True North | True North
Cranks is a city symphony focused on various characters dwelling in the sleepy, isolated town of Winnipeg. Connecting these disparate characters (and providing the film’s narration) are the letters they’ve written to Peter Warren, infamous host of the Action Line radio program, which was broadcast throughout Canada from 1971 until 1998. With his film emulating the aesthetic of a black-and-white photo album, Ryan McKenna’s (Le Coeur de madame Sabali, VIFF 15) ingenuity, wit, and creativity permeate every immaculately staged scene.
The film explores how journalists like Warren pioneered an accusatory and belligerent style of reporting and how this angry manner of tackling issues has trickled down into our culture and coloured lives. Through tableaux vivants, this hybrid film intimately explores mundane spaces and the odd existences that flourish there. Crackpot culture has rarely been rendered in such kaleidoscopic grandeur. Cranks is a testament to Winnipeg’s beguiling, deep-seated weirdness.