(June 19, 2012 - Toronto, Ontario) This interview was a year in the making. In 2011, Northernstars contacted Paul Almond to ask if he would be in Toronto in the near future and if there would be a chance to talk with him about his career and what he's been doing these past many years. Although we learned that he would in fact be in Toronto, the timing, as it often is in this business, was terrible. As it turned out we just couldn't pull together a crew on those days when Mr. Almond had a few hours to spare. We were disappointed but promised to keep in touch and over the past year that's exactly what we did.
In late April of 2012 we began to confirm the dates when Mr. Almond would be stopping in Toronto on his annual trek from his home in California to his Canadian home in Shigawake on the Gaspé peninsula. With enough time to plan we arranged to videotape an interview in May. Northernstars Contributing Editor Wynhdam Wise had last interviewed Paul Almond for Take One Magazine in 2004 and quickly agreed to do so again for us.
In this three-part exclusive interview, Paul Almond talks first about the writing of the Alford Saga, a series of books based his family's history, a history in Canada that dates back more than 200 years.
In Part Two, the conversation turns to his start at the CBC in the formative days of television in Canada. He jokes about how, as a poet, he thought he shouldn't have to work, and what it was like in that era working with fellow directors Ted Kotcheff, Norman Jewison and others.
In Part Three, the longest of the three sections, Mr. Almond moves from television to filmmaking in a career that ended when the stress of the profession resulted in a heart attack. Most of the discussion centres on his film, Isabel, that starred his then wife Geneviève Bujold. This section features images scanned from an original set of lobby cards for Isabel that is part of our Northernstars Collection, as is the black and white publicity still from Act of the Heart. Due to the length of Part Three, download times may increase but we have optimized these clips (m4v) for viewing on iPhones and iPads as well as most desktop computers. We have provided a link to a free download of QuickTime if you need to update your software.
Northernstars.ca thanks Paul Almond for this time, and we look forward to talking to him again soon.