October 6, 2016

VIFF 2016 | True North – A Fine Bunch of 'Weirdos'

"There's a little Andy Warhol in all of us."
VIFF 2016 | Julia Sarah Stone Dylan Authors Bruce McDonald | Weirdos

VIFF 2016Hard Core Logo director Bruce McDonald uses his rock and roll instincts to present a uniquely Canadian experience in his latest film, Weirdos. Set in 1976 Nova Scotia, McDonald takes us on the road for an entirely charming black-and-white, coming-of-age tale about lost teenagers, homosexuality, family life, and mental illness.

Playwright Daniel MacIvor crafts an effectively efficient script that gets our fifteen-year-old protagonist couple Kit and Alice, played excellently by Dylan Authors and Julia Sarah Stone, hitchhiking towards a nighttime beach party and possibly a new life. Allan Hawco and Cathy Jones as Kit's troubled, divorced parents both give touching performances as the stoic father and hippy, absentee mother, respectively. The first act is particularly hilarious with subtle small-town life jokes while slowly revealing the greater motivations and relationships of our characters.

The low-key soundtrack is uniformly splendid adding to the film's sense of tempered nostalgia with tracks by Patsy Gallant, Gordon Lightfoot and Murray McLauchlan peppered throughout the film. Playing off the starkly filmed Atlantic scenery, McDonald paints such an idyllic yet universal setting for lost teenagers finding themselves set around American Bicentennial celebrations.

Weirdos presents a quintessentially universal yet wholly Canadian tale of aimless teenagers delightfully inspired by Maritime summers and Andy Warhol. McDonald and his actors craft a straightforward story of self-discovery and confusion while creating a completely engrossing setting. It's such a thoroughly charming film about finding yourself and your family by running away.

Weirdos screened at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival as part of the True North and Canadian Images series.

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