PureScreen #13: LIGHTSTRUCK

5 May 2006 / 18:00 - 20:00

In association with Antimatter, Canada, PureScreen is proud to present Lightstruck; a programme comprised of 12 experimental pieces that concern themselves with the material and historical processes of filmmaking.

Through a variety of formal techniques, including hand-processing, manipulation, toning, direct animation, optical printing and re-contextualizing found footage, the films reference and reinvent the inherent photochemical and mechanical nature of the medium.

The conscious use of film’s physical properties also furthers a shared investigation of, and commentary on, the styles and conceits of classic cinema. The inversion of existing narratives and construction of new ones from found and archival source materials collude with the often, autobiographical qualities of personal filmmaking, to rewrite cinematic history.

FEATURING ARTISTS: Jason Britski, Gary Evans & Karl Fodor, Gerald Saul, Jeff Carter, Aleesa Cohene, Christina Battle, Etienne Desrosiers, Emmanuel Lefrant, Daichi Saito, Louise Bourque, Clive Holden


1. Shooting Star Dir: Jason Britski 16mm / 2002 / Can/ 4:35 Shooting Star is a film about mortality. The film is a moving x-ray of small and grand gestures alike, grounded in the detail of our surroundings, and the beauty that resonates from these hidden places.

2. Without Leave Dir: Gary Evans & Karl Fodor Super-8 / 2002 / Can / 3:28 Evans and Fodor use toned and manipulated film stock and disjunctive visual narrative to powerfully convey the sense of movement, urgency and exhilaration in this story of servicemen going AWOL.

3. Final: (Toxic 6) Dir: Gerald Saul 16mm / 2002 / Can / 5:00 Time races ahead of us and we will never win. Cinema decays while progress disrupts internal orders. We do not inherit the earth.

4. Great Leap Forward Dir: Jeff Carter 16mm / 2001 / Can / 3:25 Mao’s China: a train station, dignitaries, speeches, thousands of onlookers. Great Leap Forward is derived from found footage happened upon in a Gastown warehouse. The source of the footage is unknown, as is any information about the decades-old media event depicted. Step-printed using an optical printer, the film situates the activities in the displaced half-remembered realm of dreams.

5. Absolutely Dir: Aleesa Cohene video / 2003 / Can / 8:30 Absolutely is a pseudo-documentary about history, politics and the body. Weaving through various sources and re-contextualized found footage, Absolutely interviews four characters about democracy, revolution and their internal manifestations.

6. Cooper/Bridges Fight Dir: Christina Battle 16mm / 2002 / Can / 3:00 Cooper/Bridges Fight reconstructs an infamous scene from the highly politicized western High Noon. "They punish each other mercilessly, nothing barred. The horses, becoming nervous, rear and whine in their stalls."

7. Erotography for the Fastidious Connoisseur Dir: Etienne Desrosiers video / 2002 / Can / 4:20 A search for the erotic ghost in the porn universe. Six scraps of 8mm found footage from the sixties are stripped naked in search of intimacy. Floating figures escape their sexual content in a saturated media canvas, and electronic music is combined with erotic hot flashes and spontaneous climaxes in this thriller-cum-blue movie.

8. Saraban Dir: Emmanuel Lefrant 16mm / 2002 / Can / 6:00 A one-man flamenco in the form of a cameraless animation.

9. Oil Wells: Sturgeon Road + 97th Street Dir: Christina Battle 16mm / 2002 / Can / 3:00 Focusing on the mesmeric and repetitive processes of oil wells in northern Alberta, this film documents a sighting common to the Canadian prairies that is both epic and mundane.

10. Chiasmus Dir: Daichi Saito 16mm / 2003 / Can / 8:00 An exploration into the process of perception, the act of seeing and listening, Chiasmus takes film as a metaphor for the breathing body, the medium inter-crossing the fragmented and abstract images of the body in movement. The rhythm and tension created by the interplay between sound and image, their disjunction and conjunction, aspire to an organic and sensual moment where inside becomes outside, and outside inside.

11. Self-Portrait Post Mortem Dir: Louise Bourque 16mm / 2002 / Can / 2:30 An unearthed time-capsule-consisting of long buried footage of the filmmaker’s youthful self-reveals an exquisite corpse with nature as collaborator. A metaphysical ‘pas de deux’ in which decay undermines the integrity of the image, but in the process initiates a transmutation.

12. 18,000 Dead in Gordon Head Dir: Clive Holden 35mm / 2001 / Can / 13:00 Based on the filmmaker’s eyewitness accounts of a shocking and random act of violence, which took place in Victoria in 1985, 18,000 Dead in Gordon Head is a treatise on the omnipresence of violence in contemporary culture. Composed as a poem, it’s a hybrid of several film stocks and video formats, digitally processed to create a violent, yet lyrical, collage of textured loops, internal rhythms and visual rhymes, finally completing the work’s cycle back to film.

For further information about PureScreen or to join the mailing list please contact: Sophia Crilly, e: purescreen@castlefieldgallery.co.uk or visit: www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/Purescreen.asp, for programme details and to download PureScreen: Film & Video Artists Information Pack.

PureScreen is supported by Arts Council England.