Love in a tinderbox

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REVIEW

Great Great Great

Stars: 3.5

Starring Sarah Kolasky, Dan Beirne, Meredith Cheesbrough, Richard Clarkin, Gillian Ferrier, Ian Fisher, Lindsay Leese, and Farah Merani

Directed by Adam Garnet Jones

Written by Adam Garnet Jones and Sarah Kolasky

Rating: not available by press time

Runtime: 77 minutes

There is a lot to be said for the introspective character drama. Take any movie where a relationship is tested because of something traumatic – a death, crime, infidelity – and just see how the two partners figure things out for themselves.

In Adam Garnet Jones’ new movie Great Great Great, nothing traumatic happens to Tom (Dan Beirne) and Lauren (Sarah Kolasky), at least not directly. Their relationship is great, just like the movie title would suggest. The film starts off with her parents casually telling her that they’re getting a divorce and it seems like no big deal to them.

Oh, great. To Lauren, it is a huge deal. It pulls the psychological rug right out from under her. Her five-year relationship is suddenly floating groundlessly and she reacts as such, swinging from extreme to extreme. Marriage? An affair? What?

For Jones, it’s all about pulling the audience in. Transformers and Avengers may come and go but movies about people trying to get along are eternal and endlessly fascinating.

“I always want to make something that is personally really interesting to me and something that I feel like that the people that I know and care about would be interested in seeing,” he said.

“I think that anyone who makes anything wants to make something that they themselves like. With something like a film where you have to constantly bring people on board and get them interested in making it and supporting it and ultimately marketing it and getting it out to audiences, you always have to think about what it is that is going to draw people in and make them interested in the story you want to tell.”

His first feature film, Fire Song, delved into the story of a gay teen fighting conflicting forces of responsibility and freedom as he is forced to take care of his family on a reservation in Ontario.

These are stories about the challenges of growing up, just in two very different circumstances. Things might not start off so great for the main characters in each of these movies but at least they’re working towards something great.

So that brings us back to how to say this one’s title.

“Maybe a little more distracted like ‘great-great-great’,” he said, in a rat-a-tat-tat way, suggesting that it’s how many people respond when they’re upset or having difficulty with things, even though it’s the opposite of the truth. “It’s the repetition that makes it sound suspicious.”

At the heart of Great Great Great is Sarah Kolasky, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jones in order to delve deeper into a role with so many ambiguities and so much indecision at a crossroads in her personal life. She makes the movie a character study inside of a relationship drama.

Great Great Great gets a one-night special event screening this Saturday at Metro Cinema. The film starts at 7 p.m. with a post-screening Q&A with Jones. The theatre is located at 8712 109 St. in Edmonton.

The director very much looks forward to his stop in Edmonton where many of his family still live. He’s a descendant of Chief Michel Callihoo of the Michel First Nation in Sturgeon County. While he’s in town, he said that he hopes to stop by the Musée Héritage Museum to see the exhibit on the band and its legacy. “It’s not every day that there’s an exhibit at the museum concerning your family,” he said. “I’m excited.”

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About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.