The first Images Festival, organized as an alternative to the Toronto International Film Festival, was held over four nights in June 1988. A total of 51 films and videos by artists from across Canada were screened in four programs. This year, to celebrate 25 years of programming, the Images Festival invited founding board members and programmers to select works from that first festival that had the most impact for them. Cameron Bailey chose Last Days of Contrition by Richard Kerr, Annette Mangaard picked Orientation Express by Frances Leeming, and Ross Turnbull selected Sirensong by Jan Peacock — all three now considered key works by major figures in Canadian experimental film or video art.
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Last Days of Contrition - With Contrition, Richard Kerr continues to display his unique talents as one of Canada’s strongest independent filmmakers. Stunning photography here evokes the concern for light and shadow more often displayed by still photographers. Kerr travels, physically, from Venice, California, through the badlands of Alberta to a baseball stadium in Buffalo and psychically from a mid-sixties, anti-Vietnam perspective to a mid-eighties sense of urban despair. Jingoism and the connection in American culture between games and war are deftly drawn in what is surely Kerr’s strongest, most political film to date. Richard Kerr/Canada 1987. 16mm, 35 mins.
Sirensong - “You are lured into seeing the place, except it’s no longer a place — it’s a scene, a point of interest.” The Moon and Monument Valley are known to us more as icons of representation than as geographical locations. This beautifully executed tape questions our ability to see beyond clichés, in an age of media saturation. Jan Peacock/Canada 1987. Video, 8 mins.
Orientation Express - Product logos, magazine cut-outs, and photographs are animated in this hilarious, acerbic, and incisive film that “challenge(s) the arrogance of a culture depicting women’s lives as less than a three-dimensional experience” (Frances Leeming). Leeming’s postmodernist animation appropriates dominant cultural imagery, turning it on its ear and demonstrating that context is everything, that patriarchal capitalism’s desire to induce consumerism can be transformed into a reflexive inducement to laughter and reflection. Frances Leeming/Canada 1988. 16mm, 15 mins.
Tickets for the evening will be accepted for one or both screenings (1988 and A Letter to the Living). $10.50 Regular / $9 Students & Seniors. Membership in Pacific Cinémathèque or Cineworks will be accepted for this event..