Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 12:00PM by Mike Doherty
The Paris-based provocateur and "entertainist" has scripted a feature-length film centred on the venerable board game and it's currently being filmed in his hometown of Toronto. 'Ivory Tower' stars Gonzales himself as Hershall Graves, an eccentric genius who invents an intuitive and collaborative style of play called "jazz chess."
Opposing him in chess, as well as in love, is his materialistic brother Thaddeus (played by electro producer Tiga); the object of the brothers' shared affection, a performance artist, is played by longtime Gonzales collaborator Peaches. Also appearing as a duo of "Canadian Chess Cyberchannel" journalists are comedy rocker Little Hamm and Gonzales' longtime friend and creative partner, Feist.
Speaking on-set at the Crescent School in north Toronto -- Gonzales' own alma mater -- he argues that his inexperience at film-making is advantageous. "I have the kind of tiger-in-a-paper-bag energy that I had on my first album when I didn't know what it was either. Learning on the job makes you very enthusiastic."
"If you had a full-on professional Toronto film crew," says producer Nicolas Kazamia, "they would not respond well. Chilly's stuff is all very intuitive, so you have to be able to improv a little bit. This is a little bit unorthodox. Believe it or not, we're on schedule, which is kinda shocking."
Gonzales has been building the scenes around the music rather than the other way around. Nonetheless, he insists, "We're trying to do it as professionally as possible so that it can have a chance -- not just, 'Here's the new long-form video of the Gonzales album' -- so people can see it and be touched by the story, even if nobody had ever heard of Gonzales. That would be great. In my dreams, people can look at it and just enjoy the movie."