Last Call at the Gladstone

   22 April 2007, early evening

I watched Last Call at the Gladstone tonight with Shima. (I mentioned the film a few days back.) The film follows the lives of the residents and staff at the Gladstone, as it makes its way from flop house to boutique hotel. The film takes place over 5 years, and it’s really amazing watching the transformation. The arts community is up in arms now about how they are going to be displaced by all the yuppies moving into Queen West, but these same people seem to forget that their presence has had an equally destabilizing influence on the neighbourhood as well. Of course, I don’t think you can make the argument Queen West was a health neighbourhood in the 80s or 90s. I would argue the changes have been for the better — for the most part — but the city should be more active in ensuring that people aren’t completely displaced. The movie is really well put together. It tells a complete story about gentrification, from start to finish. It’s at times quite powerful. I’ve been really impressed with all the movies I’ve seen at Hotdocs thus far, and this film is no exception. The filmmakers should be proud of what they have put together.

This was the 3rd screening I attended at Hotdocs 2007. The film was shown with To Costco and Ikea Without a Car, which was a cute little short.

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