If you happen to be in Rotterdam or thereabouts I suggest you go see Mike Maryniuk’s new feature film The Goose, which is screening three times this week at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The Goose is worth seeing for the bare fact alone that it is a psychedelic thrill ride sure to leave you entranced from the opening shot until the credits roll. But! beyond that, you should also go see it because I play the titular character. The Goose is a mute man-boy who gradually comes to the idea of escaping the dead ends of his close-minded rural Manitoban town and heading south to Arizona before another long harsh winter hits home. Travelling by foot through a tripped-out version of the Interlake, soundtracked by Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers, the Goose meets a deli-platter of uniquely Manitoban caricatures, impeccably dressed by the incomparable Gwen Trutnau and portrayed by the likes of Al Simmons, Washboard Hank and Lee White of the Crumbs (among others).
Getting the chance to work on this film has been a highlight of my stupid life. Not only was it as fun as all hell to drive around the back country roads, from town to village to hamlet, searching for some strange location that Maryniuk has had stored in his mind since childhood; nor was the fun confined to the fact that I got to join the film’s small crew of tight-knit filmmakers coming together with more love than money to see this thing through; not even the fact that I was hanging out with a bunch of Winnipeg Weirdos™ issued the artistic license to act even weirder than usual is what made this experience as enjoyable as it was. Ultimately the most rewarding part of this whole dang thing was the fact that I got to be involved in the realization of a Mike Maryniuk project. I believe so deeply in what he is doing, and it was a great honour to be allowed on set, let alone to play the main character. This film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and I’m overfrickinjoyed that I got to be a part of it.
If you aren’t in Europe this week, don’t worry. You will also be able to catch the film elsewhere sometime soon. I’ll keep you posted.