The Road Ended at the Beach, and Other Legends: Part 2 Curated by Brett Kashmere

The Road Ended at the Beach, and Other Legends: Passages Curated by Brett Kashmere
Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Winnipeg Cinematheque

Introduced by Alan Zweig

Part 2: Passages

The second installment of The Road Ended at the Beach and Other Legends maps the development of first-person documentary in the work of the Escarpment School filmmakers, while also showcasing forays into image manipulation, layered assemblage, and abstraction. Documentary was a staple of Sheridan College’s Media Arts Department during its formative years, as evidenced in the program’s first film, Alan Zweig’s Trip Sheet, from 1976, as well as in the collaborative work of Janis Cole and Holly Dale of the mid- to late-70s. The turn in documentary from social to personal issues would become more pronounced in the early-80s. From 1980-85, esteemed Sheridan College professor Jeffrey Paull evolved a series of single-reel Super-8 “documents” that reduce on-screen action down to a simple, unbroken event or gesture. Emphasizing cinema’s real-time capacity, these one-shot sketches often utilized the artist’s friends, family, and surroundings for their subject matter. One such film, Paull’s Oxford Spa, is a suggestive camera-play that mediates between interior and exterior spaces, the world inside and the action on the street.

The infusion of documentary method with autobiographical concerns is illustrated in the personal journeys that follow. Richard Kerr’s Canal, Rick Hancox’s Waterworx, and Philip Hoffman’s river all return to landscapes of the filmmakers’ youth, with waterways figuring prominently in each. Exploring geographies of identity, these films take place at the fluid intersection of time, space, and memory and feature an array of strategies, from the use of on-screen text, to the repetition and variation of elements, to the integration of multiple media formats and technologies. Moving westward to the Pacific Ocean, Gary Popovich’s Faultlines is a dense contrapuntal composition that overlays travelogue footage with ancient symbols and floating Las Vegas lights: a self-portrait in flux. In Louise Lebeau’s Desert Veils, documentation of an archeological dig gives way to subjective speculation about the women she encounters away from the work site and its impassive male scientists. The program concludes with Two Pictures, Carl Brown’s impressionistic alchemical collaboration with the French experimentalist Rose Lowder. Transforming Lowder’s photographed landscapes through an assortment of darkroom techniques, print generations, and superimpositions, the film is nonetheless documentary in the most pure sense–as a record of its own process–and signifies a passage from the utilitarian roots of Canada’s cinematic tradition to the expressive, hand-tooled celluloid experiments that have taken greater prominence in recent decades.


Trip Sheet by Alan Zweig
Oxford Spa by Jeffery Paull
Canal by Richard Kerr
Waterworx (A Clear Day and No Memories) by Rick Hancox
river by Philip Hoffman
Faultlines by Gary Popovich
Desert Veils by Louise Lebeau
Two Pictures by Carl Brown and Rose Lowder


~ by cineflyer on February 9, 2011.

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