Tim and the Tin Titan


Train on the Brain
I caught a nice documentary on TVO the other day: Train on the Brain. I regret that I did not catch it from the beginning but what I saw looked great. Alison Murray travels as a hobo on freight trains across Canada and the US, showing us how the people who choose to not have a permanent and ride the rails live. She goes to the annual hobo convention (where they elect a King and Queen for the year) and meet many interesting people.

One fascinating tidbit is the pride some of these people have in being physically dirty, they wear it like a badge of honor of being a real hobo. When Alison take a ride in an empty coal car, she gets filthy and loves it.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it on DVD anywhere... But keep an eye out for it on TV or your local independent film festival.

According to this article, Alison will have a new documentary out soon: 
British film director Alison Murray (best known for the C4 documentary Train on the Brain) has had an unofficial mentor in Atom Egoyan ever since they met at a Canadian film festival. In fact Egoyan executive produced Murray's first feature film, Mouth to Mouth, a study of 1980s street culture which she has just finished shooting in Europe.

While reading up on this movie, I found out about another movie with almost the same formula: Catching Out. This time it's Sarah George hopping on the train, but she seems much more prepared than Alison, having a crew and researching contacts before hand. While I have not seen Catching Out, I can't help but wonder what this less spontaneous style will for the documentary style. Catching seem to have a bigger budget, including it's own website and DVD distribution.

And in case you are wondering, IMDB puts 2000 as the release date for Train on the Brain and 2003 for Catching Out but it seems that Catching Out might have been started before Brain...