Tuesday, November 07, 2006

paper people

Vintage Ad #82 - The Paper People
Colour programming debuted on CBC in September 1966 with a documentary on the Calgary Stampede on Telescope (video clip). Slowly, colour worked its way across the schedule, which
brings us to today's ad.

A description of The Paper People from a 1991 article on author Timothy Findley's dramatic work in Theatre Research in Canada:

The 1967 broadcast of The Paper People, CBC's first feature-length colour film, caused an immediate controversy. Members of Parliament joined the public and critics in an outcry over the film's high cost and subject matter. The film focuses on an artist who fashions life-size figures out of papier-mâché then burns them in a kind of early performance art, filming the conflagration. The filming of a documentary about the artist's work frames the story. Findley came up with the plot idea after producer Mervyn Rosenzveig said he wanted a script to capture the essence of the sixties. Script editor Doris Gauntlett and director David Gardner helped shape the text and shooting script of the film.

For Findley, 1967 was a "people"-filled year, as it also saw the publication of his first novel Last of the Crazy People.

(Annoying autobiographical pause: Last of the Crazy People was my introduction to Findley, thanks to a reading Dad took me to when I was a kid. It was at a Chinese restaurant in downtown Windsor - don't remember the name of it (Oriental Express?), other than it was at the corner of Pitt and Ferry and was demolished years ago for the Daimler Chrysler building. All I remember is that it may have been the first time I ate a spring roll, Dad thought it was sweet Findley's partner William Whitehead was in attendance and I got a signed book out of it.)

The guest cast features an interesting contrast: Kate Reid, one of Canada's most distinguished actresses of the period, and Brett Somers, a few years removed from 1970s game show immortality on Match Game.

Festival (1960-69) was an arts program whose productions ranged from remounts of shows from Stratford to ballet, original dramas to literary classics.

Source: Toronto Life, December 1967

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