Canada

Al Razutis – Visual Essays: Origins of Film (1973-1984)

A six-part film by Al Razutis (1973-1984)

56 min. color, sound

These six essays on film/image history reconstruct cinema history by ‘re-imagining’ its origins, and its poetries, and use historical films themselves (as ‘text’) to provide the meanings of their creations. Together, these film essays comprise a critical/structural investigation of silent cinema ending with Segei Eisenstein’s works (for Stalin) – from Lumiere and Melies through surrealism and horros, to montage and propaganda, we ‘re-invent’ epochs in cinema that became its language and culture. Read More »

Guy Maddin – Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary (2002)

Quote:

By turns voluptuous, whimsical and exceedingly strange, Guy Maddin’s film “Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary” suggests that silent movies and ballet may have always been natural dancing partners. At least they seem that way when folded into each other by a quirky visionary like Mr. Maddin, the Canadian experimental filmmaker whose work has acquired a fervent cult following. Read More »

Robin Spry – Prologue (1970)

One critic described this film as an “immensely appealing and articulate exploration of the world of the drop-out, which makes almost everything else in the recent spate of films about hippydom seem adolescent.” Prologue concerns a young Montrealer who edits an underground newspaper. He and his female companion are joined by a young draft dodger from the United States. In the choices they make, the two rival philosophies of dissenting youth become evident: militant protest or communal retreat. Read More »

Bruce LaBruce – No Skin Off My Ass (1991)

Quote:
A lonely hairdresser watches the title sequence of “That Cold Day in the Park” then visits a local park to invite a down-and-out skinhead to his apartment. He draws the silent man a bath and talks to him as he soaks. He locks his guest in a bedroom. Next day, the skinhead leaves through the window and visits his sister, who’s making a film called “Sisters of the SLA.” He helps with a screen-test. The hairdresser has dreams and fantasies involving the skinhead, the skinhead returns to visit him, and then the filmmaker pays a call on the two men, exposing her brother as faking his silence and pretending a lack of sexual interest. Fantasies can come true. Read More »

Mike Hoolboom – Incident Reports (2015)

After a bike accident, the amnesiac produces one-minute shots. The voice-over weighs in on gender, animals and the end of literary culture. An essay featuring Elvis, wrestlers, boy ballet, naked cyclists and the heavenly voices of ChoirChoir!. (from MUBI) Read More »

Guy Maddin – Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997)

Quote:
There’s a blood vessel that pumps between the selves we drive through the day and the incubus we nourish, a creative self (perhaps cocreated by a love), relatively unconstrained, who we promise ourselves we will birth some day. The most sublime art is what we imagine that young, more unfettered mind imagines. Its why we live, a large part of it, I think. This is the domain Maddin has decided to explore. Its a sort of Joycean commitment, a raw commitment to dreams less shaped than usual by borrowed items and fed by distilled urges in blood. Small surprise that these don’t fully resonate; its supposed to be strange, strange in disturbing ways. I like the fact that this goes on too long. Read More »

Brandon Cronenberg – Antiviral (2012)

Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion – for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate. Read More »