Before the world ends, watch Don McKellar talk about his apocalyptic film 'Last Night'
The Toronto-set doomsday classic is at the heart of the latest episode of 'The Filmmakers'
There's no shortage of movies about the apocalypse, and those movies typically feature the likes of zombies or asteroids or aliens. But in Don McKellar's 1998 film Last Night, we never actually know why the world is ending — we just know that it is.
- THE FILMMAKERSIt was the end of the world as he knew it: Looking back at Don McKellar's 'Last Night'
Set in Toronto, the film stars Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg and McKellar himself as a group of friends and family negotiating their very last night on earth. It was nominated for a whopping 13 Genie Awards — and launched McKellar's career as a director in the process.
Almost 20 years later, McKellar has gone on to amass an extraordinary career that includes everything from Tony Award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone to TV series like Sensitive Skin and Michael: Every Day to the films Childstar and The Grand Seduction. But on the latest episode of The Filmmakers, we headed back to the end of the world, interviewing McKellar and then showing you the film itself (which you can now stream online for free). And if it all leaves you wanting more, the above video offers an extended cut of McKellar's interview, in which he talks about, among other things, the rarity — and odd complexities — of making a film that's actually set in Toronto.
"I, in fact, went out of my way to put some iconic Torontonian things in it," he recalls. "Like the streetcars, for instance. I feature Toronto streetcars, which I thought of as being a very iconic Toronto image. Although they were on the poster in France and they went, 'Oh, we can't have this.' And I said, 'Why not?' And they said, 'We want it to look like North America. This looks like Poland.'"
Turns out even when Toronto gets a chance to play itself, it can't catch a break. Even during the apocalypse.