Hot Docs 2015 Review: ‘Stand By For Tape Back-Up’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Hot Docs 2015, Movies by - April 23, 2015

Stand By For Tape Back-Up

International Spectrum

Pop culture is a terribly peculiar beast as holds little nuggets of our collective pasts.  Playing like a confessional as our subject remembers his life, Stand By For Tape Back-Up is a genuinely fascinating piece of cinematic art that connects the human experience through some of the simplest crap that we see on TV.

Inspired by the “Dark of Side of the Rainbow” (where you take Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and sync it up with the Wizard of Oz), through an old VHS cassette that belong to his grandfather who would use it to tape things off the telly we get a commentary on writer/director Ross Sutherland’s own self of self and in many ways the sense of self of many of us who have been culturally formed through the era of MTV, VCR’s, Game Shows and everything else in between.

It won’t be for everyone but Stand By For Tape Back-Up is one of those rare reflective exercises in emotion and memory.  As narrator to his own story, Sutherland takes us on a rare journey as he reflects on his past by either pausing something like Ghostbusters, constantly playing back a failed segment on a game show and taking out his anger on a painfully drab bank commercially.  He equates the human experience of the younger generation to things that they have been able to see on TV, and he is absolutely right.

While it plays like more of a piece of installation art rather than a straight movie, Stand By For Tape Back-Up will speak those born in that Generation X & Y middle ground in ways that have to been seen to be believed.

Stand By For Tape Back-Up screens three times at Hot Docs.

Fri Apr. 24th at 6:15 PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sat. Apr. 25th at 1PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sun. May 3rd 6:45 PM at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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