This documentary piece by artist Hiwa K is one of the most compelling and tense works I’ve seen at the 2014 Images Festival. During protests in the Iraqi city of Sulaimany, Hiwa K plays the harmonica theme from Once Upon a Time in the West, accompanied by a guitar, over megaphones as a rallying song for the protesters. He and his team march through the crowds toward the armed militia as they use tear gas and fire into the protesters. It is a truly a remarkable document about a little heard about uprising (that was swiftly put down) in April of 2011.
On Friday, I dropped in on curated screening called Re-visioning Cultural Encounters presented by the Pleasure Dome programming collective. At the end of the programme was a film from 1992 that I really enjoyed.
Entitled Mexico, the best way I can think of describing it is as a fantastical and quite possibly insane travelogue about a journey through Mexico. It is equal parts funny, hypnotic and fascinating.
Christmas came early!
I saw this short film at the University of Regina’s Living Skies Film Festival last year and now it is available online for everyone.
Directed by the talented Stephen Dunn and starring the always fantastic Gordon Pinsent, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me is a beautiful and funny short film about growing up.
Highly recommended viewing!
Check it out below.
I’ve had a chance to see a few of the Canadian shorts packages at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. Not only have the short films in those packages have been absolutely top notch but TIFF has also placed some of them on YouTube for a limited time.
Here is a selection of some of the great work being showcased. I’ll (probably) do a follow up after I’ve seen a few more of the shorts packages … but be quick! They won’t be online for long.
Directed by Randall Okita
Directed by Fantavious Fritz
Directed by Luke Higginson and produced by William Woods
Directed by Ryan Flowers
Directed by Yael Staav
Instead of following this post up with a “Part 2″, I just got really sick and all the shorts are now (more or less) offline.
Maybe next year!
So it turns out, I am a big fan of Matthew Rankin.
I’ve loved his work for years, I’ve just never known all these films related back to the same artist.
But now that I do – and in honour of him winning the Bite Comedy Award at the NSI Online Short Film Festival (which was the catalyst for this post) – here is a mini-presentation of my favourite Matthew Rankin films.
I Dream of Driftwood
Cattle Call - Co-directed with Mike Maryniuk
Now she and writer Jake Robinson have a new animated short based on the morbidly funny true story of the scattering of Robinson’s grandfather’s ashes – Dad Mud.
It is pretty great!
Check it out:
Mike Everleth of Underground Film Journal did a write-up on Beef Barley Brothers.
It is a pretty flattering assessment of the film for all involved.
Check it out here:
Underground Film – Short Film: Beef Barley Brothers
Steve, a self-involved 9-to-5-er, attempts an act of charity by taking a homeless man to lunch. However, when his fantasy of charity doesn’t match the reality, the dynamics between the two unlikely “friends” begins to shift.
2012 Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, 2012 Boomtown Film & Music Festival, 2012 Sunscreen Film Festival, 2012 Snake Alley Festival of Film, 2012 Weyauwega International Film Festival, 2012 Ionian International Digital Film Festival, 2013 Jaipur International Film Festival
Cast: Jayson Therrien, Josh Bertwistle, Deborah Scullion, Mitch Barany
Director: Luke Black, Writer: Chris Turtle, Producers: Christopher Hutchens, Marc Vandergraaf & Luke Black, Associate Producer: Matt Watterworth, Director of Photography: Jamie Wensley, Editor: Don Gyryluk, Key Grip: Vasco Jesus Maria, Assistant Directors: James Reckseidler & Christopher Hutchens, Location Sound: Alex Mitchell, Sound Editor: Graydon Johnston, Costume Designer: Tara Charran, Makeup Artist: Laurena Pollock, Graphic Design: Jeremy Pollock
Song – “I Wish You All The Happiness” – Written and performed by Calvin Becker – calvinbecker.com
The screening will feature five short films by Filmpool members Nora Gardner, Callen Diederichs, Luke Annand, rjamesmisfeldt and myself.
Show starts at 6 pm and I`ll be in attendance.
This just in!
To tease the screenings, here are some of the other short films screening with Beef Barley Brothers:
The Soundman’s Love, directed by Toshimichi Saito
Blue Dragonfly, directed by Makoto Fujihashi
(Disclaimer: I am pretty confident this is a trailer for Blue Dragonfly … but I can’t read Japanese and could be wrong.)
Stammering Love, directed by Jan Czarlewski
Once Upon a Sultan, direct by Ishita Tiwari, Ritika Kaushik & Farah Yameen
Thanks to the organizers and volunteers at the Jaipur International Film Festival for the amazing opportunity to have Beef Barley Brothers screened on the other side of the world!