Open City Cinema is excited to close our second edition of WUFF with two more works by acclaimed Canadian experimental filmmaker Mike Hoolboom. Mexico, an anti-travelogue produced in collaboration with Steve Sanguedolce (and presented here on 16mm), and Hoolboom’s most recent film, Buffalo Death Mask (winner of the International Critics’ Prize at the 59th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival), which provides a dreamlike elegy that perfectly balances warmth and melancholy, love and loss. A celebration of life that simultaneously addresses the unfairness and ambivalence of still being around, when so many others are gone.
Mexico dirs. Mike Hoolboom + Steve Sanguedolce
1992 | CA | 35 | 16mm
In Mexico, experimental filmmakers Mike Hoolboom and Steve Sanguedolce set out to dissect the travel bug. Hoolboom’s deadpan, incisive voice-over offers the viewer the air-tight experience of a Third World holiday, while images from an archaeological museum to a bullfight to an auto factory establish the dual contexts of tourism and Free Trade. —TIFF
Buffalo Death Mask dir. Mike Hoolboom
2013 | CA | 23 | 16mm on video | Manitoban premiere
A conversation with Canadian painter Stephen Andrews returns us to a pre-cocktail moment, when being HIV+ afforded us the consolation of certainty. —MH
“Did you see the film at Ann Arbor, that was about AIDS…? His lover had died, and the whole first section is the mask… Buffalo Death Mask. See, I thought that film, though it never said that, was deeply erotic in ways that were so profound. Also, I’ve never seen a film that I thought professed love in the way that did, maybe it just struck me that way. The love that he had for this person who died. And that’s a tricky one to talk about without being saccharine, without being too direct. He was very moved and he managed to convey that in his film. Not just regret, but the kind of love that they had, and how they were important to each other.” —Suzan Pitt, in conversation with Scotty Slade.
* images from Mike Hoolboom's Buffalo Death Mask