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Okeedokee Mr. Johnson: The Films of Leon Johnson

THU, APR 22 / 7 pm
Featuring Leon Johnson in conversation with Gene Walz
Free Admission

Leon Johnson’s films represent the pioneering spirt of the independent filmmaker. From capturing a steady stream of phone-in callers to the manager of a rental housing agency office (in Good Afternoon Royal Tower) to the bewildered puzzlement of actor Randy Woods struggling to remember whether he left something in the car (in Park), these films portray the individual struggle for dignity in ridiculous circumstances. St. Boniface poet and fiddler George Morrisette taunts the audience at the Festival du Voyageur by reciting a political poem and strides off, a rebel challenging the norm. It could be said that these works reflect the personality of the maker Leon Johnson: individualistic, stubborn, and completely dedicated to artistic integrity.

Okeedoke (1973, 3 mins)
A portrait of the filmmaker’s brother-in-law Steve Jackson with psychedelic photograph animation synchronized to music performed by Chuck Aliamo.

Christmas In Brandon (1979, 10 mins)
Christmas Eve, Brandon, a bottle or two of Tia Maria and the warm smile and demeanour of poet and actor Randy Woods as he tells of their combined intoxicating effects.

Park (1983, 9 mins)
The second in Leon’s proposed trilogy. A man can’t quite remember if he has forgotten something and treks back to his car just one more time to check. Did I forget…or did I….remember ??? Featuring comedian Randy Woods as the central protagonist.

Le Metif Enrage (1984, 17 mins)
St. Boniface poet George Morrisette in a devilish mood tricks the audience at a fiddle competition. Instead of playing his violin at the dance he recites a poem in French about themselves and the Métis French. The crowd turns against him sparking a dramatic confrontation.

Good Afternoon Royal Tower (1986, 25 mins)
In this experimental documentary video, we spend the day in the cramped and busy office of a woman who manages a rental housing agency. Telephones ring incessantly, there is always someone hanging around her door and there is always someone who can’t pay their rent. The manager is tough and cynical but not without a sense of humour. A subtext on work and power unfolds as we see that her job often involves trying to get money out of people who don’t have jobs. As she says: “People should see what this job is like”.

ABOUT LEON JOHNSON:
Film sound recordist and independent filmmaker, Leon Johnson was one of the pioneers in the community of independent Winnipeg filmmakers in the early 1970’s which led to the creation of the Winnipeg Film Group. In a recent profile, Winnipeg journalist Randall King said, Leon Johnson “is one of the most outspoken advocates for local film production. Pressed to reflect on his career thus far, Johnson says he has always been motivated by the notion that film could be done anywhere, that Hollywood wasn’t the only place that makes film, and what we see in theatres is not the only cinema.”

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Thu 13

Optical Printer One on One Workshop Sessions

Appointment Based One on One Session
Thu 13

I Am Cuba (Restoration)

Thu, Dec 6 / 7 pm
Sat & Sun, Dec 8 & 9 / 3 pm & 7 pm
Wed - Fri, Dec 12 - 14 / 7 pm
Sat, Dec 15 / 3 pm
Thu 13

The Changeling (Restoration)

Sun, Dec 2 / 7 pm
Thu, Dec 6 / 9:30 pm
Sat, Dec 8 / 9:30 pm
Thu, Dec 13 / 9:30 pm
Fri 14

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

Fri & Sat, Dec 14 & 15 / 9:30 pm
Sun, Dec 16 / 7 pm
Thu & Fri, Dec 20 & 21 / 9 pm
Sat, Dec 22 / 5 pm & 9 pm
Sun, Dec 23 / 5 pm
Sat 15

The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution

Sat, Dec 15 / 7 pm
Sun, Dec 16 / 3 pm & 5 pm
Wed - Fri, Dec 19 - 21 / 7 pm
Sat, Dec 22 / 3 pm & 7 pm
Sun, Dec 23 / 3 pm

ABOUT US

The Winnipeg Film Group is an artist-run education, production, exhibition and distribution centre committed to promoting the art of cinema.
our location

We’re located in the heart of Winnipeg's historic Exchange District in the Artspace building. We are across the street from Old Market Square at the corner of Arthur Street and Bannatyne - one block west of Main.

The Winnipeg Film Group is located on Treaty 1 Territory and on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We offer our respect and gratitude to the traditional caretakers of this land.

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