Doc Trailer: TIFF ’11 Entry “The Patron Saints”

Newly announced as part of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival‘s ‘Canada First!’ program, “The Patron Saints” has just hit my radar and left me with an itch I really hope to scratch in a month, press accreditation provided. Directed by Brian M. Cassidy (best known as a co-director of “Fish Kill Flea”) and Melanie Shatzky (Cassidy’s collaborator on two prior short docs and an upcoming narrative starring Melissa Leo), the film has both a new teaser trailer and an old, shorter one, plus a clip uploaded to YouTube in early 2008, which may or may not still be footage in the finished work. I hope that it is.

Based on these glimpses I’m getting a vibe that it’s somewhere between Wiseman’s “Titicut Follies,” minus the abuse, and any one of the non-narrative eclectic docs out of Finland in recent years (“Steam of Life,” “Living Room of the Nation,” etc.). You can check out all three of those videos after the jump, but first an official synopsis:

THE PATRON SAINTS is a disquieting and hyperrealistic glimpse into life at a nursing home. Bound by the candid confessions of a recently disabled resident, the film weaves haunting images, scenes and stories from within the institution walls.

Sidestepping conventional documentary methods for a heightened cinematic approach to storytelling, filmmakers Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky employ lyrical realism and black humor in this charged portrait of fading bodies and minds.

The black humor part has me wary — do they mean we are to laugh at these people? — and also all the more curious, for the same reason.

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Documentary Channel Presents Oscar Marathon This Weekend

Since Turner Classic Movies’ 31 Days of Oscar is pretty lacking in the documentary department, The Documentary Channel comes to our rescue this weekend. Or yours. Unfortunately, I don’t get the network (Cablevision be damned). I wish, even if it would mean I got nothing else done the next few days besides catching up on old docs. The channel’s marathon of Oscar-nominated shorts and features starts tomorrow at 4pm with the 2004 short “Hardwood” and continues through Monday, ending with the 1978 short “Gravity is My Enemy.”

Here’s the trailer/ad:

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