York talent featured in Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film

The Durham Art Gallery, together with the Grey Zone Collective, is presenting the Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film in the cinemas, drive-in theatres, town halls and symphony barns of Durham, Hanover and Owen Sound from Aug. 26 to Sept. 19. This popular experimental film festival, now in its third year, will showcase a mélange of avant-garde, funny, edgy and iconoclastic works – films, installations and media art – by Canadian and international artists. Festival highlights include offerings by many York Film & Video alumni, faculty and graduate students.

The opening night festivities kick off today at 6pm with a reception at the Durham Art Gallery celebrating the opening of the installation Impeded Streams and Stains by filmmaker and York MFA student Tracy German.

The installation, which runs to Sept. 19, draws parallels between the gesture of body language and nostalgic notions of time having lapsed. Organized by Durham Art Gallery curator Tony Massett, the exhibition consists of five 16mm film projectors which display their images over various wall and floor surfaces strewn with sand, water and fabric, reflecting the imagery within the film.

Later this evening at 8:30pm, the festival action moves to the Hanover Drive-in Theatre. Reminiscent of the days of vinyl LPs, the field below the big outdoor screen will fill up with cars, minivans and sport/utility vehicles, waiting for dusk to segue into dark. At nightfall the film series, Light is Calling! will begin to unreel.

This film series, curated by Canadian filmmaker and York Film & Video Professor Philip Hoffman, includes the formal cine-poems and complex tales of Canadians Constant Mentz, Shawn Atkins and Clive Holden, as well as archival reincarnations of US artist Bill Morrison and the visions of Finnish filmmakers Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Ilppo Pohjola, among others.

Right: Philip Hoffman

Light is Calling! will be shown again on Aug. 29, 8:30pm at the Twin Drive-In Theatre in Owen Sound.

A second film series curated by Hoffman, titled From Grey-Bruce to Helsinki: Delineations of the Poetic, screens Aug. 28, 8pm in the Symphony Barn in Durham. The program features York Film & Video alumna Rhonda Abrams’ MFA thesis film, Chronograph, as well as productions by Canadian filmmakers Jon Radojkovic and Liz Zetlin and Finnish artist Sami van Ingen. These works explore the poetic nature of the moving image, ranging from a visualization of a written poem to a visual study of the experience of time.

York Film & Video Professor Janine Marchessault is the curator of In the House on the Street, a collection of films and videos that investigate the nature of spaces in urban and rural settings, screening in the Symphony Barn on Sept. 4 at 8pm. The program includes the intimate Confessions of a Compulsive Archivist (2004) by York MFA student Mary Daniel; Stalker (2002), the haunting and humorous thesis film by York graduate Cara Morton; and Philip Hoffman’s travelogue, Somewhere Between Jalostotitlan and Encarnacion (1984).

Left: Janine Marchessault

Divided between the street and the house, each production addresses the relation between objects, places and people that built environments call forth. The ephemeral nature of everyday life, absent-minded encounters in the street, the boundary that divides public and private, action and emotion, are all explored in these films that recognize the central importance of home and belonging in an age of increasing mobility and homelessness.

Admission is free to all events. For more information, including a complete schedule of events and directions to venues, visit the Festival’s Web site.