Hue’s Theatre

10-year-old Hue uses microwave ovens to convert her treehouse into a radiation therapy café, cooking away her unruly superpowers in an attempt to win the heart of her grade school teacher.

Creative team

Writers: Julia Wittmann, Derek Vanderwyk
Director: Derek Vanderwyk
Producers: Candice Ng, Julia Wittmann

Filmmaker’s statement

When we engage with love, we’re engaging with another person: their desires, their convictions, their preoccupations and their facticity. We live and die by an opinion we can’t control and a situation we can’t alter.

The idyllic love that exists in our heads can never survive that, not entirely.

Maybe we can microwave our brains to make our half of the jigsaw fit, but it’s just as much of a distortion of that perfect image. Really, if we love as someone other than ourselves, it’s hard to say we’re being loved at all.

Love, then, is a Sisyphean task. We can spend our whole lives trying to achieve that perfect connection and never fill our hearts completely, always thrown off by the tension. At the least, we feel an undermining anxiety and, at the most, we feel the anguish of a desperate love that circumstance never even entertained.

Yet, the point of Hue’s Theatre is that it’s still entirely worth the struggle, no matter how far from perfect your love is.

The mechanics of it – your relationship in name or in function – are negligible. When the finer orientations are stripped away, the ugly Greek words lost, I think we find that the only thing essential to love is caring. A caring that makes even the most impossible of struggles worthwhile.

Hue may be awful at dealing with these anxieties, acting in such bad faith as to take itemized instructions for her heart, but she’s been my hero ever since Julia Wittmann brought her to me. Even as she doubts herself on a physical level, she’s never cynical of her own emotions. She never questions whether there’s value to her affections. She just has a lot to learn about the sacredness of the role that she and her mind play in them.

Hue’s Theatre was created over a number of months as more of a culture than a production, with Hannah Garcia, Lia Han, CJ Kim, Sarah McNeil, Candice Ng, Esty Shulman, Alex Tretrop, Lisa Vanderwyk, Julia Wittmann and Kevin Wu, as well as talent Aviv Cohen (Hue), Lee Lawson (Ms. Yates), Isla Parekh (Millie) and Joshua Young (Junior), living its themes in any way they could.

I have to believe it shows on screen. Any joyous details or heart-thawing moments that you see strewn about the film are their responsibility, equally.

About Derek Vanderwyk

Derek Vanderwyk

Derek Vanderwyk is a writer and director from the humble town of Scotland, Ontario. After years of experiments and a BA in radio and television, Hue’s Theatre is his first major directorial effort.

As a journalist, musician, animator and associate producer for a certain well-known Canadian public broadcaster, Derek is obsessed with narrative form, stamping it into any and all media he can.

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