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Hard Drive’s hard bargain 

Bill MacGillivray’s staccato-paced Hard Drive will open this Friday

click to enlarge Hard Drive moves with “rhythm and beat.” - DAN CALLIS
  • Hard Drive moves with “rhythm and beat.”
  • Dan Callis

"We felt it was important to make this film," says Bill MacGillivray, writer and director of Hard Drive, a locally shot feature opening this Friday at Park Lane, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

MacGillivray, a recipient of the last year's Governor General's Award for Media Arts, was introduced to the novel on which the film is based by his production partner, Terry Greenlaw. "We were both immediately taken by the strength of the two main characters. The novel was written poetically through a staccato use of language. So we drove it with rhythm and beat."

Hard Drive handles the chance meeting of Ditch (Douglas Smith) and Deb (Laura Slade Wiggins) and an affair that takes on urgency and unpredictability, amplified by the prominence of jazz. Scored by and also starring Jerry Granelli, the film's realism moves with the soundtrack.

"You think you know where the film is going to go, and even though it's unpredictable, it's satisfying, like good music, which always feels resolved by the end," says MacGillivray.

While Hard Drive is a mature film centred on young adults, the warmth of performances by Granelli and Megan Follows as single mother Barbara, in conjunction with the film's climactic revelations and dark suspense, widens its appeal: "We're all terrified at that age; we think we know the answers but we don't. The nice thing is there's an element of faith we have," he says.

"There are things happening all around us, on the internet or in the news, where children are dealing with huge issues and they need to know that you have to stick it out and find your own inner strength. What matters is that Ditch takes control of his life, and that's the arc we go through: if you find inner strength and good friends to help you, you can find your way."

Hard Drive
Opens Friday, August 29
Q&A with filmmakers 7pm, Friday, August 29 at Park Lane

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