Homeless – a short film from the minds of Raven Blue, Jeff McLennan, and Cara Cole isn’t just another art film, but rather a look into transformative experiences and what it’s like to grow up in Saint John. Coupled with a live music score- produced by McLennan and Blue but with some help from the winner of this year’s ECMA for Electronic Recording of the Year, Rozalind MacPhail – the film is a one of a kind experience.
Given the title, a lot could be assumed about the content of the piece; Saint John is a without a doubt a flawed beauty, and the issues of homelessness, housing, and employment are more than perennial. The creators say that the idea behind the film and those challenges are just the beginning.
“Saint John does have some very stark statistics around poverty, homelessness, and a variety of social issues, and these things are all relatable in the scenes of the film, but we kind of used the idea of homelessness as a springboard for a story of self-discovery,” says Blue.
Blue also says that for some the message of the film will hit especially close to home. “Our most transformational moments as individuals often come out of a time of crisis or vulnerability. And I think anyone can relate to that feeling of vulnerability, we also know from statistics that there are many people who may be relatively well off who don’t feel safe in their own home.”
The group recently released a trailer for the film which features a hooded character, shot almost exclusively from behind, traveling through various locations in Saint John. Most places will be familiar to those living in the city but they aren’t necessarily landmarks. What we see are more a reflection of the real Saint John – one that the average visitor, and possibly even residents, may overlook.
While most films will use a score to set the mood and atmosphere during individual scenes, Homeless has a twenty-five minute live music score which will run the length of the project. It’s aimed to give the audience more of an experience rather than just a showing.
The film premieres at Third Shift Contemporary Arts Festival is Saint John on Friday, August 18th.