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.
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.


  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:
    Warm regards


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …