For A Different Drummer, filmmaker John Zaritsky was inspired by the work of Dr. David Weeks, a neuropsychologist and psychotherapist who conducted a long study on eccentrics. He found them to be healthier, happier and longer-lived than the population at large. What makes these oddballs stay curious and active is the subject of the film.
Zaritsky's selection of eccentrics shows a great deal of scope in some ways although all are of a similar age (none are less than forty) and are native English-speakers. But their strange quirks and fascinations are very different. Darla has a house full of wacky clothes and dresses to express her mood. She's never been bored and can often be seen taking up new instruments and performing for kids. Daniel rejected money and lives in a cave in Utah. Laura-Kay shares her life with a duck and makes prize packages for the homeless. John invents the silliest items he can think up.
One of the most well-rounded eccentrics is Gary Holloway, who is the president of the Martin Van Buren fan club (the most boring US president), has the world's largest collection of tea tins and wears a friar's robe. He also gives tours of his hometown, San Francisco, including rich stories of the city's many historic eccentrics.
One eccentric recalls his mother saying that she always saw a certain glint in his eye which was absent in all his siblings. How that wonderful glint can manifest itself is explored in a very fun way here. It is not surprising that the "normal" world can find a lot to learn and be inspired by in the generosity and joy of this film's subjects. A great project.
October 10th at 1:15 pm at SFU Woodwards