A Right to Live (1977) Producer-director. 62 minutes. 16mm.
This popular documentary began as an experiment in community access film making. The film presses for change in legislation regarding job safety and Workman’s Compensation. It was produced with the involvement of injured workers in every stage of the production. The result is a unique glimpse into the lives of workers whom society has “thrown on the scrap heap” because of job injuries, and their determination to fight back.
Cited as one of the “key moments in the history of committed documentary in Canada” by Peter Steven in Brink of Reality: New Canadian Documentary Film and Video, Between the Lines, 1993.
Festivals: The Grierson Seminar, Niagara on the Lake, 1977; Political Films Series, Carleton University, 1979; Canadian Images Festival, Peterborough, 1979.
The Only Thing You Know (1971) Writer, producer, director, editor. 86 minutes. 16mm.
Cast: Ann Knox, Allan Royal, John Denos, Iain Ewing
A theatrical feature about a courageous young woman’s first experiences away from home. Made on a tiny budget, using an almost completely nonprofessional cast and crew, and utilizing a difficult improvisational performance style, this film is now recognized as an important work in Canadian cinema.
Awards: Best Actress, Canadian Film Awards, 1971; Special Jury Prize, Canadian Film Awards, 1971.
Note: In 2006, this film was restored and released as a fully-featured DVD by the Pioneers in Independent Canadian Cinema Project, funded by the AV Trust and Heritage Canada. DVD Launch Screenings: NFB John Spotton Cinema, Toronto, Oct. 15, 2006; Cinema Kingston, Oct. 22, 2006; Canadian Film Institute, Ottawa, Jan. 28, 2007
Festivals: “Les Cinémas du Canada” Canadian film retrospective organized by le Centre Georges Pompidou (Beaubourg) in Paris, France, 1993; Festival of Festivals, “Perspective Canada” Series, Toronto, 1984.
“…an imaginative portrait of an ordinary young woman’s brief emotional journey into adulthood…it offers a singular and authentic vision of the life of a young, middle– class Torontonian in the early seventies.”
– Peter Morris, The Film Companion, 1984
“…a beautiful, unpretentious film…telling us more, bringing us closer to contemporary youth than any big–budget, slickly packaged, “youth movie” in recent years.”
– John Hofsess, Maclean’s Magazine, 1971
Festival Express (shot in 1970 and released in 2003) Cinematographer
Clarke Mackey was one of four cinematographers on the 1970 concert tour featuring Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and The Band, that became Festival Express, released 34 years after the original event.
Link to the trailer for Festival Express