You know Christopher Pratt designed the Newfoundland flag, and if you’re a cultural being at all, you’d recognize a painting as his just by the style of it. Maybe you’ve even read his poems, or know that his first name is actually John, not Christopher. But to really know a cultural icon, you have to watch the doc on them.
Take the trailer below, where Pratt candidly tells the camera he’s content but not happy, and has regrets anyone who knows him could likely name.
Award-wining filmmaker Kenneth J. Harvey promises viewers “will see a Pratt you never imagined,” and what surprised Harvey the most, he jokes, or maybe genuinely means, was Pratt’s ability to “take so much abuse from me.”
Like Harvey’s previous documentary on another epic local painter — the stunning I Heard a Birch Tree Whisper in the Night (about Gerald Squires) — his doc Immaculate Memories: The Uncluttered Worlds of Christopher Pratt is sure to be a riveting rendering of one of our province’s most nationally renowned cultural icons.
You can catch it two times this week at the Nickel Independent Film Festival:
Wednesday Night @ The LSPU Hall (6:30pm)
Alongside 3 short films.
Saturday Afternoon @ The LSPU Hall (2pm)
Alongside 3 short films.
Harvey says he was drawn to Pratt as subject matter because “he was part of the Holy Trinity of NL painters that I recognized since I was a child: Squires, Pratt, and Blackwood.” It begs the question of whether Blackwood will get the Harvey biography treatment to complete what would be a holy trinity of docs.
Like Blackwood and Squires, Pratt was naturally pulled to painting. He was at Mount Allison University studying Pre-med, when he found himself engrossed with Fine Arts. None other than Lawren P. Harris and Alex Colville encouraged him to pack in his future stethoscope for a paintbrush. Some of the precision evident in his work came from his time working as a construction surveyor at the American Naval Base at Argentia.
Immaculate Memories: The Uncluttered Worlds of Christopher Pratt is officially being described as “an engaging look at one of Canada’s most important living painters” and “the first feature-length documentary that Christopher Pratt has agreed to participate in … [it is] an honest, funny, eloquent, bizarre, and sometimes unsettling account of his life and art.”
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