Experiencing Interruptions?


Bugs, the debut feature film from performance artists Life of a Craphead, is a satire about a bug society and its most powerful family. Following the Bug Prime Minister and his heirs, Bugs presents the struggles of two sisters in a patriarchal society obsessed with success. The film sets the Bug universe in the middle of the real world, creating multiple layers of reality that interact with each other: a busy intersection becomes a beach and a gallery bathroom is a FedEx Kinko’s. The models on an ad for glasses foretell the future, giving the family warnings they don't want to believe.

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- Canadian Art

"Bugs is one of the strangest, funniest, most mystifying and most profound contemporary films I know."
- Sheila Heti, author of How Should A Person Be?

"Bugs lets loose theatre, comedy and some great outsiders into the streets of Toronto. It simply reclaims and renames all found there -- a familiar world that is completely new and already dirty. It is hard not to leave the cinema with changed eyes, seeing all that is Bugs when you are back out in the streets."
- Margaux Williamson, painter and filmmaker

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The Bug Prime Minister, Shay (Gerry Campbell), has ruled the Bug Garden for many years and is finally, reluctantly, retiring. He’s chosen his niece, Gaston (Liz Peterson), to take over—but Gaston, who is plagued with ambitions to be the Bug Garden’s most respected politician-architect-filmmaker—is folding under the pressure. Dan is his other niece, but she’s a dreamer and can’t be trusted; she’s full of conflicting ideals and tries to act on all of them. The third niece, Baby Shay, is a baby. They all want to win lots of Fuck Me Awards, the Bug Garden’s most prestigious awards.

Shay goes to the Oracle for advice and they tell him that his family can’t be saved. Meanwhile, a government worker/aspiring comedian Sexy Bug (Glenn Macaulay) and his best friend Rob (Peter Kalyniuk) are sick of the Shay family’s rule. They plot to vandalize a monument being built to honour the family. From afar, the neighboring Bird Country celebrates another Bug political failure.

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Bugs (74 min., 2015)
STARRING: Liz Peterson, Glenn Macaulay, Peter Kalyniuk, Gerry Campbell, Lisa Smolkin, Kayla Lorette, & Mr. Fly
WITH: Jess Carvalho, Connor Crawford, Zoe Solomon, Jesi the Elder, Seth Scriver, Jonny Peterson, Neil Lapierre, Bridget Moser, Sean O’Neill, Charlie Murray, Daniel Goodbaum, Laura McCoy, Agnes Forfa, Amy Lam, Jon McCurley, Fraser McCallum, Simon Schlesinger, Robert Dayton, Alicia Nauta, Jace Tracz, Sebastian Butt, Fake Injury Party, Randy Gagne, Sagan MacIsaac, Arielle Gavin, Meghan O'Neill & many more

MUSIC by Andrew Zukerman
SOUND DESIGN & MIX by Cricket Cave (Zoe Gordon & Shayne Ehman), Matt Smith
3D ANIMATIONS by Steph Davidson
VFX by Zak Tatham
DP FOR 2012/2014/2015: Chris Boni
DP FOR 2011: Augustina Saygnavong
SOUND RECORDISTS: Matt Smith, Andrew Zukerman, Zoe Gordon & Shayne Ehman

PRODUCED WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, Double Double Land, The Western Front, Xpace Cultural Centre, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Trinity Square Video, LIFT, William F. White, The Macdowell Colony, Gendai Gallery, and WEIRD THINGS.

  • Life of a Craphead
  • Life of a Craphead
  • Life of a Craphead
  • Liz Peterson
    Key Cast
  • Glenn Macaulay
    Key Cast
  • Gerry Campbell
    Key Cast
  • Lisa Smolkin
    Key Cast
  • Kayla Lorette
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
    comedy, satire, sci-fi
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 28, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Art Gallery of Ontario
    December 4, 2015
    World premiere
  • The Western Front
    Vancouver, BC
    January 15, 2015
    Early version screened in gallery installation
  • Night Gallery
    Los Angeles
    June 16, 2016
    U.S. premiere
  • Spectacle
    Brooklyn, NYC
    United States
    July 7, 2016
  • Art in Fest / Obey Convention, The Khyber Centre for the Arts
    May 29, 2016
  • London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA)
    London, ON
    February 29, 2016
  • Kazoo Fest, Ed Video
    Guelph, ON
    April 9, 2016
  • Hold Fast Festival, Eastern Edge Gallery
    St. John's, NL
    August 18, 2016
  • S1
    June 29, 2016
  • The Crown
    United States
    July 12, 2016
  • PhilaMOCA
    July 13, 2016
Director Biography - Life of a Craphead

Life of a Craphead is the collaboration of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley since 2006. Their work spans performance art, film, and curation. Projects include The Life of a Craphead Fifty Year Retrospective, 2006-2056 (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 2013), an fake career retrospective of all the work they will ever make; Double Double Land Land (Gallery TPW, Toronto, 2009), a play interrupted by a staged wedding; and Free Lunch (2007), a public, anonymously-advertised free lunch serving everything on the menu of a restaurant. Life of a Craphead also run and host the popular monthly performance art show Doored, which recently toured to Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam, Flux Factory in NYC, and the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive. They performed frequently on live comedy shows including at Laugh Sabbath (Toronto) and UCB Theatre (L.A. & NYC) between 2006-09. Life of a Craphead have been artists-in-residence at the Macdowell Colony, U.S.; the Banff Centre, Canada; and Wunderbar, U.K.; and they are the recipients of grants and awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, including a Chalmers Fellowship. Their work has been featured in Canadian Art, C Magazine, and Art in America. They are Chinese and Vietnamese and live and work in Toronto, Canada.

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