The Ontario-bred, York-trained filmmaker is known for his auspicious feature debut Hayseed (1997, 90; co-directed with queer-friendly Andrew Hayes b. 1971), which played TIFF and Sundance as well as the international rack of queer community festivals. In this Candide-style parable, Gordie, a diminutive blond cutie from a matriarchal rural farmstead, follows his lost beagle to big-city Toronto, and never stops smiling despite all the gay white slave traders and other corrupt, exploitative and lustful wackos encountered there (cameos by the Toronto queer cabal Thompson, MacIvor and LaBruce), as well as the requisite whore with a heart of gold whose profession oblivious Gordie narrowly escapes joining. Levy had worked on "Kids in the Hall" and other than Thompson, secured "Kids" backing in the form of a co-writer credit for Paul Bellini and a cameo by Mark McKinney. Hayseed somehow missed entering the Canadian canon, perhaps because the fresh, folksy but sex-savvy satire of innocence adrift was hard to pigeonhole as either queer or otherwise, or because the Egoyan-Cronenberg tastemakers prefer to keep our frothy comic sensibilities on television and reserve the Art Cinema for world-heavy themes.
Toronto , ON