HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 7th ANNUAL WNDX ONE-TAKE SUPER 8 EVENT (or THESE ARE SOME OF MY FRIENDS)
by Scott Fitzpatrick
Oct. 1, 2012
the one-take super 8 has in a short time become my favourite event of the winnipeg year. i made my first film for the one-take in 2010, and have taken part every year since. overall 2012 was an incredibly strong year for the event, despite the absence of some of my favourite regular players (heidi, leslie, clint, damien, delf, noam, darcy – you better be back next year!). my film, (titled: gets braces) played second-to-last, and the 26 films that preceded it set the bar very, very high. here are my (5) favourite films from the show (in no particular order):
Living on the Edge – dir. Aaron Zeghers
a meditation on life and death via kingdom animalia. some beautiful long-exposure photography makes this one of zeghers’ most visually striking and restrained works to date, while he continues to refine his skill at crafting blissfully smothering atmospherics.
Blotto – dir. Mike Maryniuk
a dizzying dose of fun-formalism from mike maryniuk. splashes of paint succumb beautifully to centrifugal force. for about fifteen seconds i thought this one was a dud; problems with soft focus right off the hop. once the picture came through sharp however, this was a stunner. one of mike’s best one-takes yet – pro work, but still ragged and off-hand.
These Are Some of My Friends – dir. Stephane Oystryk
i know it’s not polite to pick favourites, but this was my favourite. i’ve been a pretty grizzly fan since before i knew who or what pretty grizzly was. this film, a series of portraits, friends musing over their tenuous places in life, is easily his strongest work to date. the one-take has continuously proven an ideal platform for oystryk’s particular brand of wide-eyed, lo-fi filmmaking. he has a style like linklater, but with a less rigid approach to form and unique in its disarmingly genuine sentimentality. here oystryk’s friends take turns discussing age, responsibility, and how time can get away from you if yr not careful. in the end i think steph’s cat gets the most screen-time, and our last friend is short-changed as a result. her narration carries on after the picture’s rolled out, into an elliptical ending somehow as content in its present as it is unsure of its future. talk about time getting away from us. yet another pretty grizzly short with legs enough to be a feature.
The Sneaky Snogger – dir. Cynthia Wolfe-Nolin
i insisted my pal cwn shoot a one-take this year. i got to help her out with her “i shot it on 16” film in 2011 and have been anxiously awaiting her next analog endeavor ever since. her film, a chaplin-esque kissing booth sketch, was constructed with razor-sharp precision and featured the most arresting photography of the evening. a lovely lilting soundtrack and a jarring ending as surreal as it was subtle made this one of my favourites of the lot. c-dubs may be a notorious wild-card IRL, but her filmmaking is surprisingly and refreshingly disciplined.
The Joy of Creating – dir. Ryan Simmons
could (should?) have been called ‘noam gonick makes something queer in the woods with goats’. i don’t remember any actual jokes in this one, but i did giggle throughout. chalk it up to simmons’ ascerbic wit and keen cinematic eye. josh marr as goat wrangler for my favourite performance of the night. so adorable!!
Dave Barber – Hung Dry on a Meat Jag
Kelly Duke – Steel Petals, Bright Lights
Matheu Plouffe – El Diablo the Undefeated
Darren Young – Circles / Grey Man’s Gardens
Ian Bawa – Spectre
Karen + Jaimz Asmundson – Citizens Against Basswood
Sonya Ballantyne – Taking the Long Way Home