83 minutes – Drama
Production company: Collaborative Effort Productions
Canadian distributor: Grimthorpe Films Inc.
Peter Mettler’s first feature, a student film produced at Ryerson on a budget of $20,000, Scissere is a daring experiment in narrative form. In an exercise that would influence much of his future work (particularly The Top of his Head), Mettler sustains a single subjective point of view throughout the film. While using an extended pallet of optical effects, Scissere captures the experiences of a mental patient, Bruno Scissere (Greg Krantz) who ventures beyond his institutional confines for the first time in many years. The story follows three characters who are related to each other only in the mind of Scissere. One of the three is also an addict, a wretched figure who blankly strokes his electric guitar and wanders aimlessly through each day. Another is a young mother who leaves her three-year-old child with a friend so she can enjoy just one day on her own. The third is an entomologist who makes a breakthrough discovery of a rare insect species. Mettler’s formal strategy invites viewers to participate in this construction of reality. It is this process that raises the film from pure experiment to profound statement. Scissere screened at a number of film festivals, including its premiere as a Special Presentation at the Toronto Festival of Festivals, which became the Toronto International Film Festival, now usually referred to as TIFF. Scissere won three awards, including the Norman McLaren Award for Best Film, at the Canadian Student Film Festival.