Between 1977 and 1989, The Funnel Experimental Film Theatre was “the” place for filmmakers and artists to make experimental 16mm, 8mm and Super-8 films. The theatre was available for the production, distribution and exhibition of their unique films. In this program, for the The 8 Fest 2011, they carry on from the first volume of this retrospective that was shown last year with five more from the personal archives of Funnel members and filmmakers.
Four of the five filmmakers were in attendance for the screening to take questions from the audience. It was an interesting crowd because much of the audience were people familiar with The Funnel,
Going – Keith Lock 1973 15 min.
Filmed as a road movie, the filmmaker and a few of his friends travel North from Toronto to Moose Factory on break from a feature film they are working on. The film makes for an interesting time capsule of life in Northern Ontario in the early 1970s. The film was performed with a live musical accompaniment by Roy Patterson, which lifted the film from interesting to riveting. The soundtrack was completely improvised, but you would have never known it wasn’t scored ahead of time.
It’s Confidential ““ Dot Tuer 1985 13 min.
Twenty-five years ago, a cafÃ© was started as a job-training program to help ex-psychiatric patients at the Church of the Holy Trinity behind the Eaton Centre. Three young graduates were hired to train the patients in the basics of running the cafe. Filmmaker Dot Tuer was one of those staff members teaching the patients and she documented the experience in this film. The film mixes audio interviews with the staff and patients in a collage format. Hampered slightly by the fact that film was screened with the wrong audio soundtrack, the film was hard to follow at times. With the combination of non-linear editing and its subject matter, the film is still very interesting to watch. It should be noted that the cafÃ© is still running today.
Still Here, Still There (Travelogue) ““ Paulette Phillips + Geoffrey Shea 1984 20 min.
A film edited and collaged in the same tradition as the classic landmark film A Man with a Movie Camera . The film was shot around the world in Berlin, Rome, Morocco and Toronto. The film mixes sound collages gathered on the trip and mixed together to an interesting effect. The film is a clever mix of quick edits and more leisurely sections that creates a unique travelogue.
Jackie – Death/Anger/Sex ““ Adam Swica 1983 18 min.
The real treat of the evening was this film featuring the late Canadian actress Jackie Burroughs. The film is shot in a one-camera setup in a highrise apartment. Jackie speaks directly to the camera in three sections on her opinions on the topics of death, anger and sex. The film is made with the perception that this is strictly a documentary, but it is clear that the film was meticulously planned. It is at three key moments that Jackie changes seating positions, she looks at a book, rips the leaf off a plant and then cuts the action of the shot. This happens very organically and could have only performed so smoothly by such a great actress.
Flow ““ Ric Amis 1980 5 min.
Flow is collage film of different edits of tree and plant life outside of mining area. The abstract images of trees blowing in the wind make up a beautiful image like of an organic painting in motion. The soundtrack was composed and performed by Peggy Sampson and Paul Shaffer (of David Letterman fame).