Copyright 2013
Winnipeg Underground Film Festival
June 1 to 4th, 2017

Nine empathetic portraits of loved ones and flawed heroes passed on, by film and video artists engaged as much in mourning as in celebration of legacy and idiosyncrasy. In eulogy, responses to gender identity and inequality, perceived civil-rights abuse, consumer media and the Swiss Alps, reveal as much about their makers as of their subjects. New work from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Planned Obsolescence: The Tape dir. Lamathilde
2014 | CA | 1.5 | video
A mechanical parable, with no moral. -L

Sal Mineo's Locker dir. Chance Taylor
2015 | CA | 9 | video
A reappropriation Sal Mineo's film appearances allows Sal to reminisce about his love affairs. -CT

The Brian Sinclair Story dir. Guy Maddin
2010 | CA | 4 | video
A silent, wheelchair-bound figure sits motionless in an empty room while a camera orbits around him in space. A video that simultaneously references the incident in which Aboriginal Winnipeg resident Brian Sinclair was left to sit without care in an ER waiting room for 34 hours until his death, and Michael Snow's seminal 1971 experimental film La Région Centrale. Shot by local underground film hero Mike Maryniuk. -SF

Pearl Pistols dir. Kelly Gallagher
2014 | US | 3 | video
Pearl Pistols is an animated-glitter-bomb account of black revolutionary Queen Mother Moore's recounting of a story of people coming together and demanding to hear Marcus Garvey speak, in the face of racist police. The film is also an exercise in arguing for more accessible culture, and a freeing of the radical films from the vaults of archives, since I had to re-record her speech from a DVD, which can only be purchased for institutions at exorbitant prices. -KG

Wake dir. Eric Stewart

2014 | US | 8 | 16mm
Wake is a dirge in celluloid. It is a celebration of my fathers life, a meditation on his body and a visual record of mourning. When my father died, there was never a chance to see his body after life had left it. This film was made by placing his ashes directly on 35mm film in a dark room and moving the film over light one frame at a time. What we see in this process of Rayograming is not the object in the photographic sense, but instead a representation of the space surrounding an object. The Rayogram is a shadow charting the distance between things. -ES

Violet Hour dir. Camille Sumers-Valli

2014 | UK | 5 | video
Violet Hour is a short film about meeting a stranger on a train journey from Arizona to New Mexico. It documents the transient spaces of remote America, and human interaction within a twilight world between destinations. It uses conversation to reflect on human obsession, unanticipated insights, and the act of documentation. -CSV

Lie Back and Enjoy It: A Film about JoAnn Elam dir. Jessica Bardsley

2013 | US | 8.5 | super 8mm on video
JoAnn Elam was an experimental filmmaker, postal worker, and social activist. She is most known for her films Rape (1975) and Lie Back and Enjoy It (1982). This film remixes JoAnn's footage as a way of introducing viewers to her life and work. Commissioned by the Chicago Film Archives with music by Tim Kinsella. -JB

Turin dir. Rhayne Vermette

2014 | CA | 7 | 16mm on video
Fetishized alpine landscapes of 16mm film collage and Rayograms generate an obscured portrait of the godlike, Carlo Mollino. Completed in anticipation of a personal pilgrimage to Turin, this film delineates what is at stake for the genius bachelor architect as well as the deplorable, unremittingly heartbroken filmmaker (who adores him so). -RV
"You may want to look into Carlo Mollino, he's a bastard much like yourself..." -N. Chard, 2009

Outer Darkness dir. Hannah Piper Burns

2015 | US | 11 | video
"There is a murderous violence of banality that, precisely due to its indifference and its monotony, is the subtlest form of extermination. A veritable theatre of cruelty, of our cruelty to ourselves, completely played down and without a drop of blood. A perfect crime in that it abolishes all stakes and erases all traces - but above all in so far as in the murder, we are both the murderers and the victims." Jean Baudrillard, Telemorphosis (2001)

* image from Kelly Gallagher's Pearl Pistols (top) and Camille Summers-Valli's Violet Hour (bottom)