Humans never understand themselves


Peter Evanchuck

I was downing a Corona the other day thinking how the name of my favourite beer resembles a virus when I got up and headed for Toronto to begin shooting my new fiction film. With a working title, Wonder Wieners, it’s an absurd existential drama about a para-homecare worker (Helene Lacelle) who enters the life of a desperate, poor and ill mid-aged man of no means, Valentino (Vac Verikaitis).

I hoped all would be well with my lead actor to begin this shoot. Not so, his COVID-19 concerns overwhelmed his promise to shoot; so that left Helene and me floundering, “What to do, what to do”? It didn’t take us long to decide to head back home—through the wild Sunday morning desolation of downtown Toronto.

Helene Lacelle creating poster.
Photo Peter Evanchuck

Home is always where the work is so Helene begins making another poster for our latest documentary In Sane, (see the April/May IMAGE) while I lie back with another Corona to figure out in my mind the layout and design for the Wonder Wieners poster.

Our partnership is simple: I imagine it—she makes it. Since Wonder Wieners is about a low-income diet (chicken hot dogs on Wonder bread slathered with mustard, ketchup and relish), it didn’t take long to figure out that using the image I had shot of Vac, with his bright yellow jogging pants and bright white T-shirt in the background, would balance the yellow mustard/white Wonder bread close-up in Lacelle’s hand.

Meanwhile Helene completes the new poster for In Sane which already has been selected and awarded in the Moscow, Florence, Glasgow and Kosice festivals.

Our previously completed (2019) award-winning documentaries, A Short History of Poverty and Searching for a Beautiful Bachelor, had been selected and invited to screenings in Florence, Rome, Atlanta, and L.A. festivals which closed live screenings. So we stay in Canada living as fully as we can in as free a manner as possible in today’s world. Meanwhile I’m thinking in this absurd world of coronavirus gone mad: Is there sanity?

Albert Camus, the absurd existentialist, reminds us that, “Man never understands himself, only fears himself.”

I do believe that a better understanding of the dangers must prevail, so as usual, Helene and I work from our home studio, creating and following a sensible, smart approach to the present situation.

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