West Wind: the Vision of Tom Thomson

“West Wind is a documentary on the life, art and death of perhaps Canada's most famous painter, Tom Thompson. It's a lovely piece of work from two of the country's most esteemed documentarians, Peter Raymont ( Shake Hands with the Devil) and Michèle Hozer ( Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould). It's also very thorough, chock full of arresting archival footage and musings in voiceover (from letters, journals and old audio recordings) by sundry pals, patrons and relatives, plus on-camera interviews with a potpourri of present-day experts, aficionados and collectors.

‘And, of course, there's lots of art, courtesy of Thomson's powerful sketches and paintings (many shot in nose-to-the-canvas close-up) and the documentary's directors of photography, Neville Ottey and John Westhauser, whose cinematography of Thomson's woodland haunts effectively mimics the artist's palette and vision.

“The tail end of the film focuses on the mystery of Thomson's death by drowning in Algonquin Park's Canoe Lake, and the disputes as to just where his remains are buried. Indeed, their film's greatest virtue is its concentration on Thomson the artist – his creative genius, the potency of his effects” - The Globe and Mail

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