God’s Number: Our Canadian Film Fest Review of ’20 Moves’.

God’s  Number: Our Canadian Film Fest Review of ’20 Moves’.

The story of the Rubik’s Cube and the phenomenon that grew to surround the toy is examined in the new documentary 20 Moves. Starting from it’s roots being developed in Hungary, 20 Moves works through the cube’s discovery after being overlooked by many at a European toy fair, to its massive impact on pop culture in the 1980’s in North America, and its current impact on art with indie to mainstream installations around the world

The documentary is your typical talking head style accounting of the history with some archival footage added in. As a film it is easy to follow and watch, but it never takes a strong storytelling perspective or digs too deep beyond the surface. In fact the film struggles with what story it eventually wants to tell, sure the cube is the focal point, but its this the history of the cube, a examination of the sub culture (including celebrity cameos) that grew up around the cube, or a take on how cyclical toy fads can be and how the cube has made its resurgence?

20 Moves (referred to as the “God Number” because it’s apparently the least amount of moves required to solve the cube from any configuration) is a sometimes uneasy mix of all of those premises and more, but it always maintains a light and breezy air about the content, the cube is a toy after all. The film also moves along at a brisk pace, finally clocking in at just over 70 minutes. It’s because of this that, despite the disjointed nature of the documentary,  it still works as well as it does.

While we can see some of the limitations and problems that likely kept 20 Moves out of a larger more documentary focused film festival like a “Hot Docs”, 20 Moves is still a fun watch and feels very much at home in the CFF lineup.

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Kirk Haviland has spent over 20 years working in Entertainment Retail which has enabled him to have a unique opinion and perspective on film and music. Along with being a well known figure around Toronto film festivals and movie repertory houses with his trademark spiked locks and jovial attitude, Kirk is also works for the “Blood in the Snow” Canadian Film Festival in multiple positions. Opinionated and outspoken yet easily approachable, Kirk writes for multiple outlets in the city of Toronto, and is very happy to bring his unique perspective to the readers at IN THE SEATS.