First up was FOR GRACE. Curtis Duffy is a renowned chef in Chicago. And he's opening his own restaurant. And we get unprecedented access to every step of the process--designing the dishes, building the kitchen, picking out the chairs. Everything has to be perfect, and is. And suddenly in the middle, we get a flashback to a family tragedy in his past. Kind of jarring, but there was something in the tone that was hanging in the air from the beginning. And that gives a different take on why Duffy went on to become a chef, and colors everything we see afterwards and before. The fact that his restaurant is called Grace isn't just a clever name, it's his driving purpose and approach to everything--especially cooking.
And then the second show was a quartet of short-ish films about animals.
FINDING DONUT is a ride-along with a Russian finder of lost pets. Spoiler alert: Donut is found safe at the end and returned to his owner.
RULER OF THE ROOST is a comic look at man vs. pigeon in Toronto. Very funny.
STEVE SHIRLEY, SHARK TAGGER is a look at a local man who transitioned from sport fishing to wildlife conservationist and tags sharks for study in San Francisco Bay. Very interesting.
And then BREACH was the longest short (at about 48 minutes.) It's a look at Iceland and how they are one of the very few countries that disregards international whaling laws. Yup, Iceland is killing whales and shipping them mostly to Japan for consumption. At the same time, there has been an upsurge in whale watching tours, which makes for a really weird dichotomy as people go to see the majestic creatures, maybe see them get killed, and then go for some whale meat at a local restaurant. Weird, and kind of disturbing.
Total Running Time: 171 minutes
My Total Minutes: 401,629