Benjamin’s father passed away. His therapist died suddenly. He and his wife are in the middle of a divorce. Heartbroken and grieving, Benjamin sets out to compose and record a massive concept album with his band The Holy Gasp.
In a dark Toronto music venue, The Holy Gasp plays an encore.
The song, A Daily Affirmation, riles the young crowd into dancing, stomping and shouting out the empowering lyrics: “My whole life is great and I can do anything good!”
Benjamin Hackman, the band’s frontman, wrote this song about a different time in his life; at this point, he sings it by rote.
The truth of Benjamin today is darker. His father passed away recently, his therapist died suddenly and he and his wife are in the middle of a divorce.
With nowhere else to go, Benjamin moves to an artist residency on Toronto Island and sets out to compose and record a new concept album: The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex.
Throughout his process, we encounter the personalities and pressures of recording an album with 26 parts for 18 musicians in 11 days. We delve into the lyrical poetry of the songs themselves, revealing insights and questions about love, family, loss and mental health. The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex is the story of a man in emotional free fall.
Produced and Directed by
Mathew Somerville Wronski
Sara O. Shahsavari
Michael Louis Johnson
Eva Moonsy Palmar
Post-Production Services provided by Sim Toronto
Arthur Ditner - Colourist and Online Editor
Kali Raigh - Conform Editor
Barry Gilmore - Sound Editor
Matt Chan - Re-Recording Mixer
Jesse Fellows - Assistant Re-Recording Mixer
Erin Lewis - Project Coordinator
Alex Åslund - Operations Manager
Legal Services Provided By Divya Shahani
Insurance Provided by FRONT ROW
Material from the film “The Freshman” generously provided by © 2011 Harold Lloyd Entertainment, Inc.
A Very Special Thank You To:
Erika Neu Sargent
Thanks to the staff at:
The Smiling Buddha Bar
Artscape Gibraltar Point
City of Toronto
Without all of your help and support, this film could not have been made.
MUSIC by : THE HOLY GASP
“A Daily Affirmation”
Words and music by Benjamin Hackman (SOCAN)
Mixed, mastered, and engineered by Josh Korody at Candle Studios
“I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you”
“A Black Elevator”
“A Daily Affirmation #2”
“What I Gotta Know”
“The Tallest Grass”
“Since She Broke My Heart”
“A Boy And His Cookie”
“The Power Of Love”
Words & Music by Benjamin Hackman (SOCAN), Orchestrations by Sebastian Shinwell
Recorded by Dale Morningstar, Mixed by Craig Saltz
The filmmakers would like to acknowledge that the land on which this film was made is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Métis, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
© SARGENT FILMS INC 2018
all rights reserved
Produced in association with The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Executive in Charge of Production, CBC Docs