The Complete Works
2015, 41:12 minutes, Colour, English
Fifteen years in the making, The Complete Works adapts the work of internationally acclaimed avant-garde poet bpNichol. From comic book detective stories and westerns to documentary and magic realism; from hand drawn animation to computer generated images, The Complete Works wrestles Nichols writing off the page and projects it on to the screen. It uses bpNichols poetic methods on Nichol himself to create a film that is subversive, entertaining and visually arresting.
bpNichol worked against the traditional lyric poem and narrative forms by focusing on the material, tangible and aural qualities of language. In the mid-1960s, Nichol received international recognition for his visual and sound poetry. In 1970, at the age of 26, he won the Governor Generals Award. Nichol went on to write poetry, stories, essays, operas, musicals, visual poems, books and songs for kids, computer poems, sound poems, the long poem, comic books and TV shows like Fraggle Rock and Blizzard Island. Through it all he maintained a sense of playfulness, generosity and humour.
Since reading Gorg: A Detective Story in 1990, Justin Stephenson has wanted to make this film. The Complete Works is structured as a book of poems in which Stephenson marshals a considerable catalog of genres and techniques to bring bpNichols passion for language to the screen.
"It is sheer delight." - Michael Ondaatje
"When I imagine poetry, it looks like The Complete Works." - derek beaulieu, Poet laureate of Calgary.
"More than a tribute, this film is a multi-layered evocation." - Atom Egoyan
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