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Old 09-22-2020, 05:31 PM   #97
Join Date: May 2000
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Default Re: HOT DOCS-Lightfoot doc.-interviews/photos/articles-Apr-2019-AND TV viewing info

He also was a boater on the Great Lakes. Did the wreck change how he approached the lake?

Kehoe: I don’t think so, because I think that if you’re a sort of a leisure sailor in Canada, you’re not sailing in November. I think November is freighters-only on the lakes, because of those things. So I think what he had more than anything was a love of the lakes, a love of the islands there, and a love of that whole area. Gord also loved industry in a way that men of his generation really did. I think he’s very interested in all sorts of blue-collar walks of life, of guys that work on ships or miners, or the railroad. He just was fascinated with every aspect of that sort of thing. When he read that story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, I think Gordon’s a guy who sees poetry in things, and he sees epic-ness in the everyday. I think that he really felt that that was such a tragedy. As he says in the movie, if they’d made another 15 kilometers, they probably would’ve been safe. And I really think that he felt it was a tragedy that it deserved more notice. He wanted to write an epic poem for this tragedy and for these sailors.

Which documentary filmmakers influenced you?

Kehoe: When I was at film school, I met the Maisel Brothers. They came and talked. And obviously, the films that they made Grey Gardens and Give Me Shelter, that’s kind of ground zero. I’ve always said that one of my favorite films of all time is Nanook of the North, which was not really a documentary, but it had certain documentary elements. Ken Burns, there’s so many great documentary makers now.
Canada has also had a long history of documentary. And the CBC, which is the national broadcaster who was our broadcaster partner on this, has a real history of documentary, so that’s something as Canadians that we just grew up with. We used to watch docs when we were kids. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say the guy who is one of our executive producers. John Brunton, who owns Insight Productions, made a film for TV in 1980 about Canadian music, and that really influenced me.

Tosoni: And me too. We didn’t really even know each other at the time, Martha and I, but we both had a bit of the same experience of seeing that program. It was a series called Heart of Gold, based on the Neil Young song, but it was on the history of rock music in Canada, basically, pop and rock. And he had a hard time. People laughed at him when he said he wanted to make this film. And when we saw it on TV, I was calling my friends and saying, “You’ve got to watch this thing. If you miss part one, there’s two more parts. Watch it.”

As fate would have it, we did the second. It’s now a trilogy. Martha and I made Country Gold together, which was a three-hour series. And then Martha made Comedy Gold, which was on Canadian comedy.

He’s been covered by many artists. What are his favorite covers of his, and what are yours covers of his songs?

Kehoe: Sarah McLachlan covered “Song for a Winter’s Night,” and that’s really lovely. While I was researching this, I heard the Harry Belafonte version of that, and that was quite nice as well. Tony Rice is a bluegrass player, and he did a whole album of Gordon covers. And honestly, they’re all quite fantastic. Glen Campbell’s done some good ones. Anne Murray, her version of “Cotton Jenny” was kind of a hit in Canada. Obviously, Neil Young’s version of “Early Morning Rain.”

Tosoni: And we can’t forget Alison Krauss’ version of “Shadows.” And also the Tragically Hip version of “Black Day in July,” which is in the film because Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip are very, very beloved in Canada. Downie died a year or two ago, and when we were making the film actually. We used one that I loved in the film and that’s the Diana Krall and Sarah McLachlan cover of “If You Could Read My Mind.” I think it’s really beautiful. Gord says he’s never heard a cover he didn’t like.

It’s a shame Sinatra tossed “If You Could Read My Mind.”

Kehoe: Well, apparently, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” hit the ground that night, same session, as well. So he was in good company of songs that were rejected out of hand.
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