Gregory Wild

Director, Designer
Lives in
Vancouver , BC
British Columbia CA

Director, art designer. Calgary- and UBC-educated, Vancouver-based filmmaker Gregory Wild was hailed at the time of the 1994 release of his feature Highway of Heartache(86), as part of the new West Coast Wave of Canadian cinema. But this brilliant Female Trouble-meets-Coal Miner’s Daughter-meets-Peewee’s Big Adventure camp/country musical was a one-off effort. Wild, apparently bogged down in the project he announced back then as “Jane Blond Glamour Spies” in vintage technicolor, thereafter disappeared from view. The movie’s big draw for the 1994 Toronto International Festival and many queer community fests was not only the high energy visual artifice but also the straight and strong songs composed and performed by Seattle-bred singer/star Barbara Chamberlin, later based in Whitehorse. They may have titles like “I Got the Burning Beaver Blues,” (about the heroine Wynona Sue Turnpike’s green and viscous STD attack), but the voice and the emotion are true. Funders were less than enthused, however, about Wild’s eagerness to court offense through anti-p.c. discourses around race and gender. The Village Voice opined that camp had died in the 1980s and that “this turkey-fisted satire grinds its gears down a highway to headache (10 Sept. 1996),” butThe Montreal Mirror’s Steve Kokker recognized “a satiric take on the Christian right, sexism in the workplace, the male sex role, oppression and tabloid TV” and an overdue desecration of the “sanctity of Canadian cinema” to boot (n.d., 1996). Wild’s earlier shorts entitled Cry... Baby Boom [1990] and Meat Market [1991], already attracted the attention of queer festival programmers to his high camp sensibility, as well as high production values and frissons of John Waters.