L'Atelier National du Manitoba
The Tragedy of the Winnipeg Jets (2006)
"Winnipeg is not a city, it is a form of irony" - Matthew Rankin, L'Aterlier National du Manitoba
Using degraded scraps of de-accessioned Winnipeg television found in BFI bins and rubbish heaps, the filmmakers of the Atelier National du Manitoba have pieced together a surreal and ridiculous alternative history of the Winnipeg Jets. Combining depraved lo-fi video depictions of on-ice Jet humiliation with found footage of Quebec politics, Billy Van, Wayne Gretzky and porn, this experimental collage creates a provocative and satiric portrait of Winnipeg identity. Banned in its native Manitoba, "Death by Popcorn" has nonetheless become a cult hit throughout the art-house hockey circuit.
The Atelier National du Manitoba contends that the ironic epic of the Winnipeg Jets seems to mirror the mysterious trajectory of Winnipeg history itself. Both tell a story about people whose triumph was short-lived, whose defeat was monumental, whose drama was played out upon a cruel bed of ice, and who, at the end of their lives, moved to far away Phoenix Arizona.