The Big Dig
In the summer of 1984 Henri Robideau, Jeannie Kamins and their eight year old son Frank, drove across Canada on the most ambitious Gianthropological Dig ever conducted. From one end of the country to the other they photographed and videoed their adventure.
Two decades later Frank, having become a film maker, revisited the Big Dig video footage and created this epic short. In voice-over commentary Professor Robideau describes the Giant Things they encountered, as well as the fundamentals of the Pancanadienne Gianthropological Survey.
Produced in 2003 with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Black & white and color versions, 9 minutes.
Can be viewed on henrirobideau.ca
1989 Canadian Cult Film Classic
Set against the bleak backdrop of northern Ontario, this classic Canadian indie-film (director Bruce McDonald) tells the tale of a young woman’s road trip (Valerie Buhagiar) in search of a hard rock band (Joey Ramone) lost on tour in the bush bars of small town Canada. Written by and co-staring Don McKellar as a serial killer with a big gun and blood lust for rockers, ROADKILL is steeped in the culture of 1989 Ontario.
In three different sections of the film Giant Things are included in the story– the Giant Nickel in Sudbury, a Giant Concrete Dog, location unknown, and a musical montage featuring the four postcard images from the Pancanadienne Gianthropological Survey and the rock song Have You Seen My Shoes by Rita Chiarelli. Though he never received an on screen credit, Professor Robideau rates ROADKILL Thumbs Up.
The Pancanadienne Gianthropological Survey and Professor Robideau’s photographs profoundly influenced Canadian culture during the 1980’s. The makers of the film ROADKILL consulted with Professor Robideau for shooting (pun) locations based on his postcard set and then when his book Canada’s Gigantic! came out during the making of the film, the crew carried it with them as a guide. The film ever so briefly includes these four postcard images.
© 2021 Henri Robideau