Living Skies Student Film Festival 2013

•February 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment


The Living Skies Student Film Festival – at the University of Regina this weekend.
For my information visit http://lsfilmfest.com

Expanded Cinema: THE COSMOS IN WHICH WE ARE

•February 25, 2013 • Leave a Comment

At Neutral Ground artist run gallery in Regina, SK, Montreal artist Pascal Dufaux’s live video sculpture THE COSMOS IN WHICH WE ARE has been on display since early february. Just before his exhibition opened Pascal visited the monthly improvised electroacoustic jam by the local dorkbot chapter. As a group dorkbot (core members Ernie Dulanowsky, Ryan Hill and ian Campbell) get together and play with a variety of digital and analog electronic instruments, creating hours long soundscapes; communing with the technology of creation. This inspired Pascal to commision Ernie Dulanowsky (also know as Pulsewidth) to create an improvised soundscape to accompany his video sculpture.

The sculpture  consists of a video camera mounted on a long arm which is in turn mounted on a rotating chrome disc. As the disc turns, the camera swings in a regular pattern past a second curved mirror and then out at the viewer and back toward a wall with twin video projections. Using a simple series of switching and delay, what is shown on the wall changes from simple images of the surrounding room and the people in it, to large fields of repeating imagery thanks to the feedback made by the camera recording the projections in near endless fields of view. The whole cycle takes roughly 20 minutes.

Ernie Dulanowsky

Ernie’s soundscapes were generated primarily through a contemporary modular synthesizer. This device, consisting of discrete sound generation and texturing modules in connected by a series of wires and manipulated by a series of knobs and switches. The system is self contained, intricate and analog (in the sense of electronics where signals are either generated by a series of electrical circuits with infinite variability) as opposed to digital (where computers mimic these signals with a very finite series of steps that is audible and noticable). The conflict between analog generation or reproduction of sound information and digital is of course a question that artists consistently find themselves questioning in the early 21st century. Whether it’s the differences between vinyl and CD or  3d digital cinema and 35mm film, we are always wondering what is the effect of one or the other technology on our experience of a piece.

With this concert (part of Neutral Ground’s New Music Concert Series) I found myself looking at the work from a standpoint I had not expected. Putting all the pieces together as I have just done, the work became a statement harkening back to previous era. I see new media (the application of high technology in a gallery setting such as this work) as a product of the 1970’s. The collision of conceptual art practices and more readily available high tech (the Sony Portapak, the home computer, the embryonic networks of telephone, teletype, videotex, arpanet) created a space for experimentation in new music, expanded cinema, video installation for contemporary artists. Artists like Canadian Norman White were pushing what could be done in a gallery with simple electronic tools and a reimagining of the galllery as a laboratory for understanding the impact of technology on people.

Pascal Dufaux’s THE COSMOS IN WHICH WE ARE has that same inquisitiveness bundled with a very simple procedural construction. The piece technically avoids the computer at all, the work is in essence a giant clock and provides the viewer with an instantaneous (virtually analog) interface between themselves and the piece. The foregrounding of time is a wonderfully present as we watch images that flicker with their own life (the delay is momentary and none repeating) and then die. The viewer exists in a strangely zen space that the art gallery’s white cube only accentuates.

Ernie Dulanowsky’s music for the piece exists in this space with curious promptings to our recent technological past thanks to a resurgence of interest in a particular application of “the analog”. In the past, the modular synthesizer was a large expensive piece of equipment that like early computers, only dedicated enthusiasts and professionals had access to. In the 1980’s, a flood of newer and cheaper digital devices flooded the market and by the 2000’s the computer had taken away most of the desire for these mythical beasts through software simulations of their internal sound making apparatuses. You could have an app for your ipad that could do (approximately) what that big box of wires and circuits could do. Sometime int he last 5 years or so, saw the emergence of the “eurorack”, and a simpler and cheaper class of modular synth ingredients that have regenerated interest in purely analog sound generation. These are the type of tools that Ernie has been applying in his work.

What I felt about the piece was that both artists were making a callback to this purity of form within the device, an interrogation of the electricity that is coursing through our environment, bringing it out into the open and showing it to us. As an audience we have to decide what it means. For me, it was an experience of pure sounds and a simple sculptural vision. As it became an unwitting “period piece”, I felt an excitement that would have accompanied a viewer of a 1970’s application of technology in the gallery. That this type of work does belong in the space, that it can communicate on deeply organic levels and that it can give all kinds of nuances to our reception of technology in the gallery.

– Ian Campbell

Congratulations Saskatchewan Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award winner Sarah Abbott

•September 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Filmmaker and University of Regina Film Department faculty member Sarah Abbott was awarded the 2012 Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award in Saskatoon this past week. Sarah’s films Out In the Cold (2008) and This Time Last Winter (2010) have been well received inside and out of the province and have generated much discussion in diverse communities. Sarah is also one of the founders of the Regina based aboriginal film festival mispon.Image

Queer City Cinema 9

•June 12, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Noelle Duddridge and festival organizer Gary Varro.

This weekend was the ninth biennial of Regina’s own Queer City Cinema film fest(this time at Neutral Ground). A couple of highlights included two films by up and coming local filmmakers Candy Fox and Noelle Duddridge.


Being Two Spirited
Candy Fox, Regina/Canada, 2012, 9 min.

An exploration of what it means to be a two-spirited person through the challenges of three people and how they determine that finding balance and self-acceptance is key to fulfilment.

Coming Out: My Year Time Limit
Noelle Duddridge, Regina/Canada, 2012, 15:40 min.

It started out with a simple goal of coming out to everyone important in my life within the year. But when my best male friend responded to the news by stealing my father’s gun, I fought to meet my deadline.

Also check out a review of the program at Gerald Saul’s Experimental Film Review Blog.

Regina Film Department Grads 2012

•April 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Screening last weekend was the graduating screenings for students in the University of Regina Film Department undergraduate program. Highlights for me included Noelle Dudderidge’s  documentary Coming Out: My Year Time Limit,  Matt Yim and Allan Roeher’s comedy April Doesn’t Hurt Here, Matt Holland’s metaphysical gangster movie A Brothers Holland: A Cosmic Array, Paul Crepeau’s Idiom and Matt Belanger’s A More Perfect Union.

Proceeds of the night went to Sask FilmPool’s Saskfilm Camp 2012, to allow 2 high school students to attend the week long camp for young filmmakers.

To keep tabs on what’s happening in film at the UofR, join the Regina Film and Video Students Society facebook page.

Shotgun Super8

•April 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

April 1st, 2012. Celluloid purists gathered to enjoy a series of one take Super8 films. Mini fest organizers included Daniel Suchoboki and Gerald Saul.

Daniel Eugene Suchoboki, along with Media Production and Studies’ Gerald Saul and Film Rescue have put together a refreshing serving of impromptu celluloid creations. Daniel approached local filmmakers, both emerging and established artists, to partake in a Super 8 film night he wanted to create. The only rule was the films must be presented on super 8mm celluloid and it must not have been screened before. Germany’s Sea+Air will be the musical guests for the evening. The doors will open at 7pm and screening will take place at 7:30. Only $5 at the door.

We will showcase films from Saskatchewan filmmakers, Katrina Bray, Amber Christensen, Ian Campbell, Daniel Suchoboki, Berny Hi, Ryan Hill, Eric Hill, Jason Cawood, Rob Hillstead, Marcel Petit, and Gerald Saul.

Come and enjoy a wide range of images, audio, and emotions* with curator Daniel Eugene Suchoboki as he presents these films for their first screenings.

Read More here.

 

Support for reinstating the SFETC

•March 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Sask Party government in Saskatchewan has cut the Tax Credit for the film industry. There is a huge public outcry regarding this move.

Join the Save the SFETC facebook group to find out more.

Why a government would act against such a media savvy constituency, I have no idea. Needless to say, Brad Wall and the Sask Party are not too bright.

The Room at the RPL Film Theatre

•March 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The cult film festival at the RPL Theatre culminated in a crazed spoon throwing performance of The Room (USA, Tommy Wiseau, 99 min) introduced by Dr. Ernest Mathijs. Thanks to Christina Stojanova and The U of Regina Film Department for inviting Dr. Mathijis.

 

 

Rip a Remix Manifesto at Cinema Politica Saskatoon

•February 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Upcoming Screening by Cinema Politica Saskatoon

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Rip: A Remix Manifesto
Tuesday, February 21st,
Screening – 7 P.M.
PAVED Arts – 424 20th Street Saskatoon

Panel Discussion:   Priscilla Settee (Traditional Indigenous Knowledge vs. biopiracy)
David Lariviere (copyright vs. copyleft in the visual arts)
Others TBA

In RiP: A remix manifesto, Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers. The film’s central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride. A participatory media experiment, from day one, Brett shares his raw footage at opensourcecinema.org, for anyone to remix. This movie-as-mash-up method allows these remixes to become an integral part of the film.

from http://www.pavedarts.ca/2012/rip-a-remix-manifesto-screening/

“Cinema Politica Saskatoon is the formalizing of a 10-year political education project which has included dozens of film screenings and which has taken on a number of forms over those years.  During the winter months Cinema Politica will be collaborating with local campus-based organization, Mobilization for Global Justice to screen films and during the summer months with Turning the Tide bookstore to continue the tradition of Car-less Drive-in screenings in the parking lot of the bookstore where community members are invited to bring a lawn chair and watch documentaries under the stars.  Part of the goal of Cinema Politica Saskatoon is to not only screen documentaries to the public as passive participants but to recruit and train new political film enthusiasts and train them in the basics of organizing screenings themselves. We hope that this model will see the proliferation of screenings in our community and the education of community members beyond the usual circles of regular attendees of these types of screenings. We look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship with this important network of grassroots film collectives.”

Future Screenings:

Tuesday Mar 13 7:00 pm
H2Oil
Walsh, Shannon / CA / 2009 / 72 min

From http://www.cinemapolitica.org/saskatoon … visit them for upcoming screenings.

Embrace by Amalie Atkins

•January 26, 2012 • 1 Comment

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EMBRACE
Amalie Atkins
December 9th – 16th, 2011

This past December, a very special, subtle and intimate performance/film work was presented in Saskatoon. Amalie Atkins’ Embrace was a site specific video installation on 20th Street in the core neighbourhood of westside Saskatoon. Atkins is a Saskatchewan based filmmaker and photography based artist who works with very gentle portrayals of a kind of prairie magic realism soaked in fairytale and handcrafted elegance. Embrace is a short film loop of a pair of Canadian-Austrian twin sisters in the 70’s who partake in a simple yet symbolic ritual of sisterly devotion. At a certain point during the piece, Atkins and her own sister (Tanjalee Kuhl) performed an analogous ritual on the street near the window projection, providing a companion piece to the cinematic event. The twinning of real world action and cinematic action is intensified by the age of the participants (one generation passing a gesture to another) as well as the vividness of their costumes and the purposeful intensity of their motions.

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The window projection at 210 20th Street West is a gesture for the community, as 20th street gentrifies and the impact of the arts is inevitably felt more and more in that particular neighbourhood. The parking lot across the street, where film goers were plied with hot chocolate and encouraged to make the space into a provisonal drive in, was also the site of the infamous Barry hotel. The Barry was a dive bar and down on its luck hotel with a population at the margins of society. 20th street’s reputation as seedy strip jutting off of downtown Saskatoon is slowly giving way to numerous arts organizations including the headquarters of the Saskatoon Symphony, La Troupe du Jour, AKA Gallery and PAVED Arts (the commissioning organization for this particular work). Perhaps Atkins work alludes to this changing history or perhaps not, the subtle spectacle that she creates is one of a kind of homestead like familiarity with kin, a world of gentle but meaningful gestures and flare of aesthetic intensity that sits perfectly at the intersection of film, art, design and community.