Over the years we’ve enjoyed following the career of singer, songwriter, and (now) filmmaker Ian Foster. In addition to terrific albums like “Sleeper Years” (which was one of our favorites in 2017), Foster has not only written music for films like “Hand.Line.Cod” (which premiered at TIFF in 2016) but is now making films of his own. His recent short film “Keystone” was named one of the top ten shorts of the year at the Calgary International Film Festival.
Now, Foster has turned his considerable talents to a full-length film and album project delving into the specter of chronic health issues. For many of us, it looms like a ghost – far away while we’re young, but closer and closer as we (and our loved ones) age. And for those of us who have dealt with such issues either in our own lives or those of our family, that specter can easily consume most facets of life.
These are the issues with which Foster is wrestling in “Close to the Bone.” Of “Pre-Existing Condition,” the first single from the project, Foster says, “(It’s) about that mourning period when you feel you’ve lost a part of your identity. In this case, it’s about the mother character in the film story who has a chronic illness.”
Foster found inspiration for the film in his own family history, pulling from his mother’s experience of caring for a parent with rheumatoid arthritis – a disease which afflicts many today (myself included) and can steal a significant chunk of life away for everyone touched by it.
Featuring backing vocals by Nancy Hynes and Annie Sumi, the song offers a moody, 80s-synth soundscape that captures both the frustration of being trapped by illness and the dawning realization that some things lie beyond human control. However, that realization can also open the door to moving beyond that frustration and accepting what now is – whether the character in the film reaches that point, of course, is a question to be answered when the film is released.
“It ain’t us
It’s a pre-existing condition”
The forthcoming album was written specifically with the film in mind, and songs from it appear throughout the movie. “Close to the Bone” has already screened at several film festivals in eastern Canada.
The film and the album will be available everywhere on 29 March 2023.
Visit the website for “Close to the Bone.”
Photo credit: Jerry Stamp