Noah Reid on Art in Dark Times, His New TIFF Short Film, and Schitt’s Creek

image courtesy of Timelapse Pictures and Big & Quiet Pictures

His new short film, The Archivists, is now available on TIFF’s digital cinema platform.

Schitt Creek is one of the most watched shows during the lockdown and Noah Reid, who played Patrick Brewer on the beloved series, fully understands why.

“I think during the lockdown it’s great to have something that makes you laugh, warms your heart, and presents a bit of hope and joy.”

This ability of art to act as a balm during troubled times is at the origin of Archivists, a short film starring Reid that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this year. In a dystopian future where society has collapsed and where art is now illegal because it is seen as “decadent,” Reid and his co-stars Bahia Watson and Maxwell McCabe-Lokos play de facto archivists in a quest to retrieve the music wherever it still is. found.

“A film like Archivists points out that in the darkest of times, cultural production can really give you something you need, ”Reid says over the phone. “When the world is falling apart, at least you can watch something, somewhere, full of life.”

noah reid schitt's creek
Image courtesy of Timelapse Pictures and Big & Quiet Pictures

In the 13-minute short, available for rental on TIFF’s digital cinema platform, the three archivists encounter an abandoned house and decide to investigate. Inside, they find vinyl records covered in dust and an old phonograph. They take a random album – “The Age of Consent” – and try to recreate a song from the degraded disc using the instruments they find around the house.

The song, chosen by the director of the film Igor Drljaca, is Small village boy, a 1984 hit by British synth-pop group Bronski Beat. Given that all of the band members were openly gay and often sang about LGBTQ issues, the choice of this particular band adds another subtle political layer to the film.

“I didn’t know the song,” says Reid. “But it’s really interesting to see when that song came out and what it meant. It was a bit of a protest and a survival song. Archivists understand some of it and put it through their own perspective of the world in which they live. They find ways to connect with artists from the past and with everyday life and human struggle.

noah reid schitt's creek
Image courtesy of Timelapse Pictures and Big & Quiet Pictures

As a musician himself, the idea of ​​living in a world where music and art are suddenly illegal is troubling for Reid, especially considering how his own art has impacted the world over the years. in recent years. Earlier this summer he released a new album Gemini, hoping that people would find value and comfort there during this troubling time. “The record is about love and connection, doubt and isolation, so it’s thematically in line with what most of us are dealing with. And I think these types of contributions can come in handy at times like this. “

And of course, over the six seasons of Schitt Creek, the cast members have regularly received letters and social media messages from fans (especially the LGBTQ community) about the effect the show has had on their own personal journey or is having helped improve their relationships with family members. The David and Patrick relationship, in particular, has been a source of joy and hope for millions of people.

“I don’t think we could have imagined that this relationship could have had so much impact on people,” says Reid. “The big romantic gestures they make towards each other have found their way into people’s lives and I don’t think you can ask for a better legacy to be a part of it.”

The show is recognized for its sixth and final season with 15 Emmy nominations. The 2020 Emmys virtual ceremony takes place this Sunday, September 20, and Reid plans to reunite with a few of the cast for a little evening of social distance viewing.

“A few of us are going to get together and dress up and pretend it’s a really fancy thing. You have to choose your times these days to feel festive and it seems like a good time. “

The Archivists is available for rent on TIFF’s digital cinema platform for $ 19 until September 19. From September 24 to October 7, it will be available online as part of the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival.


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