Monday, September 16, 2019Light Snow -5°C
City, Film

More on Ryan Larkin

Posted by John / February 19, 2007

20070217_larkin.jpgMP alumnus Mog Hewings writes:

It was a strange, sad life for Ryan Larkin, celebrated animator and later panhandler of the Main. He died peacefully in his sleep after a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of 63 on Valentines Day.

In the 1970s, Larkin became a star in the world of animation. If you ever studied anything to do with art, you’ve seen his genius films. He worked for the NFB in its hayday and made some of the most acclaimed Canadian animated shorts, including Walking (for which he received an Oscar nomination), Street Musique, Syrinx and Cityscape.

As a lowly ice cream scoop at Ripples Ice Cream on St-Laurent back in the late 90s, I used to see Larkin vie for this city’s prime panhandling spot – just outside of Schwartz's. He often used his umbrella to shoo away competition. At the time no one, except perhaps a few locals and fellow bums, knew who he was. My sculptor friend Stanley Lewis (a bon vivant and contemporary of Larkin’s who also passed on this past year) was my favourite gossip during tedious rainy scooping days, and was the first to tell me tales about Ryan, “the once-famous animator.”

At the time, Larkin was a slip of a man, hunched, and more often than not drunk. He always seemed to me to reflect something profound about this city’s soul, that “thing” (for lack of a better word) that makes Montreal so damn attractive. A mix of ubiquitous hard (or is it easy?) living and artistic madness that has us all careening just a bit too close – deliciously close – to the edge?

Years later, in 2005, Larkin became “a media darling” of sorts, his story plastered all over the local and Canadian news thanks to the Oscar winning film Ryan, an animated short by Christopher Landreth about Larkin’s life.

This past year Larkin found crossover appeal with his last projects, three short animated segments that aired on MTV in Canada.

Before his death, Laurie Gordon, Larkin’s producer, manager and good friend was working with Larkin on what was to be Larkin’s comeback film, Spare Change, about his experiences panhandling along the Main. The film’s production will continue in his memory.

Discussion

10 Comments

Vila H. / February 19, 2007 at 05:05 pm
user-pic
"<i>The film's production will continue in his memory.</i>"

So glad to hear it.
scott / February 19, 2007 at 07:10 pm
user-pic
well done mog. rip ryan.
Laurie / February 23, 2007 at 12:07 am
user-pic
Thanks for the kind words.Finishing Spare Change for my friend Ryan will be a labour of love.
http://www.phoenixtheatre.co.ke / June 17, 2014 at 08:24 am
user-pic
Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to know a lot about this,
like you wrote the guide in it or something. I believe
that you could do with a few p.c. to power the message
home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent
blog. A fantastic read. I'll definitely be back.
golu dolls / March 19, 2019 at 12:44 am
user-pic
nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 19, 2019 at 12:45 am
user-pic
nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 19, 2019 at 12:45 am
user-pic
nice post
Herbal Powder / March 19, 2019 at 12:45 am
user-pic
nice post

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto