Skip to main content

Review: Blue Collar Boys - Screening Sept 14 as part of the Toronto Independent Film Festival

Review: Blue Collar Boys
Toronto Independent Film Festival
Toronto Underground Cinema - 186 Spadina Ave.
WEDNESDAY SEPT 14
9 PM


Blue Collar Boys (92 minutes)
Directed by Mark Nistico
Starring Gabe Fazio, Kevin Interdonato, Bruce Kirkpatrick


The TO Indie Film Fest continues to September 18

Blue Collar Boys has a black and white, gritty and unadorned feel well suited to its subject matter. The story begins somewhere near (actually just before...) the end, with the rough and tumble arrest of "Red" Redken, after an incident of assault at a construction office, and then backs up nine months or so to fill in the details.

Red, his family and brothers-in-arms fellow workers live in a working class world unembellished by the fanciful philosophies of Hollywood - you know, about the nobility of the blue collar world. This version is brutal and very non-PC - racist, sexist, full of young jerks behaving badly. The lot of them routinely get into bar fights and assorted mayhem, and one acts as the suburban drug dealer. Red and his best friend lie at the heart of the story, Red the (sometimes at any rate) cooler head to the other's shenanigans. Red's father is an architect and owns a construction business.

The bar fights are symbolic of a kind of general level of friction and conflict that's present in several layers of the story - friction between father and business owner and his wealthy clients, friction between husband and wife, between the big bosses with the contracts for housing developments. Everyone's tight where money is concerned. Dad's getting shit on because of claims of poor workmanship, the big boss not coming through with his payments. Mr. Redken Sr. needs hand surgery, but the insurance company won't pay for it. It's the kind of paycheque to paycheque tension a lot of us can identify with. One day Red loses it and roughs up one of the contractors, and the downward spiral begins in earnest.

There's a nice sense of detail in the telling of the story and depiction of their world. They live in a bland suburbia as a kind of working man's dream, with dreary outlines that underscore the emotion of the story. A couple of the guys are pulling a driveway scam for extra cash, and a politician campaigns through the neighbourhood with a phony "I'm for the working man" schtick while a blues/rock soundtrack punctuates the action.

The one criticism I'd mention is a certain flatness to the emotional landscape. There are no good times in this suburban enclave, no smiles or laughs. The unalleviated greyness of tone leaves it nowhere to go - although that same flatness and matter of fact feel does suit its purposes at the end. You're expecting drama, an operatic kind of release, but then reality kicks in. (It's based on a true story.)

"I always wanted hands like my dad - but you can only make so much money with your hands," says the voiceover at the end. This is a film about the demise of the working class, both literally and figuratively.

Comments

  1. Thought you'd like to know: Blue Collar Boys is having U.S. Premiere at Hoboken International Film Festival on Saturday June 2. Here's the festival link: http://www.hobokeninternationalfilmfestival.com/
    Warm regards

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

Review: Night of the Kings / La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte

Review:  Night of the Kings La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte A France, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada and Senegal co-production Now Playing In The New York Film Festival ImageAfter Venice and the Toronto Film Festival, Philippe Lacôte's Night of the Kings has moved on to conquer New York City.  Image Courtesy of TIFF A young pickpocket (Koné Bakary), is incarcerated in the giant La MACA prison, the largest in Côte d’Ivoire. The prison offers a hostile atmosphere, where the guards have long given up keeping order and the prisoners run the show, albeit confined within the prison walls. They dance, sing, and mingle at will in a common area called The Jungle.  There is a violent power struggle between Lord Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu), who runs things, and the younger leaders of other factions. Blackbeard is old and infirm, and he knows he can't hold on forever. But, he does want to hold on long enough to leave on his own terms.  Image courtesy of TIFF Blackbeard designates the new

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so