After a year of sold out screenings in theatres, galleries and film festivals across Canada, with invitations to venues in the U.S., England, Norway and The Netherlands, Peter Raymont and Michèle Hozer’s definitive West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson will have its world broadcast premiere on BRAVO, this Thanksgiving weekend, Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 10pm Eastern – an apt time of year for fans of the artist described as Canada’s “greatest colourist” and “our Van Gogh”.
Based, in part, on Roy MacGregor’s best-selling book Northern Light: Tom Thomson and the Woman Who Loved Him, West Wind explores Thomson’s life and mysterious death, reveals his paintings in stunning detail, includes long lost audio recordings of those who knew Thomson, the authentication of his earliest known oil painting, and offers insights from Canada ’s foremost curators and collectors. Actors Gordon Pinsent, Eric Peterson and Susan Coyne bring the voices of Thomson’s colleagues to life. John Welsman’s evocative music score reminds us of Thomson’s extraordinary gift to all Canadians.
Raised on the shores of Georgian Bay, Thomson led his Toronto colleagues, future members of the Group of Seven, to the north and Algonquin Park in 1914, where together they experimented in painting rivers, lakes, trees and skies in a bold new way, with raw and vibrant colours.
On July 8, 1917, just when he was reaching ascendancy in his craft, Thomson paddled across Canoe Lake and disappeared. His body surfaced 8 days later. The cause of his death remains a mystery. As is the mystery of his final resting place… until new research revealed in West Wind.
Thanks to support from the Bell New Media Fund, White Pine Pictures has also created an extensive website that will allow visitors to follow Thomson’s biographical trail, learn about his childhood home in Leith, Ontario, his years in the gold-rush frontier town of Seattle, his time in Toronto where he had his artistic coming of age with those who became known as the Group of Seven and of course more information about Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park, the northern wilderness that inspired him to paint. The website had its official launch last night during a brief ceremony held, fittingly, at the Art Gallery of Ontario which houses one of the most impressive collections of work by Tom Thomson and other Group of Seven artists. Peter Raymont was there primarily to introduce his co-producer on the film, Nancy Lang (pictured above) who was primarily in charge of developing the website. She walked a large and appreciative gathering through the site pointing out its many highlights, exclusives, and depth. Virtually every known work of art by Thomson is on the site thanks to the cooperation of the Canadian museums that house his work. It was a stunning display of research and dedication and the country, indeed the world, has been given a remarkable gift.
Click to watch the trailer for West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson
Click here to visit tomthomsonart.ca