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- 5.11.2009 16:51 -



The film portal Docalliancefilms.com will present the first film from the series by significant Canadian documentarist Peter Mettler on November 12. The first film to be introduced in on-line distribution is Mettler’s three-hour “transcendental” essay Gambling, Gods and LSD from 2002.

Peter Mettler is of Swiss origin, however, he was born and educated in Canada. His graduation film Scissere was awarded the Norman McLaren award for the best student film. In his further filmmaking career, he continued to develop a specific style of his own, hardly suiting any category. Ranging from dramatic to experimental and documentary film, his style is frequently defined by most critics as that of an essay. Mettler’s creative potential does not find realization on the film screen only. As cameraman, Peter Mettler has participated in numerous films of his colleagues, having cooperated on several films by Atom Egoyan among others.

In 1997, Peter Mettler set on a journey which, including brief pauses, took several years, bringing him to the realization of his original idea from 1988. It took two more years of postproduction for the fifty five hours of film material to become the film Gods, Gambling and LSD. Mettler travelled alone or with a small crew, gathering material in Canada, the US, Switzerland and India. His concept was defined by four thematic fields – the desire to transcend oneself, the negation of death (finality), the illusion of safety and the relationship of man to nature. These themes represented the only clue in Mettler’s film search.

“To me, it was important that the film is not based on a screenplay or a pre-established shooting plan. I relied on a rather open and intuitive approach. Even when shooting in this way, one has to decide and choose all the time; however, my clue consisted in my reactions to the people and events I met on the way.” (Peter Mettler)

In his essay, Mettler combined documentary observation with a lyrical camera and real sound with “sound sculpturing”. The result is an audiovisual composition, challenging spectators’ stereotypes and stirring amazement and wonder about everyday human existence. The film is a kind of a mosaic, a whole meaning more than a mere sum of its individual parts. Gambling, Gods and LSD challenges the viewer to actively participate in seeking sense so that the main theme of the film and the experience of watching it become one thing.

The sound aspect of the film comprises various sounds and music, be it music recorded at various places ranging from a Las Vegas casino to great techno parties and religious ceremonies in India, or borrowed from musicians such as Henryk Gorecki, Jim O’Rourke, Tony Coe, Knut & Silvy, Christian Fennezs and others.

The film Gambling, Gods and LSD was awarded e.g. at festivals in Nyon, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

“Those who have seen this film talk about dreamy-eyed. It is one of those rare experimental films that can charm both the critics and the wide audience. (Tobi Müller, Tages Anzeiger)

Docalliancefilms.com will gradually present other films by Mettler including his awarded film debut Scissere or the lyrical documentary about looking for the northern lights at the very north of Canada – The Picture of Light.

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