Illusion of Normalcy: Escaping the 80s
Primiti Too Taa
by Colin Morton and Ed Ackerman
16mm | Colour | animation | 3 minutes | 1986
Primiti Too Taa - A delightful animated poem made with only a typewriter and simple vocal messages, based on the 1920s sound poem Ursonate (Sonata in Primitive Sounds) by the German avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters. The human voice provides the music while words and syllables dance in this short film, which has won several international awards, including a Bronze Apple from the National Educational Film and Video Festival. Primiti Too Taa was a six-week collaboration between filmmaker and artist Ed Ackerman, and writer and poet Colin Morton.
by Shereen Jerrett
16mm | Colour | Documentary | 24 minutes | 1991
It starts with a simple premise: tell me a story about your dog. In a series of anecdotes, Dog Stories reveals as much about the people telling the stories as the dogs they are describing. The dog owners are more honest about their feelings about a dog than almost any other aspect of their lives, and in the process they reveal a lot about themselves.
16mm | Colour | Comedy | 12 minutes | 1991
On the hot and dusty prairies stands the Oasis Bar & Grill. Within, Joe 90, a crop insurance claims adjuster, is quickly persuaded by the annoying paranoid Dick Rotundo to conspire in a false insurance claim. They almost close the deal when Dick's uncontrollable paranoia forces him to run into a burning field.
Believing Dick is dead, Joe 90 is left to face his supervisor without a claimant. He avoids her for fear of being caught in the process of a false claim. Much to his surprise, Joe 90 discovers that dick is alive. The two conspirators can now complete the fraudulent claim. This time Dick cannot free himself from the guilt and his fate blows in the wind. He helplessly watches as Joe offers him a place in a corrupt future.
by John Kozak
16mm | Colour | Drama | 48 Minutes | 1990
In an isolated prairie farmhouse, on a sweltering summer night, two sisters are locked in a battle of wills. Tension, frustration, anger and hatred seethe between Robin and Dory as the mystery behind their struggle deepens. At first, Robin seems in control of the fragile Dory, but Dory's weakness is an illusion and gradually Robin's physical domination surrenders under Dory's barrage of cruel mind-games as the confrontation slowly descends into a night of madness.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2004, the Winnipeg Film Group commissioned five of the most accomplished filmmakers who have come through its ranks to create a short film. Initially envisioned around the theme of the filmmaking process, each of the participating filmmakers interpreted this mandate broadly and the resulting movies span the spectrum of cinema — from animation to comedy, and dramatic to experimental.
Time Away by Aubriand | 8 minutes
Three guides accompany us on a road trip away from time... and towards the transformative end of the road, space...
Man of the Northwest by Matthew Holm | 12 minutes
A boy’s own adventure set in the northern wilds of Canada, Man of the Northwest is a madcap musical that presents a day in the life of Sgt. Ferguson of the Northwest Mounted Police.
Odin's Shield Maiden by Guy Madden | 5 minutes
The shield maiden of Gimli yearns for the drowned fisherman Mundi while her acolytes in mourning aid her in this fact-based account of a tragic accident.
Automoto by Neil McInnes | 5 minutes
A tour de force, stop-motion animation re-imagining the filmmaking process.
The Last Moment by Deco Dawson | 29 minutes
The Last Moment is a multi-fractured, multi-genre narrative, which uses five styles of film history to explore the final moments of a man’s life, and the ill-fated relationship woes that have lead up to his death.
Isolation in the 1980s
"Considering the fertile creative environment that existed at the Winnipeg Film Group during this period it is not surprising that there was such a volume of production, nor is it surprising that the quality was so high. What is puzzling is that so many of the films explored thematically similar terrain. The filmmakers that had the courage to venture into drama, and the confidence to produce longer and more complex films were marshalling their resources to explore predominantly one theme, isolation." (John Kozak, guest curator)
The second DVD in a historical collection from the Winnipeg Film group, Isolation In The 1980s features four short films from Winnipeg Film Group filmmakers during the 1980s. The DVD is guest curated by John Kozak (Dory, Hellbent) and includes audio commentary with the filmmakers.
Films and Filmmakers
Springtime in Greenland by John Paizs
The Milkman Cometh by Lorne Bailey
Mike by M.B. Duggan
The Dead Father by Guy Maddin
Ladies First: Ladies' Firsts
"It’s true. The Winnipeg Film Group is not teeming with women filmmakers. Hardly surprising given about 90% of the film industry is still dominated by men. But despite their low numbers, the women at our co-op have always managed to keep up with their male counterparts, artistically and technically. Until the late eighties, however, few of them made their own films, and those who did made documentaries. Public policy and the democratization of filmmaking technology is now changing the production landscape. For the past 15 years, a distinctly female voice can be heard. Out There. And at the Film Group, that voice is getting louder."
(Carole O'Brien, guest curator)
The forth DVD in a historical collection from the Winnipeg Film group, Ladies First features eight short films from Winnipeg Film Group women filmmakers. The DVD is guest curated by Carole O'Brien (French Ship) and includes audio commentary with the filmmakers.
Films and Filmmakers
The Arousing Adventures of Sailor Boy by Jennifer Bisch
The Flight by Zarah Laszlo
Victorian Beach by Kathryn Martin
The Piano Lesson by Carole O'Brien
The Elusive by Lissa Desbarats
Exquisite Corpse by Cindy Murdoch
Under The Rocking Horse by Kelli Shinfield
Dames by Maureen Devanik Butterfield
Deco Dawson, Volume 1 (1998-2003) DVD
In 1998 filmmaker Deco Dawson appeared on the filmmaking scene in Winnipeg, Manitoba, reintroducing techniques of the silent period, particularily the use of adrenalin-infused quick-paced editing, the use of lens obstructions and authentic period photography.
Dawson has since created 7 short films, all chronicled in this DVD edition, and has received much international acclaim. dawson's filmography has been featured in its entirety as special screenings at the Cinematheque Ontario, the Pacific Cinematheque, the Canadian Film Institute, the Calgary International Film Festival, the Northwest Film Forum, Cinema du Clef, as well as others.
Dawson's film(dzama) won the best short award at the 2001 Toronto International Film Festival and the most technically innovative award at the 202 Ann Arbour Film Festival. In 2002, dawson was named one of the top 25 young filmmakers in North America by Filmmaker Magazine.
short films on DVD
The Fever of the Western Nile
Defile in Veil
The Sensationalists of the 90s DVD
'There was a pocket of time, not so long ago, when members of a small artistic collective, working under the crushing weight of some towering filmmaking giants, managed to peer out from the smothering blanket of obscurity and bend a new fork in the group's already impressive history.' (Jeff Erbach, guest curator)
The fifth DVD in a historical collection from the Winnipeg Film group, The Sensationalists of the 90s features seven short films from Winnipeg Film Group filmmakers during the 1990s. The DVD is guest curated by Jeff Erbach (The Nature of Nicholas) and includes audio commentary with the filmmakers.
Films and Filmmakers
1919 by Noam Gonick
Rapture by Gord Wilding
We're Talking Vulva by Shawna Dempsey, Lorri Millan, and Tracey Traeger
Soft Like Me by Jeff Erbach
Brothers by Paul Suderman
Odilon Redon by Guy Maddin
Question of Reality by Barry Gibson
Emotional Abstraction and Other Fantasies DVD
Collected for the first time in one volume, six 16mm experimental films from Candadian filmmaker Solomon Nagler. Gritty, colourful, and always pushing the limits of narrative possibilities, Nagler's work incorporates various techniques of hand-processing, optical printing, and colour manipulation of motion picture film. These collected works explore the way in which film represents our individual personas, and the landscapes that are appropriated into our self-identity. Nagler's films, installations, and curated shows have played across Canada, in the U.S., and in Europe.
works in this collection
M.O.Y. (3 minutes, 1998)
Doc1.doc (5 minutes 1998)
Spadiensi Pwatki (6 minutes, 1999)
ReRuin (10 minutes, 2001)
perhaps/We (11 minutes, 2003)
A Treatise on Prairie Mysticism (26 minutes, 2002)
Dead Images for Forgotten Landscapes
(a video collaboration with experimental audio artist duul-drv for the Vancouver New Music Festival) including...
untitled2 (the last jew of edenbridge)
The Cheeky Wee Monkey DVD
The Cheeky Wee Monkey DVD contains 6 short films and 5 music videos written and directed by Sean Garrity from 1998-2003, through his production company, Cheeky Wee Monkey Films.
Five of the six films have played in film festivals from Australia to Europe to Asia, four of the films have been sold for broadcast (one of them in five countries) and two of them have won awards.
The music videos are for Winnipeg artists such as the Wyrd Sisters and Richard Moody - many of them have won or been nominated for awards, as well.
buenos aires sounvenir (2001, 6 minutes)
how much for a half kilo? (1999, 22 minutes)
middle (1998, 5 minutes)
bridge (2004, 3 minutes)
pictures of the interior (2004, 5 minutes)
living with it (2004, 2 minutes)
delina - suffocating (1998, 5 minutes)
richard moody - funky morning (1999, 4 minutes)
richard moody - healing hands (1999, 4 minutes)
wyrd sisters - night of her insistence (2000, 6 minutes)
richard moody - the way i feel (2001, 5 minutes)