm
Thurs., April 25 @ 6:30 pm
Sun., April 28 @ 11:00 am
Did you know Calgary has its own chapter of Satanists? From acclaimed director (and CUFF alumi) Penny Lane is the feature documentary, Hail Satan? which follows the creation and rise of the Satanic Temple as they fight for the same rights and freedoms afforded to other religions. While this doc is charmingly hilarious right out of the gate, it is as equally thought provoking and enlightening, and after viewing, may even inspire you to convert (thesatanitemple.com, in case you’re “inspired”).
• Morgan Cairns