What Happens Next?: The Dan Mangan Documentary
Dan Mangan is one big piece of humble-pie. He makes you feel all warm on the inside like a bag full of kittens. Even when he’s about to step on the stage of Vancouver’s Orpheum theatre to three thousand proud fans, this Vancouver-based, Smithers-born singer-songwriter reaches into your heart of hearts and touches you, gently. On August 25th at 7 PM PST, CBC BC will be featuring What Happens Next?: The Dan Mangan Documentary, directed and produced by Brent Hodge and Jon Siddall.
If you are a loyal fan or a first-time listener of Dan Mangan, What Happens Next? is a great film on the importance of being real. It’s refreshing, in my opinion, to see Dan Mangan as the complete opposite of a “starving artist in a no-fun city”. Never once does Mangan mention the two Junos he picked up in 2012 (New Artist of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year for Oh Fortune). Instead we hear him talk about the gig he played, “where I could literally touch the TV playing the Game beside me.” Forget what you know about "The Polite Canadian", Dan Mangan is "The Optimistic Vancouverite", with years of experience to ground him.
Perhaps this next part is a spoiler, but for those who want to know What Happens Next? on Aug. 25th (at 7pm), don’t expect to get an answer. Yet, this is the beauty of a Brent Hodge Doc ― it’s all about the ride. Mangan makes it clear in his interviews that the Orpheum is not a peaking point, but if anything, a guilty pleasure he can’t wait to fulfill. In the build-up to the concert, Hodge and Siddall paint a beautiful narrative about the here-and-now journey of Dan Mangan. One moment Mangan is shooting his music video with his fiancé as a dancer, while the next moment he’s playing poker with his bandmates and referencing the words of a young Leonard Cohen. With each memorable line of original Dan Mangan philosophy, we see a man who not only stops to smell the roses but also plants a garden of his own for everyone to enjoy.
Take away Dan Mangan’s West Coast wintery voice, his Seth Rogan-like looks, and those forever-smiling eyes and there is no doubt that the man would still find a way to express that deep humility that sets him apart from other musicians. Thanks to the hard work and good times of Brent Hodge and Jon Siddall, we have the opportunity to take pride (this oxymoronic humble pride) in the fact that Dan Mangan walks the same bike-lane streets we do, breathes the same mountain fresh air we do, and works hard for the things he loves like we do. However, if that last part doesn’t feel true for you, let Mangan encourage you to make some changes. Only twenty-nine years old and already happy in life, he sums up his life well: “I’ve learned a lot in my twenties, I’ve also learned that there is a lot more that I don’t know. That is a brief summary of my universe.”
Watch the polaroid picture of Dan Mangan’s fame develop into a portrait of gratitude and happiness on August 25th, 7 PM PST (CBC TV – Absolutely Vancouver Series). Until then, catch the trailer here.
CBC - Brent Hodge & John Siddall