Like You Were Before (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

Like You Were Before

Home movies and movies about home

Walking in off a dark, rainy Marchmont street to the dimly-lit cinematic wonderland of Alphabet Video after hours, the stage is already set for cosy personal revelation. Debbie Pearson, Canadian emigrée, and former Alphabet employee-turned playwright faces the audience from behind the counter, as, with the candour of a close friend confiding intimacies, she talks us through a time and life she’s left behind.

Pearson left Toronto in 2005, keeping a video record of her last couple of days; loving close-ups of her best friends; her parents, with whom she’d fought the night before, in uncomfortable silence over coffee in the airport. As the video plays out (alongside another, silent installation filmed from a train window, travelling backwards), Pearson stops it occasionally to point out details, help us crack the codes of friendship; and whenever her own voice comes on the speakers she talks along with it, note perfect but at a remove, trying in vain to insert herself back into the past. As a whole, this is a beautiful, accomplished, bittersweet and philosophical work on love, loss and memory.

Alphabet Video, as part of Forest Fringe,, until 21 Aug, 10.30pm, free.

Like You Were Before

  • 4 stars

October 27th, 2005. The temperature in Toronto was 12 degrees celsius. The Canadian dollar was at 80 cents to the American dollar, 85 cents to the Euro, and 52 p to the pound. It was intermittently sunny and cloudy. In the UK it was probably cloudy. The Toronto Argonauts were playing the Hamilton Tigercats at the Rogers…