My Prairie Home
EXEC PROD Silva Basmajian
PROD Lea Marin
SCR Chelsea McMullan
CAM Maya Bankovic, Derek Howard
ED Avrïl Jacobson
MUS Rae Spoon
PROD CO National Film Board of Canada
A true Canadian iconoclast, acclaimed transgender country/electro-pop artist Rae Spoon revisits the stretches of rural Alberta that once constituted “home” and confronts memories of growing up queer in an abusive, evangelical household. Part travelogue, part character study, Chelsea McMullan’s singular film unfolds in coffee shops, bus stations, bars and recreation centres, with her camera finding odd angles from which to examine these communities that have arisen in the middle of nowhere.
The vérité vignettes and emotional reminiscences frequently cede to fantastical performance sequences in which Spoon gives voice to an impeccably crafted, disarmingly confessional song cycle that represents the culmination of years of rumination and writing (and has been collected on the gorgeous My Prairie Home album released by Saved By Radio). For these reflective compositions, Spoon—who explored more electric avenues on the recent I Can’t Keep All of Our Secrets—fittingly returns to the country/folk influences found on earlier records.
Lyrical and alluring, McMullan’s documentary-musical hybrid calls into question our traditional definition of “home,” and celebrates the places in between, be they in music, geography or gender.
Preceded By: Snapshots
DIR Brian Stockton / SK, 2013, 12 min.
A personal documentary featuring 5,000 still photographs taken over a period of 25 years. A life flashing in front of your eyes in rapid, hypnotic fashion.