I've known filmmaker Brian Stockton for about 25 years. We met in film school at UofR, and while there scratched each others back several times, so to speak...him acting in my graduating project "Heartline", and me acting in at least one of his videos ("9 1/2 Minutes" I think). Then we went in different directions...me choosing to pursue the more commercial and mainstream world of television, whereas Brian wanted to keep it personal yet go bigger...you know, make feature films.
His collaboration with Gerald Saul resulted in the darkly amusing post-apocalypse road movie "Wheat Soup", critically acclaimed and regarded by many as Saskatchewan's first indigenous independent feature. Brian followed up that effort with "The 24 Store" (I think I had a role in it...it all kinda blurs together after a while), a precursor of sorts to Kevin Smith's "Clerks" about the proprietors of an old convenience store coping with a new 7/11 setting up shop across the street.
Well, as we all know, it's a bitch to finance and produce theatrical features in this country. And so while Brian toiled to try to get his next longform movie off the ground, he ended up making a bit of a name for himself with several successful short films...most notably "The Blob Thing" and "The Weight of the World" (the latter produced during his stint at the CFC).
That led to The Saskatchewan Trilogy... three short 35mm films tracking his childhood growing up on the prairies and in Regina... all very personal and done with a unique blend of documentary, drama, and animation (think the opening scenes of Annie Hall and Alfie remembering his youth).
I've always enjoyed Brian's sensibility and unique take on things...sort of a Woody Allen meets Guy Madden, if that's even possible. And so I am pleased to direct you to screenings of his latest effort, "Whitmore Park".
It's playing this week at TIFF (that's the Toronto International Film Festival y'all) as part of the Short Cuts Canada Program, and is the fourth and latest installment in what he ultimately hopes to be a 8 part series of short films entitled The Epic Story Of My Life.
Here's the where and when (in Toronto of course):
September 10, 7PM - Jackman Hall - AGO
September 11, 5PM - AMC 3
Brian has a website HERE, and has also recently started blogging...check out this most excellent post on 35mm film and optical sound tracks and all that which is Dolby.
And if you are at the fest and finding it difficult to get into one of the 'gala screenings', go check out "Whitmore Park"...I know it'll be short, but sweet.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
His So-Called Epic Life
This is turning into 'plug week' for some of my old friends and colleagues.