Aug 18, 2008

Grilled Cheese Sandwich


Thursday August 14, we were treated to a screening of Jonathan Culp's narrative feature Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Having seen much of his earlier collage filmmaking (including the masterful It Can Happen Here, which I still owe some proper space to analyze), I was delighted to find that this narrative film is of a complexity that structurally resembles his earlier work, and also explores the socio-political concerns that has similarly interested him.

While this shot-on-video feature, set in "Grimsville", is about some social misfits in school that start a "grilled cheese sandwich" club, ultimately this too is a collage-- a mosaic featuring a much larger cast of characters than you would normally find in a project of this nature. And the more I watched, the more I was hooked by these eccentric people whose lives weave into that of the central character, a punkette who drifts from one dead-end "customer service" job to another, all engaging in their pop-cultural-political dialogues. In addition to writing, directing, photographing and editing, Jonathan also wrote some of the songs, including the immortal "Grimsville Sucks!" (MP3, please?)

But despite the interesting undercurrents, the characters in Grilled Cheese Sandwich are easily identifiable to any social misfit who awkwardly grew up in a small town, pining for some mysterious place called "Toronto". But you needn't take my word for it. Visit Jonathan's website here and order yourself a copy.

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