Directed by Nicola Zavaglia and Laurie Gordon, the doc retraces how the talented animator went from NFB wunderkind to panhandler on Montreal’s St. Laurent Boulevard, from 1970 Oscar nominee (for Walking) to alcoholic, from McLaren’s protégé to nobody.
In 2005, Chris Landreth honoured Larkin’s tremendous talent with the animated short Ryan. Two years later, a ray of hope entered his life when at the request Laurie Gordon, he picked up his pencils to animate Spare Change, an animated short that recounts some “comical experiences” he had during his many years panhandling in Montreal. She completed the film after his death in 2007.
The doc shows how Gordon finds Larkin on St. Laurent and takes him under her wing and encourages him to begin work on Spare Change, for what will turn out to be a brilliant but all too brief artistic renewal.
Ryan’s Renaissance premieres on Bravo! tomorrow night (Sunday February 20) at 8 pm ET. It airs again next Saturday, February 26 at 7 pm ET. Don’t miss it.