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Canada, 1989 (MIFF 1990)

Director: Bruce McDonald

“THE CLASSIC NOTION of a road movie," says debut director Bruce McDonald, "usually has someone going on the mad for the slimmest of reasons, meeting a variety of characters and then having some sort of personal catharsis at the end. I wanted to make one with a bit more of a back beat."

Thus, when Ramona is dispatched by her rock promoter boss to the wilds of northern Ontario to find the renegade band The Children of Paradise, the journey is anything but run-of- the-mill. Ramona's dual search for the band and herself - remember, this is a road movie - begins to run astray as soon as she steps into a taxi driven by a drug-addled groupie who warns her about the "weirdos out there".

McDonald insists that the characters Ramona encounters - there's a rock star on a spiritual quest, a loner trying to break into the "competitive field of serial killing", a filmmaker searching for a bang-up ending to his intense documentary (played by McDonald) - rep- resent aspects of rock mythologies. "Much of it is centered around the idea of the rock martyr theme, the idea that you've got to make it," he explains.

McDonald uses a remarkable range of altemative music, from The Ramones and The Ugly Ducklings to 10 Seconds Over Tokyo and Nash the Slash to complement this off-the-wall odyssey. McDonald previously worked as an editor; his credits include Comic Book Confidential, Atom Egoyan's Speaking Parts and Family Viewing (screened at previous MIFFs). -(PKa)

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