In addition to the artist talk and reception at the Dunlop Gallery Friday night for the exhibition From What Remains, there’s a screening of 10 short films and videos by Saskatchewan artists at the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative (301-1822 Scarth).
The program is called Tiny Magic, and it’s curated by Amber Christensen, a former Saskatchewan resident now doing grad studies in cinema and media at York University in Toronto.
While the films/videos range in style from narrative to cinéma vérité to experimental, they do have common threads, Christensen said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “Landscape is certainly there because it’s so available to filmmakers to utilize — and now that I live in Toronto I realize how rare that is. But when I pitched the idea it was more related to the theme of magic realism and surrealism.
“Amalie Atkins is one example of someone who makes these wonderfully whimsical films,” she adds. “And maybe that does tie into the landscape because it’s almost oppressively expansive and horizontal. Then I started to think about magic realism as a way of building upwards like with tall tales.”
Lesbian vampires (Thirza Cuthand), twin priestesses (Ian Campbell), Greek nymphs (Allysha Larsen), a blindfolded woman wandering in a fog-shrouded forest (Amber Goodwyn), and a near-death experience involving bees (Sarah Abbott) are some of the characters and premises in the films. Oh… and Ronald McDonald’s son makes an appearance too, in David LaRiviere’s Son of Ronald where an actor dresses up like the famous pitchman’s offspring and hits Mickey Ds.
“One class I’ve taken here with Allyson Mitchell dove into ‘affect’ theory,” says Christensen. “Really, it’s just returning to the idea of honouring feelings and emotions. And the films I picked resonate like that for me. They’re small stories and personal narratives. I don’t mean that in a diminished way, I think of them as being very powerful and interesting.”
Doors at the Filmpool are at 8 p.m., and the screening will start at 8:30 p.m. It will be followed by an after-party with local DJ Pulsewidth providing the music. Admission is $5, or pay what you can. And pictured above, by the way, is a still from Clark Ferguson’s film Dead Meat.