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The Road Ended at the Beach and Other Legends: Parsing the Escarpment School – Part Two

SAT, FEB 11 / 7 pm
Curated by Brett Kashmere
Introduced by Alan Zweig
FREE ADMISSION

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. – Brett Kashmere

TRIP SHEET – DIR. ALAN ZWEIG | 1976 | 9 MIN
Why do people drive cabs? The answers are varied, for the chance to work independently, for the enjoyment of driving, for the variety of people that one has a chance to meet. Trip Sheet looks at the work from a cab driver’s point of view, the scenery outside and the people inside.

OXFORD SPA – DIR. JEFFERY PAUL | 1984 | 3 MIN
“Antecedents for Oxford Spa: 1966: In the NFB’s Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen, Cohen chants ‘We’re keeping the party going! We’re keeping the party going!’ (No Beginning, no Finish). 1967: Once I saw Wavelength, I went, ‘Of course!’ (Continuous take). 1970: I was with an intermedia group: 5 improv musicians on stage + 16 projectors, a zillion image mixing possibilities. We took turns improvising on each other: images, music (Real time ‘editing’). 1974: For sport, chops, and curiosity: Single-take entire super-8 cartridge: Find an ongoing situation, plan an opening framing, and improvise a coherent arc of visual time. In Boston, Mass., a ‘spa’ is a corner grocer.” (JP)

CANAL – DIR. RICHARD KERR | 1981 | 21 MIN
The imagery of Canal captures the activity of freighters, ship’s crews, dock workers and the historical masonry that the original Welland Canal was constructed from. The film deals with two forms–autobiography and memory and is about going to ‘my own world of youth’ while simultaneously documenting the environment as an adult. (RK)

WATERWORX (A CLEAR DAY AND NO MEMORIES) – DIR. RICK HANCOX | 1982 | 6 MIN
The waterworks in the Beaches area of Toronto is the source of an eidetic-like image from early childhood. It was always an enigma to me, and after returning years later to shoot this film, I was still not satisfied it was merely a filtration plant. Its architecture functioned more significantly as some kind of temporal metaphor. Wallace Stevens’ ironic and equally enigmatic poem, ‘A Clear Day And No Memories,’ was sought out to address this phenomenon, and to appear as interuptive graphic for the same reason the editing is interuptive–that is, to both work with the alluring nature of the image, yet force an intellectual distancing. (RH)

RIVER – DIR. PHILIP HOFFMAN | 1989 | 15 MIN
“The Saugeen River was named Sauking, ‘where it all flows out,’ by the Ojibwa in the early 1800s. It runs into Lake Huron, in central Ontario. The place where I know it is twenty miles south of Owen Sound, near Williamsford, where I spent lots of time in my youth exploring. Over the past twelve years I’ve returned there to film, and collected these moments in a fifteen-minute meditation called simply, river. The film is archaeology of how I have come to know this river over these years.” (PH)

FAULTLINES – DIR. GARY POPOVICH | 1998 | 17 MIN
In a tapestry of migratory luck, artifacts and shell, a mixed choir of images and sounds engages the paradox of a journey that loses all meaning once it reaches its end. The film’s westward inclination to the American shores of the Pacific, bound in a pitiless growth and decay, drives a dense montage, woven with guns and prayers.

DESERT VEILS – DIR. LOUISE LEBEAU | 1992 | 14 MIN
Desert Veils is a personal exploration of images of women filmed in the Chihuahua Desert of north-east Mexico. I was part of a film crew documenting the daily activities of an archeological dinosaur dig; when I wasn’t working with the film crew I was shooting my own images, looking beyond the disarticulated fossils and apparent structures, searching for what seemed elusive, hidden from me in my initial encounters with the women I met in Mexico. (LL)

TWO PICTURES – CARL BROWN & ROSE LOWDER | 1999 | 12 MIN Canada’s king of visual alchemy teams up with France’s mistress of minimalism to fashion a photo-based work of cinematic abstraction. Tactile and textured, luscious and luminescent, “Two Pictures” is a singular statement embodying a powerful dichotomy. This is a film that is simultaneously about nothing and about everything.

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Mon 10

Optical Printer One on One Workshop Sessions

Appointment Based One on One Session
Wed 12

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.
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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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