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The Rocket: 12 Hour Commute

You remember Bryan Piitz - of Chubby Productions, last summer he gave my friend Ann and I a lesson in guerilla filmmaking (the results of which you can watch on the Chubby website).

Bryan's not been slacking since we last posted about him - aside from a few short video projects (watch them here) and an entry in the last Toronto Film Challenge, he's been hard at work on a longer, slightly more serious project.

Last year, Bryan decided to put his metro pass and his dv camera to good use - and Rochet: The Twelve-Hour Commute - is the result. A thirty-minute documentary wherein Bryan and his fiancee attempt to visit every tube station - in one day.

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Bryan's marathon commute is impressive, and not just because you have to have a special kind of patience for a day of mass transit. His narration is quirky and funny, and as he's such an easy guy to relate to, you get drawn into his mission and really root for him to finish.

Also, as I think most commuters know, after several long hours on the TTC you can't help but get a little pensive, a little meditative. Bryan's observations - particularly those about himself and how he feels, as a small-town guy, in the big city - are incisive and thought provoking; I found myself chuckling and nodding to his wry observations.

Bryan knows that his mission is, essentially, somewhat pointless, in that he has a series of destinations that have no larger context - or they didn't, at the time. He notes, philosophically, that there are plenty of things that we do that have no obvious value (climbing mountains, chugging cases of beer - I'd like to add playing video games to his list, if I may be so bold), yet we do them to be doing something - to complete something.

We attach meaning to things as we go. We do things for the sake of taking action of some kind, and figure out what it means later.

As he observes, quite pithily, I thought, "you don't have to know where you're going, to know how to get there."


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