DIRECTOR'S CUT by Jim Millan, directed by Jillian Keiley and Millan (Crow's Theatre). At Factory Studio (125 Bathurst). Runs to December 10. Pwyc-$25. 416-504-9971. See Continuing, page 92. Rating: NN Rating: NN
It's a sad fact that while Canadians have a world-class reputation when it comes to literature and indie rock, English Canada can't seem to produce a movie that interests its own people. Talk to any young Canadian filmmaker and you'll get an expletive-laden earful about Men With Brooms and Telefilm.
In Director's Cut, Jeff MacBride (Gord Rand) is a frustrated Canadian director sick of the provincial short shrift. Given $10 million to direct his opus on love, MacBride leaps at the opportunity to realize his artistic vision. But his profound movie morphs into "Amélie meets the Matrix," a piece of cyber-thriller crap.
So MacBride (a thinly disguised Bruce McDonald) and film editor Derek Krantz (Chris Earle) steal the rushes to reshoot the film as a documentary on losing your soul to the Man.
The strong ensemble captures both the excitement and ridiculous self-importance of movie-making, and Amy Rutherford, as Hollywood starlet Miranda Baker, is hilariously flaky.
Playwright and artistic director Jim Millan, founder of Crow's Theatre and director of the Kids in the Hall's comeback show, should be lauded for his incredible theatre career.
Unfortunately, his play suffers from many of the problems that plague the movie depicted in the play. When Krantz, MacBride's artistic conscience, repeatedly asks what's at stake in the mangled film, the theatre audience wonders the same thing about this production.
Too much exposition and too many Toronto film industry in-jokes leave little room for the characters and their motivations to evolve.
As in our hero's movie, something very important seems to be at issue in Director's Cut, but exactly what this is becomes obscured in a conflicted and very Canadian attempt to be simultaneously earnest and satirical.