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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Hotline

Hotline

All over the world, people call telephone hotlines for a wide variety of reasons.  Some people may be looking for support, through LGBT or suicide-prevention lines.  Others may be looking for advice from psychics like Miss Cleo or be looking for phone sex.  However, most times, people are just looking for someone to talk to.  Hotline explores all the different types of telephone hotlines and how they still remain relevant in an increasingly digital age.

Hotline begins by asking how many people have called hotlines and not realized it.  While many will automatically think of sex lines or phone psychics in relation to hotlines, the truth is that they come in all different types of contexts.  In fact, I remember the time both the Toronto Star and Yellow Pages had free hotlines you could call to get pre-recorded news and information.  Even with telephone conversation slowing giving away to internet communication, hotlines and person-to-person communication still remains important, even though many hotlines have lost funding over the years.

Probably the most familiar subject in Hotline is the psychic Miss Cleo, who was the former spokesperson for the Psychic Friends Network.  Cleo found herself caught up in a lawsuit against the network, which has damaged her reputation, despite the charges against her being cleared. However, Miss Cleo still does much of her private psychic work through the telephone.  Another notable subject is “Jeff, one lonely guy,” who posted an ad on telephone polls, which went viral on the internet, resulting in this one guy having about 17 hours worth of phone conversations (about anything) a day.  All together, Hotline was a very informative look at the still relevant world of telephone hotlines.

8 | LIKED IT

Screenings:

  • Sun, May 4, 6:30 PM – Isabel Bader Theatre

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).