Art imitating life

Tara Thorne goes for a relaxing drive through the local arts news.

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When life gives you hell, you make a film with it. Or at least that’s what Andrew Hines, best known as half of Halifax production team Urban Peace Divison, is doing with Silent Night, a 10-minute drama about his summer carjacking on Blowers Street.

“It happened at the end of July,” says Hines over his cell. “I was waiting for a friend to get off work, and I was parked in the parking lot behind Utility. And a guy got in the car with a stocking on his face, and told me we were “gonna go for a fucking drive.” So we did. It was quite a traumatizing experience. So now I’m going to therapeutically make a film about it, though I’m changing the end completely. The bulk of it is verbatim.”

Hines was forced to drive his captor around for about half an hour, and ultimately dropped him off in his own neighbourhood—“ he’d been drinking, and he was trying to figure out if he could sober up to steal the car or not”—and headed back into downtown, where “the first car I came across was a cop car.” He led the police back to the guy’s neighbourhood where they quickly came across him. “You remember that iconic photo of Bigfoot in California in mid-stride?” Hines asks. “It was like that. We looked up and there he was looking at us, mid-stride, in the middle of the street.”

The film will end differently than Hines’s experience, which was peacefully (in theory—the filmmaker has dealt with “severe sleeping issues” since the incident). “When it happened to me, we got to that point where you were going to etiher opened door A or door B, and we opened door A,” he says cryptically. So I’m opening door B with this film. Door A was the one that luckily enabled me to still be around to make this film. So I’m just examining what could’ve happened with door B.

“The point for me for the film is not just to retell it—it was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had in my life—but what I’m trying examine is that he and I come from such completely different socio-economic circles. We really had no way to relate to each other, so I spent the time trying to get to know this guy. I would take something and he would take something. Nothing was given. I’m trying to examine the psychological background of two people put into a situation like this would react to each other.”

Silent Night, starring Robert Bockstale as the victim and Anthony Black as the carjacker, will film this weekend literally at the scene of the crime—Hines will shoot the carjack itself on Sunday in the same parking lot (two days after he faces his attacker in court). “That’s really exciting for me because we actually shut the street down and film it like a real production,” he says. “It’s great not to have to steal shots anymore.”

This and that

Colin Angus and Julie Wafaei spent two years rowing across oceans and getting across three continents on foot, ski and bike—AKA a human-powered circumnavigation—arriving in Vancouver in May of this year. On Thursday, November 30, they will be on hand at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (1675 Lower Water) for a screening of the documentary about their trip, Beyond the Horizon. Halifax is the last stop on a national tour for the film. Tickets are $14 or $12 at the Trail Shop (6210 Quinpool) and the film screens at 7:30pm.

The final deadline to submit to Vagrant Publishing—an offshoot of Nimbus—and its inaugural new fiction collection is Friday, December 1. Send your 2,000 to 10,000 words in any genre to Sandra McIntyre at PO Box 9166 Halifax, NS B3K 2E8 or give them a ring at 454-7404.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s director Jeffery Spalding is one of the artists currently featured in a video exhibition called Analogue: Pioneering Artists’ Video from the UK, Canada and Poland (1968–88) at the famed Tate Modern in London. Nineteen seventy-three’s “Video Wash” “was an impish tape featuring a certain un-expectorated provocative act,” Spalding emails. The exhibition closes out in London this week and moves to New York at the first of next year.

Corner Gas fans, of which we are not one, may be interested to know Janet Wright (Emma) and Gabrielle Miller (Leacy) will accompany Michele Sponagle, author of the new CG tome Tales from Dog River, to a signing at Chapters at Mic Mac Mall. The actors will also be in town for an appearance on Christmas Daddies.

Who’s your christmas daddy? email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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