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12 Comments

culture

Filmmakers Turn TTC Inconvenience into Fodder for Romance

A short film explores the bright side of a long, cold commute.

Everyone knows public transit in Toronto isn’t quite what it could be, thanks to decades of underinvestment and other types of political interference. But filmmakers Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart have somehow managed to make this less-than-ideal state of affairs romantic. Long Branch, a 14-minute short of theirs, was recently released online, and it’s embedded above.

It’s the story of Lynn, a young woman who tries to go home with a guy for a one-night stand, only to find out, after she’s already hopped transit with him, that he lives in Long Branch, where subways fear to tread. The pair have no choice but to talk to each other during the agonizingly long ride. And talking, as Lynn points out repeatedly, is not what one-night stands are about.

(Granted, the film does exaggerate the distance. The trip starts at Bloor and Bathurst streets, which, according to Google Maps, is about an hour away from Long Branch by TTC, even at last call.)

Long Branch was shot in February 2011 but couldn’t be posted online immediately afterward, because CBC owned the rights. The film aired on Canadian Reflections, a midnight showcase of indie shorts.

Clark says the short is loosely based on a true story. He did live in Long Branch, and his girlfriend, Stewart (with whom he wrote and directed the film), did occasionally refuse to go home with him because of the lengthy TTC ride. The pair are currently working on their first feature, and they’re trying to raise funding for it on Indiegogo.

But even despite his occasional frustrating nights, Clark denies that Long Branch is intended as a way of trashing the TTC. “That’s just too easy,” he said.

Comments

  • jb

    Long Branch is one of the most distant places in the city, TTC-wise. Even when I lived only a few kilometers away (in south Etobicoke), it could take an hour to get to Long Branch. I think it might actually be faster to get to Finch and Martingrove from downtown, when traveling by TTC.

    • Anonymous

      Google Maps confirms, but the difference in commutes is 5 minutes. (I used Yonge and Bloor as the starting place.)

    • David

      True, but there is a GO station sitting right there. If you can time things well, you can get there from Union in about 15 minutes.

      • David

        I used to live just two minutes south of that GO station, by the way, so it was terrific to see Long Branch Loop and the neighbourhood in the movie. Brings back some memories.

      • jb

        It’s much more expensive to travel by GO, and it doesn’t do you much good if you are coming from Bloor & Yonge or even (as I was) from the other side of south Etobicoke. Also, that train runs once an hour most of the time.

  • Anonymous

    If this were truly a romance, the lustful couple would have taken the 511 south to Queen, then transferred to the 501, westbound to Long Branch. They should have tweeted me for advice.

    • Anonymous

      I will personally start writing your Twitter handle on the walls of bathroom stalls in Bloor West bars, to ensure this type of oversight never happens again.

      • Anonymous

        That might be fun. You could also use a sharpie and share the URL to the TTC’s trip planner. Efficiency’s important in these situations.

        • Anonymous

          An even better idea!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve met several one nighters on the TTC when I was in my 20s, one of whom actually lived in Long Branch but we had met on the Malton bus so I got his info before we headed in opposite directions at the subway and met up the next night instead so I had to make the long trek to Long Branch by streetcar from University and Queen by myself. Nowadays I live in New Toronto which is just east of Long Branch along Lake Shore, haven’t seen that guy since though.

  • Casey

    You could do an entire RomCom on the Lawrence 54 bus as well. The “meet cute” at Eglinton Station, and the rosy first few weeks and months of the romance while the bus runs along Eglinton and through Leaside.

    Trouble would begin to appear as the bus goes north along Leslie, and the inevitable break up would occur once you get kicked off of the bus around Pharmacy because it is short turning.

    Eventually another bus would come (this could not be in real time as it would be beyond the running time of a typical romcom), and our lovers would have plenty of time to work out their issues on the very long, very slow trip east on Lawrence, but would ultimately reconcile and live happily ever after on the shores of Lake Ontario at Port Union/Starspray.

  • Seanny long branch

    You think the oldest road in the province would be better served by transit….the Brits would be pissed!