Generation X gets a new spokesman

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U of R professor premieres film

Iryn Tushabe
News Writer

A film by Brian Stockton, filmmaker and professor in the University of Regina’s film and video production program premiered last Friday at the Mackenzie Art Gallery.

The Shumiatcher theatre was packed to capacity with film buffs, and those who appeared in the film.

The film, entitled My Dinner with Generation X is an informative yet fun-packed documentary about the lifestyle of those born within the ’60s to the ’80s.

Shot as a road movie, My Dinner with Generation X is part comedy and part childhood nostalgia.

“The idea was something I’ve been mulling over for the last 10 years or so, but when we finally decided to do it, it was a year and half from start to finish. That’s not bad for a 48-minute documentary; they can easily take much longer,” said Stockton.

The film incorporates footage from the 24 Store – a film made by Stockton  in the ’80s. It follows two young friends whose emotional lives are disrupted by the arrival of the first 24-hour corner store in their city.

“Filmed in the ’80s, it seems like nobody really saw it when it came out so I thought it would be a good idea to make good use of it someday.” Explained Stockton

Stockton thought it was important to set the record straight on who are the real Generation X-er’s.

“Myself and my friends born in the early ’60s are part of a weird quirk in demographics that puts as part of the baby boom, but since we’re the tail end of the boom our experience was vastly different from those people we know as baby boomers (those born in the ’40s and ’50s.) The term Generation X was popularized by Douglas Coupland in his book of the same name, and demographer David Foot re-enforced that definition with his book Boom Bust and Echo, but over the years the term has been co-opted by marketers and twisted in various ways to the point where we don’t even have our label anymore.”

Stockton explains that the film’s title is a reference to My Dinner with Andre, Louis Malle’s 1981 film featuring two people just having a conversation.

“So when I thought about doing a film about Generation X I thought, ‘wouldn't it be nice to buy David Foot dinner for being so nice to us.’ That evolved into a film idea whereby I would interview various people over dinner, although we realized that would be a logistical nightmare so we skipped the food and just did the interviews,” Stockton explained.

Stockton seemed pleased with the turnout and success of the film’s world premiere. “The premiere was outstanding, it couldn’t have gone better. The audience was really into it right off the top and it never let up.”

Asked if the film turned out to be everything he wanted it to be, Stockton responded, “Filmmaking is always the art of compromise. No matter what budget level you’re working at you can never do everything you want to do, and the circumstances surrounding filmmaking can never be completely controlled. So when you’re shooting a film you just have to manage the chaos and hope that when you get to the editing suite you can make sense of it all. So like every film there are some things I would change or would like to do better, but overall I’m thrilled with how the film turned out.”

Produced by Tobi Lampard and funded in part by SCN, The film aired on SCN on Oct. 17. 

Stockton’s next film will be another in his series of shorts called The Epic Story of My Life.

“This one involves my vast collection of photographs I’ve been taking since 1982. It will be a collage of 25 years of my life in pictures, sort of like my life flashing before my eyes. It won’t be done until late 2011 at the soonest.”

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