Tomorrow marks the Calgary debut of My Prairie Home – significant because so much of the story takes place in the city. Chelsea and I will be in town to attend so come say hi!
The film also opens theatrically on Nov. 29 in Calgary at the Globe Theatre.
James Wilt of Fast Forward Weekly had this to say about the film, which screens tomorrow, November 22, at 7pm:It’s tough to shake the creeping fear that My Prairie Home might only be viewed by fans of Rae Spoon; it is, after all, an odd biographical-ish film, complete with narration from the subject and returns to old haunts for some b-roll. It’d be a shame if the film didn’t find a wider audience, however, as it is about so very much more than a simple biography. My Prairie Home is, ultimately, what would happen if Wes Anderson made a trippy musical about a transgender folk/electronic/country singer who grew up in an abusive home environment with parents who fervently believe in the Rapture.
While featuring occasional conventions of the documentary genre — interview clips of Spoon sitting on a hotel bed somewhere on tour, for example — it’s far more often occupied by Guy Maddin-esque creations, blending fact and fiction to create something visually, sonically and intellectually enthralling.
In fact, Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg is an apt comparison. Both films are entirely about origin: bizarre, fragmented histories, but ones — through clever, gorgeous cinematography — that can speak to the most average of lives. Maddin and Spoon (via the talented Chelsea McMullan and ever-impressive National Film Board crew) tell some of the most universal of prairie tales. Especially the one of Spoon playing “This Used to Be the Bottom of an Ocean” on ukulele amidst dinosaur skeletons at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. That segment alone makes the film worthwhile.