Sometimes we meet people on the fringe, people who do not subscribe to society's dominant rituals, people who may be addicted to any number of illegal stimuli, but in the face of more pervasive delusions find themselves consistently sober and lucid. They are often artists, or recluses, or both. Sometimes we admire them. Sometimes we are inspired by them. Sometimes they give us a sense of liberation, promise and hope. Sometimes they send us warning of places we shouldn't go.
Chris Landreth has made a remarkable film about himself and Ryan Larkin, about two vibrant souls in various stages of burning. It's about the process of animating life, about creating art and about living on the cusp of madness and reality. It's a truly remarkable film, completely deserving of its Academy Award.
The film alone would be worth the price of admission, but the documentary, Alter Egos, is included, and it is equally brilliant. In it, you'll learn more about Ryan, more about the history of the National Film Board of Canada and more about the genius of two men at the center of this work. Also included are additional short films from both artists, as well as commentary tracks. It's a great package, and hopefully it will inspire you to seek out more of the work of the NFB.