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Filmmaker finds beauty in decay in doc-style music video about Winnipeg

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Royal Canoe has teamed up with Winnipeg-via-Montreal filmmaker Matthew Rankin for a audio-visual love letter to Winnipeg.

Released Monday, the music video for Exodus of the Year uses a documentarian’s eye and degraded Super 8 footage to subvert "the tropes of Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce-style civic boosterism" and offer a real look at the city we love/hate. Rankin finds beauty in the decay.

"I don’t know if this is true of other cities, but for some weird reason Winnipeggers have been bombarded for the past four decades by business-driven propaganda campaigns which aim to boost our hometown pride, promote tourism and economic growth," Rankin is quoted as saying in a press release.

The director has long been concerned with Winnipeg iconography; his filmography includes such ’Peg-centric works as Tabula Rasa (a surrealist retelling of the flood of 1950), Negativipeg (a documentary about Rory Lepine’s infamous 1985 encounter with Burton Cummings) and Cattle Call (an animated imagining of a Winnipeg cattle auction, co-created with fellow filmmaker Mike Maryniuk).

"Each successive campaign is even more desperate and embarrassing than the last and they all fail, because they insist upon such a fake and whitewashed image of Winnipeg. For the Exodus video, we wanted to warp the cinematic vocabulary of these obsolete Winnipeg tourism filmstrips and create a kind of subversive travelogue about the Winnipeg that is truly meaningful to us."

Exodus of the Year is from Royal Canoe’s Juno-nominated 2013 debut, Today We’re Believers.

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