December 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
May 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
Congratulations to director Javier Badillo, whose short film, Afternoon at Gudrun is going to Cannes this year!
Bio: Afternoon at Gudrun by – Javier Badillo, a Venezuelan-Canadian film director, animator, producer, writer and musician. He specializes in satirical dark comedies, political and crime thrillers, awkward romantic comedies, magical realism and outsider dramas. Javier is the regional director for Raindance- UK and is the programming director of the Vancouver Short Film Festival. Javier was also for two years the moderator of the Institute for International Film Financing (IIFF Vancouver).
December 13, 2012 § Leave a comment
My first experience with historical films occurred in ’67/68 at an underground film screening in San Francisco. Having been educated in the sciences, and having dropped out in favor of making / showing underground films, I had no knowledge of any film history beyond what my generation had seen in Hollywood or foreign films called ‘art films’.
So, this one night in SF, at a converted (to a theater) loft, with a home-build projection booth, a series of recent underground films was screened, and in the middle of this screening was a strange hand-colored film: “A Trip to the Moon” by Georges Melies (1902) presented as a silent short without any introduction or program notes. I was hooked, but I didn’t know on who or what.
When you’re 21 or 22, it isn’t the ‘history’, the ‘cultural importance’, the ‘notoriety’. the ‘auteur’ that works on you, it’s the ‘art’ and its capacity to inspire. (And it cost 1$ admission then, and also at Intermedia where I had my underground film screenings.) It was at these underground screenings that we got to see Maya Deren, Eisenstein, Abel Gance, dada and surrealist films (Un Chien Andalou, L’Age d’Or), the films of Norman MacLaren (!), and Len Lye, and so many others from the past mixed in with the present. And I was inspired!
After inquiries (‘Who was this guy, Melies?’), and subsequent years of collecting Melies (and other) films, after hooking up with film pirates who circulated prints (for copying) nationally and internationally, after putting on some shows of silent works (including a Surrealist film show at the film theatre of the Surrey Art Gallery, to which no one came!) I immersed myself in a ‘underground’ film studies and film historical culture spawned by underground film screenings, and existing/thriving totally outside of any university, cinematheque, or gallery.
In Vancouver, late sixties and into the seventies, there were hardly any ‘film studies’ programs at the local universities. The Stan Fox SFU film workshop was simply that, a student film production program, and way out in Burnaby. In the early 70’s, animation and film courses taught at the Vancouver Art School (Cambie St.) were specific to techniques and individual projects. This was a ‘pre cinema studies’ time. Any screenings, study, or commentary on historical films, film theory, film analysis were done ad hoc by lovers of cinema, or film clubs like at UBC (Kirk Tougas), The Vancouver Film Society (Pearl Williams), and these activities were not organized around a curriculum.
Of course, the late 70’s and 80’s would change all that, especially at SFU where I taught then, but the changes were not always beneficial to a film culture outside of the interests of academia and the faculty that make up a program.
I recently got a poster from Alex MacKenzie‘s archive (‘Georges Melies: Illusionist Extraordinaire’, included in this post) advertising a Melies film show that I had forgotten about. This was held at the Edison Electric Moving Image Gallery on Commercial Drive in the 90’s. I’m using this poster to drive home a point: film culture, history, theory, analysis, and its integration with practice, occurs all the time, though its origins and vestiges are sometimes hard to find. Universities and cinematheques get all the press, while the informal screenings (clubs, parallel galleries) stay largely out of sight and usually are forgotten. Yet, the informal scene of ‘film studies/appreciation’ is precisely what fed us (underground, experimental, independent) film makers in ways that were more enduring than workshops in ‘tech’ or ‘screenwriting’ or ‘semiotics’ or ‘film history’ at the U.. In fact, Alex MacKenzie’s Edison and Blinding Light had as much to do with ‘film studies’ as any of the university curriculums or cinematheque exhibitions at the time.
The fact that Cineworks salons, workshops and screenings continue this study of film and its interpretations, theories, analytical methods is admirable, though I am sure it is a non-profit unpaid task of self-sacrifice by the organizers. The fact that one can learn, and be inspired by, film culture outside of the U. should be remembered, celebrated, and supported. In my lifetime, it started with underground films, with no wikipedia, no web, and no schooling. In your lifetime it started when you first fell in love with a film, or a moment in a film, or an idea in a film. And what you do with that inspiration is a measure of your life in film culture.
My own fascination with Melies is contained in my Visual Essays: Origins of Film, films that engage in a ‘re-imagining’ of primitive and silent cinema, from Lumiere to Eisenstein, from the initial inventor’s ‘Eureka!’ moment to the use of film as ‘text’ and political, advertising, propaganda messaging.
December 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Our Monthly Film and Media Showcase allows for feedback and thoughtful dialogue between film artists and audiences. Presenters range from documentary filmmakers, photographers, to visual artists working through the moving image.
The format is simple: 3 artists, ten minutes each, dialogue in between.
Bring a friend and have a drink; network and share your vision, ideas and projects.
When: Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: The Annex, 235 Alexander street
Please note seating is limited. First come seating only.
December 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Thanks to Cineworks member John Woods for these photos from Alex Mackenzie’s ‘Expanding Cinema’ workshop. Pictured: Alex, Amanda T and Ariel K-G
EXPANDING CINEMA is an extended workshop series with film artist Alex MacKenzie exploring performance-based film practice. Taking a hands-on approach to the materiality of cinema, these workshops will demystify and dismantle the filmic process with a focus on expanded cinematic forms. From projector modification to film manipulation, MacKenzie will be leading each session customized to participant interests and shaped by their input. Over the course of several months, this series offers the potential to produce singular and collaborative works or installations to be presented in the new year. This is a hands-on conversation where the practical and theoretical are blended at the discretion of participants. Come with ideas, or come to be inspired. All skill levels welcome.
Workshops are every six to eight weeks, Monday and Tuesday nights from 7-10 pm.
2012: October 29/30, December 10/11. 2013: January 28/29, March 18/19.
Price per session: $30 Members/$50 Non-Members
Full registration: $175 Members/$300 Non-Members
To register please call 604.685.3841 M–F (noon to 6 pm)
Advance registration is required. Limited capacity. Waiting lists will be available.
September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Are you an artist working in film/video? Are you or your collaborators working with samples, video clips, and/or making parody works or mash-ups? If you are, you should ask yourself whether what you are doing is legal.
Changes to the Copyright Act have finally arrived in Canada. Come to this lunchtime session where we will demystify copyright and copyright changes that could affect your work and artistic practice.
Join us for this FREE presentation on the recent legislative changes (including Bill C-11) to your film and media arts by Vancouver-based lawyers Martha Rans and Lindsay Bailey.
A true believer in giving to the community and a passionate advocate for the arts,Martha Rans is a lawyer who has provided advice to artists in all disciplines for over 20 years. Following close to a decade as a labour lawyer and human rights mediator/specialist, in 2003 she established her own practice providing advice on employment, labour, human rights, privacy, intellectual property, governance, and charity law to non profit organizations, co-ops and social innovators of all kinds. In 2005, she co-founded the Artists’ Legal Outreach legal advice clinic in BC (artistslegaloutreach.ca). A recognized expert in copyright and its impact on artists she appeared before the Legislative Committee on Bill C-11 in March 2012. She teaches copyright to the next generation of artists and designers at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.
With a background in art history, pursuing a legal career as an arts and entertainment lawyer seemed like the natural progression for Lindsay Bailey. Lindsay worked at Bennett Jones LLP in Toronto, Ontario practicing business law with experience working with media, technology and entertainment clients requiring a range of business and intellectual law property services. During her years in Toronto, Lindsay volunteered at the Artists’ Legal Advice Service (ALAS) providing summary legal advice to artists of a range of practices. Since her years in Toronto, Lindsay has been instrumentally involved with Femmarte, a private art fund committed to supporting the careers of contemporary female artists practicing in Canada today, an organization for which she now sits on the Board. Lindsay returned home to British Columbia to build her practice here as an arts and entertainment lawyer and today through LBLC – Lindsay Bailey Law Corporation – she works with a range of clients from diverse practices in all cultural industries. As part of her ongoing commitment to staying involved with and giving back to the local arts communities, Lindsay sits on the Board of the Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society. She has become further involved with the local arts and film communities as a film producer of a local documentary, having produced the TV-length Generation Social: The Vancouver Network for broadcast by CBC in August, with another in development.
Know Your Copyright
Friday, September 28, 2012
W2 Performance Space (141 W Hastings, Inside the SFU Atrium, W2 Café, downstairs side door)
11:00am – 1 p.m.
First come first serve seating.