CANNED MEAT (The Whole Damn Can)

Terril Calder

2009, 27:43 minutes, colour, English


What if you were born with great superficial beauty and you hadn’t the imagination to realize it might be temporary? CANNED MEAT is about a woman who made a life out of being beautiful but never knew how to sooth her undeveloped soul. She could not fathom why her perfect looks did not secure a perfect life. She wanted to be loved because of the way it looked not because of the way she felt. Things went stale all around her and her illusion expired. All her hopes fermented. When things were no longer looking so lovely for Ida, she decided to lock her self away as not to deface her youthful image. Sealed away in her immobile home safe from criticism and a society she felt wouldn’t understand. Ida Calder (I’d ‘av called her) is reduced to the material elements of life. Ida is meat. She is flesh and bones without a soul; something that was consumed and shit out.

Each chapter is a short within the short, thematically chronicling her crooked perspective. Each short progressively transitions out of Ida’s mind until the viewer is looking at her instead of looking through her eyes. The “feel” of each short piece and how the media is handled differ from chapter to chapter creating an artistic quilt. It is meant to keep the viewer out of complacency and the low-Fi quality is to enable the viewer to feel an intimacy like watching a private home movie.

The scene is set in a northern Ontario town that draws upon the unique culture of that area and incorporates the distinct Métis culture into its setting. Ida longs to be invisible and is convinced she is, which is nearly impossible in a small town where everyone went to the same school and the families intermingled for generations. Everyone knows your business and it is topical. "Canned Meat" touches upon what it is like to grow-up in that environment and to be raised with rural influences.

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