Discarnate: McLuhan's Wake


Gordon Pepper


Gordon Pepper


Canadian History Communication Media Philosophy Technology
  • Release Date 2022
  • Running Time 16 minutes
  • Closed Captions Yes
  • Availability Canada, USA

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Discarnate: McLuhan's WakeDiscarnate: McLuhan's Wake

This experimental documentary film examines the ideas of Marshall McLuhan, a highly influential thinker from the past 500 years. McLuhan is known for his famous statement, "the medium is the message," which suggests that the way information is communicated is more important than the information itself. The film explores how different forms of communication, from oral language to social media, affect our individual and collective identities and consciousness.

Divided into four sections -- The Printed Word, Electronic Communication, The Global Village (Retribalization) and The Simulation of Consciousness -- the film delves into the impact of transitioning from a literate, print based culture to an instantaneous, post-literate, electronic based one.

McLuhan is portrayed by Canadian actor George Grassick. In one of the film’s most dramatic scenes, McLuhan awakes from a 50-year sleep to see that his predictions about the impact of communication on society have become reality.

Discarnate: McLuhan’s Wake interweaves academic interviews, contemporary imagery, dramatic reenactments, archival footage to form a unique cinematic expression. The film provides an informative, engaging, and alarming answer to how changes in communication affect individualism, personal and collective identity, and consciousness.

Filmmaker Biography

Gordon Pepper is an internationally acclaimed independent filmmaker and educator from Regina, SK, Canada. Gordon’s short films have been selected to screen at film festivals around the world. His latest two short films, both produced in 2022, ‘Annabel Lee’ and ‘Discarnate: McLuhan’s Wake’, have each been selected to screen at over a dozen international film festivals. ‘Discarnate: McLuhan’s Wake’ has been awarded Best Experimental Film at four major international film competitions. While teaching both film production and film studies courses at the University of Regina, Gordon was the recipient of the University of Regina’s ‘Inspiring Teaching Award’. He was also singled out in MacLean’s Magazine as one of the university’s top professors.


WINNER 2022 Europe Film Festival UK, Best Experimental Film == WINNER 2022 Istanbul Film Festival, Best Experimental Film == WINNER 2022 Couch International Film Festival (Toronto), Best Experimental Film == WINNER 2022 Sweden Film Awards, Best Experimental Film == WINNER 2022 Paradise Film Festival, Best Experimental Film == SELECTED 2022 Boden International Film Festival (Sweden), Best Experimental Film == SEMI-FINALIST 2022 Small Axe Radical Short Film Awards, (Tolpuddle England), Best Experimental Film == SELECTED 2022 Cannes Shorts Film Festival, Best Experimental Film == SELECTED 2022 VIII Festival Cinemistica, (Spain), Best Experimental Film == SELECTED 2022 Golden Short Film Festival, Best Experimental Film == SELECTED 2022 Stockholm City Film Festival, Best Experimental Film == SELECTED 2022 Regina International Film Festival & Awards, Best Experimental Film

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