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Peter Mettler

For 20 years Peter Mettler has continued to create the kinds of films deemed impossible to make yet readily appreciated once they exist. A key figure in the critical wave of 80’s Canadian filmmakers including Atom Egoyan, Bruce McDonald, Patricia Rozema, Robert Lepage, Mettler has consistently produced works which elude categorization. Melting intuitive processes with drama, essay, experiment or documentation, his films continue to take a unique and influential position in creative expression and the merging of forms from cinema and other disciplines. Meditations on our world, rooted in personal experience, they reflect the visions and wonder of their characters and audiences alike. Mettlers films have garnered many prizes and been the subject of retrospectives internationally.

Mettler, a Swiss Canadian citizen, and a strong supporter of independent filmmaking, has collaborated with Werner Penzel, Michael Ondaatje, Atom Egoyan, Peter Weber, Andreas Züst, Fred Frith, Alexandra Rockingham Gill, Robert Lepage, Bruce McDonald, Patricia Rozema and many others. The various image and sound works of Mettler are occasionally presented in the form of exhibition or performance. A book on his work entitled Making the Invisible Visible was published in 1995. A creative residency, Verein Alpenhof was established, together with a group of artists, in Appenzell Switzerland in 2001. Currently Mettler is determining what to do with all the unused material from the shooting of Gambling, Gods and LSD.


2005 The Giant Buddhas
2002 Gambling, Gods and LSD
1994 Picture of Light
1989 The Top of His Head
1988 Walking After Midnight
1987 Family Viewing
1984 Next of Kin
1983 Scissere

Director’s statement

Picture of Light (1994) is very precise and focused on the Northern Lights, but it evolves into understanding perception and about questioning mediated experience. Picture of Light works in a similar way to Gambling, Gods and LSD (2002), but it is much bigger in terms of what it is addressing. It is not necessarily about the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), rather its about what we believe in and how we relate to each other.

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