MEDIA CITY TOURING PROGRAMS: WINTER 2012 Curated by Oona Mosna & Jeremy Rigsby

THIS IS THEN NOW AND HERE: Canadian films from CFMDC (1967–1979)

Curated by Oona Mosna and Jeremy Rigsby, Courtisane Festival (Ghent, Belgium):  March 21–25, 2012


Standard Time (Michael Snow, 16mm, 8.5 min, 1967)

Standard Time was the second work to begin to explore the vocabulary of camera movement. It uses horizontal and vertical pans from a tripod. The soundtrack came from using the radio as a musical instrument. I “played” it using the station dial, the volume dial, and the bass and treble. The sound imitates, in a sense, the visual movements in the film. – Michael Snow

Canadian Pacific David Rimmer (web)

Canadian Pacific (David Rimmer, 16mm, 9 min, 1974)

Vancouver harbour, with its rail yards, mountains and passing ships, is a vista in fluid transformation as three winter months are reviewed in ten minutes. What interested me about the shot were the horizontals: train tracks, the water, the mountains, the sky. In the way those four elements would change. – David Rimmer


Opus 40 (Barbara Sternberg, 16mm, 14 min, 1979)

Opus 40 is about repetition: repetition in working and living, repetition through multiplicity and series, repetition to form pattern and rhythm, repetition in order and in revealing. It was filmed in the Enterprise Foundry, Sackville, New Brunswick. Excerpts from Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans can be heard throughout.


Times Wake Grenier (web)

Interieur Interiors (To A.K.) (Vincent Grenier, 16mm, 15 min, 1978)

Interieur Interiors (To A.K.) creates a cinematic space that remains separate from representation, severed from the profilmic but nevertheless presenting an illusion of space. It is a film that hovers between conceiving the interrupted projection beam as an image… and conceiving it as a non-image, a mere illumination of the surface on which it falls. The gap between these extremes is posed by Grenier’s film as the raw data of cinema, the interval in which structural aspects of the medium’s depiction of space are revealed. – Grahame Weinbren and Christine Noll Brinkmann



Trapline (Ellie Epp, 16mm, 18 min, 1976)

Several filmmakers continue to explore space and landscape on film. […] Ellie Epp’s Trapline is the most cooly beautiful of all: filmed in the Silchester Road Public Baths, London, it sets a sequence of geometrically organized shots, outwardly but gently alive with light changes, ripples and reflections, within the continuous, distantly reverberant sound space of the entire building. – Tony Reif


Times Wake Grenier (web)

Time’s Wake (Once Removed) (Vincent Grenier, 16mm, 14 min, 1978)

Described as “a collection of ‘windows’ on a personal past” Time’s Wake (Once Removed) incorporates material from an earlier version. On the earlier version:made from material I collected through the years when I went back to visit my parents at L’Ile d’Orleans, Quebec. It includes both home movie and other types of footage. In this film, the camera “I,” in extension with home movie reality, is a living participating entity. The film represents an endearing but removed artifact, a strange contradiction between liveliness and frozenness. –Vincent Grenier


Curated by Oona Mosna and Jeremy Rigsby, University of Western Ontario: February 16, 2012

names are what you see

Forms Are Not Self-Subsistent Substances (Samantha Rebello, UK, 16mm, 23 min, 2010)

Flesh, milk and meat are the subjects of an attempt to understand “substance” with medieval imagery. Bestiary illuminations, Romanesque carvings, medieval bells and living things reveal the strangeness and violence of being. – Samantha Rebello

Orchard (woods fire)

Orchard (Julie Murray, US, 16mm, 8 min, 2004)

Much of the footage in Orchard is comprised of a 19th century ruin in an area known as Rostellen in southwest Ireland. The ruins are set deep in the woods, where the crumbling brick and mortar of the broken walls have become the anchor for the roots of slender trees–trees so uninhibited that they reach twenty feet in height and have thick roots that follow like slow lazy trickles of water, and in other places branch and wind over the brickwork in an arterial arrangement reminiscent of the human body. – Julie Murray

karl kels rhinoceroses

Rhinoceroses (Karl Kels, DE, 16mm, 9 min, 1987)

Rhinoceroses is organized in sequences with accelerated activity unnatural for its subject, but coherent within the process of cinematographic creation. By the end of the film the archaic beasts slowly and imperturbably cross the threshold of their cage. At that moment, with the camera recording what takes place in real time, the animal’s gestures regain an intrinsic timelessness, finding, in our company, the sort of peacefulness they need to exit the stage.


Pistrino (Nicky Hamlyn, UK, 16mm, 9 min, 2003)

A work in progress, assembled from time-lapse footage shot in Italy over a three-year period. I am interested in how the relative values of light and shade are transformed in certain images of natural objects and related phenomena so that, for example, a shadow becomes at least as strong as the object which casts it. This has the effect of complicating a reading of a given image from interactions between objects and the shadows they cast. In some of the shots I am also interested in how the perceptibility of the grain is affected by light and focus levels. – Nicky Hamlyn

message guy sherwin

Messages (Guy Sherwin, UK, 16mm, 35 min, 1984)

Messages was made over a 3-year period, when my daughter Maya was first learning to talk and write. It was my first film that involved gathering material around a central theme. That theme was not constant, but shifted its ground between ideas to do with childhood, with language, or with visual perception. A major source of inspiration for the film was Maya’s questions about the world, starting with questions to do with her perceptions of the physical world, and as she got older, questions more to do with social behaviour. These “innocent” questions (apart from being almost impossible to answer) seemed to me to be of a philosophical order that challenged long-established ‘truths’ about the world. They made it clear to me that “knowledge” which is hidden and acquired, supplants raw perception in many areas of our understanding. – Guy Sherwin

Fragrant 1


Fragrant Portals, Bright Particulars at the Edge of Space (David Gatten, US, 16mm, 12 min, 2003)

Early and late Wallace Stevens poems translated into Ogham, the 5th century “tree alphabet” derived from a notational system used by shepherds to record notes on their wooden staffs, and carved a letter at a time into a piece of semi–transparent flexible wood (black leader). “I think Stevens often found his mind on the trees–and his words in them”– David Gatten


Oona Mosna