Featured Member Works: Mattias Graham – “The Quiet Toll”
The Quiet Toll (2014)
In 1930s Montreal, Pierre, who is Catholic, struggles with what he should do after romantically connecting with another man, Xavier.
Screenings: Rendez-vous du cinéma Québecois 2014; RIFFA 2015
Born in Saskatoon and raised in Regina, Mattias Graham is a prairie filmmaker currently based in Montreal. A filmpooler since a teenager, he specialized in film production at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University from 2014-2014 and now works as a freelance editor while collaborating with other artists and developing personal projects. His last short film, Gas Can, screened internationally in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the UK, and the US and won Best of Saskatchewan at the Yorkton Film Festival 2017 and SIFAs for Best Film and Audience Choice in 2017. He is currently developing a new short film, Bleach, to be set in a competitive swimming environment.
Director’s note: I wrote and directed The Quiet Toll in 2011-2012 as a 19-year old student at Concordia University, with support from the Filmpool’s First Film Fund, the sound mix being finalized in 2014. The film was inspired by Montreal itself, its myriad of churches and extensive queer history, and the desire to make an ambitious “European-style” movie. I’ve been uncomfortable with the film for a long time, because I acted selfishly — trying to prove myself with an ambitious period piece rather than making sure the story was right, and avoiding the essential question: why tell a queer story if I’m not queer? That being said, even if the whole film doesn’t work, there are moments like the shaving scene and bedroom scene which do — maybe because they were drawn from my own life rather than a romanticized view of history — and the whole process, discomfort and all, was an important learning experience.