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What documentary director Adam Irving is watching

Toronto-bred filmmaker Adam Irving.

With his new documentary Off the Rails, the Toronto-bred filmmaker Adam Irving gets on board with Darius McCollum, who lives with Asperger syndrome and has been jailed 32 times for impersonating New York bus drivers and subway conductors. The Globe and Mail asked Irving, who will take part in Q&A sessions following Friday and Saturday screenings of Off the Rails at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, to tell us what's stopping his traffic these days.

What he's watching: "I got hooked on O.J.: Made in America, Ezra Edelman's seven-hour documentary on O.J. Simpson. Minutes into the three-DVD set, it became clear this was not a sports documentary, but rather, a brilliantly layered onion that slowly reveals the connection between race, power, and the city Los Angeles – my current home."

What he's reading: "I got wrapped up in Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised, Harlem-based chef Marcus Samuelsson's 2012 memoir Yes, Chef. Samuelsson writes as well as he cooks. I particularly admire the guy because he's short like me, but he convinced a tall model to marry him. Gives hope to all of us."

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What he's tuned into: "I've caught a few fascinating stories in Criminal, a real-life crime podcast now well past its 50th episode. The show focuses on those quirkier, more nuanced criminal cases that remind us that breaking the law isn't always evil people doing horrendous things, but instead, that under the right (or terribly wrong) circumstances, any of us could end up in deep trouble."

Off the Rails screens Oct. 7 to 15, at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123 or

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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