Words from the directors/actors
Mina Shum--"I saw this film as a portraiture in large geometric shapes and candy colors...You should be able to squint your eyes and it will be like a poster graphic. I really wanted to make art. I'm so sick of reality--television does reality all the time."
"a contemporary urban tale" inspired by experiences he and his brother Peter had on immigrating to Canada twelve years ago;
a highly stylized, expressionistic visual presentation in terms of the types of lenses used, the colours scheme and the lighting design. Smoke and fog appear throughout from unseen sources, painted shadows create a subtle sense of disorientation as fleeting images of clouds reflected in windows and graphic tilted camera angles.
Director Stephen Williams "I'm proud to have been born in Jamaica. It's a place where life experiences can be revealed in a raw, concentrated form...wonderful materials for scripts."
Born in Jamaica, Williams lived in England for several years before settling in Canada ten years ago. As a result, Williams considers himself "a citizen of the world," rooted in a system of ideas rather than in a specific place. It is this worldview which drives him to write and direct stories like soul survivor, which "celebrates the interconnectedness of all things."
He is interested in telling stories which "forster a greater understanding of the full range of social realities that exist within our national boundaries."
straightforward, realistic drama of a young man's frustrated search for a father figure. torn between compassion and ambition, between two father figures
William--like Tyrone--obtained a BA in English and philosophy at Queen's university; found himself living in a Toronto housing project and sweeping floors in a hair salon.
Tyrone Taylor--Peter Williams, Steven Williams' brother
Sandra Oh and Mina Shum
Chaykin (leading actor) "There is always the possibility of some kind of happiness and opening of the soul to another person. As for the whales, 'they've adapted very nicely to our little planet and they're huge and ungainly and they're very, very sad.' You should study them."
Thirty-Two Short Films
Girard, Francois. "You don't want to put a complex mind into a box. The idea of fragmenting the subject into many different cells came from this, and the number 32 came from the Goldberg variations. ...With the mosaic structure, you place things at the limits of his genius and show the range without trying to contain the whole thing."
Eldorado was conceived to challenge the current concept of rigid production methods. I wanted to break through the constraints of set scripts, conventional acting techniques and large budgets--all of which can destroy creative expression. ...A film is chaotic, just like life and that's what is so stimulating. In the midst of this chaos, there is a raw truth which emerges and captures our attention."
Le Sexe des Etoiles
played in I've Heard the Mermaid Singin
and won the Genie Award for Best supporing Actress.
writer--Monique Proulx (novel 1987)
Le Vent du Wyoming
André Forcier "Forcier ...sees the world in his own terms. The view is compassionate, comic and unafraid."
The essence of Andre Forcier's art lies in his talent for breaking down the walls of convention to shine his lights on the drabe grey of human existence. ...In the tradition of the great artists, he works without a net, risking it all at every moment, taking on the plausible and the unreal, the poetry and the despair, the sublime and the grotesque of our everyday lives.
Bruno Ramirez and Paul Tana
For the Italians of Quebec, the growing of fig trees is one way to tame a country which is still not entirely theirs--appropriate this land by transplanting here something familiar to them...
We have placed Ninetta Morchella, our Saracen, in the blinding white snow of this land; she seems but a black stain--on herself, on us.
story within the story--the puppet play
Trancred, battled against Saracen warrior, fatally wounding him. In raising the warrior's helmet, Tancred discovered Clorinda, the woman he loved.
Paul Tana--born in Italy in 1947; came to Quebec in 1958
Tana not only subscribed to the aesthetic of daily life so characteristic of Quebec cinema, he also made it his own by using immigrant characters.
Desmond Howl--The Howl Brothers
"Whale Music" began life as a hilarious novel loosely based on author Paul Quarrington's personal experience as a arock musician. He played bass with Joe Hall and the Continental Drift for seven years, along with his brother, before becoming a full-time writer.
Whale Music earned him Canada's pretigious 1990 Governor General's Award.
--the entire book takes place in Desmond Howl's mind. The writers finally solved the problem by isolating the love story. "It became a poignant and funny film about two needy misfits who fall in love--a bit of a beauty and the beast story."
Music-- the Rheostatics has recorded their hugely successful album "Whale Music." At a highly acclaimed Toronto concert, Paul Quarrington read excerpts from the novel, in between songs from the album in November, 1992.
When Night Is Falling
a love story--somebody abandoning everything for love
the film is about finding that courage to make change.
I like a kind of extreme subjectivity and tenderness and absurdity and tough-mindedness, and I like to really exploit the plasticity of the film
homosexual relationships have very few models. The relationship can be constructed in any way you want, based on personality rather than historical/cultural images. ...So you can construct your own mythology.
the catch line for Mermaid is..."Isn't life the strangest thing you've ever seen."
the motto for Sirkus of Sorts in When Night is Falling is "Stranger than fiction, truer than life..."