CORNWALL – The new film, Go-Boy! created by Rob Lindsay of Paradox Pictures, takes an intimate and often very moving look at a complex man. Cornwall son Roger Caron spent over 20 years of his life in prisons across two provinces: then he wrote a compelling book about those years which won the 1978 Governor General’s Award.
Lindsay’s film, which opened the 2020 Aultsville Filmfest on Friday, January 24, at Aultsville Theatre in Cornwall, struck a chord with the large audience.
Although Caron passed away in 2012, director Lindsay had access to extensive archives and old footage of Caron talking about his experiences in the Canadian penal system with people across the country. He also had the memories and comments of Roger’s sister, Sue McGregor, and several of Roger’s extended family to draw from in creating this very personal film.
Running throughout the film was a strong sense of Roger Caron’s charisma.
He never denied being a bank robber, a break-and-enter artist: he was actually proud of his 13 escapes from Canadian prisons.
Yet Roger Caron was also deeply observant, and, in the film clips, often very funny. As Lindsay told The Leader in an earlier interview, the man was a born story-teller. The audience clearly responded to this man and to his story.
Following the film, there were many questions for director Rob Lindsay and also for Caron’s sister, who was one of the chief narrators of the picture.
“Money meant nothing to Roger. Absolutely nothing,” said Sue McGregor. “It was the excitement, the adrenalin that he loved. My father often shook his head and said, ‘where did that one come from.’ Did Roger ever show remorse? No, he never apologized. But he was a fighter. (When he developed Parkinson’s) he fought, and fought. He went out fighting. And the thing is, you always loved him. He used to sign copies of his books, ‘Keep smiling.’”
“He had a great sense of humour,” said director Rob Lindsay. “There were hours of footage we had to leave on the cutting room floor. But my goal was always to have Roger tell his own story in the film. I connected with his family and we kept a dialogue going. The tales and stories Roger told of people and events could almost be turned into a series. That could be my next goal,” he laughed.
Sue McGregor, who often showed some of the same engaging sense of humour as her late brother, may have summed him up best.
“We knew another side of him, softness and kindness and humour. Having known Roger, I always say that you are never better than anyone else, and you are never worse than anyone else. You just have to be you. It is what it is, so get on with life.”