The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia - Take 3

“Culture filters things, telling us what we should retain and what we must forget. In this way it gives us some common ground, with regard to mistakes as well as truths.”


Curated by Harry Killas
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In our third season of “The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia,” we do a curatorial zoom out to include some of the most culturally and historically significant works ever produced in British Columbia. At the same time, we stay on message with familiar themes woven through this multi-year series — films that are personal responses to the contemporary social contexts of place and family, and expressions of the autobiographical. With every year, our series has widened its frame, as more homegrown films and filmmakers worthy of scrutiny and study, remembering and screening and celebrating, present themselves, just as new and daring films continue to be made. Our series continues to draw inspiration from Colin Browne’s pleasurable critique of films made in B.C., The Image Before Us (1986), a film that asks us to carefully examine the images before us — what is shown, what is intended, what stories and experiences are omitted, and why?

I hope that the various thematic strands of the series and the films themselves allow audiences to reflect on our present situations here in British Columbia, and that new generations of filmmakers might ask new questions and tell new stories in their films, as they seek inspiration from filmmakers and films that have come before. — Harry Killas


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Harry Killas's historical documentary films about British Columbia include Spilsbury’s Coast; Glowing in the Dark, on the history of Vancouver’s neon art and design; and Picture Start, about the first generation of Vancouver’s “photo-conceptual” artists. A graduate of NYU’s grad film program, Killas is currently working on an expanded version of Picture Start, entitled Is There A Picture, and an autobiographical documentary, Greek to Me. He is Assistant Dean of Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.


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Recent Showings

Edward S. Curtis's portrait of the Kwakwaka’wakw people is preceded by Tom Shandel's Behind the Masks.
Robert Altman’s magnificent revisionist Western, filmed in West Vancouver, is one of his major achievements.
Robert Altman’s second studio picture and first truly personal work was this undervalued rarity, shot in Vancouver in 1968.
FREE! Larry Kent's scandalous debut, the first modern English-Canadian feature, screens with Peter Bryant's 1976 comedy, The Supreme Kid.
Ross Weber’s thoughtful tale of gentrification is preceded by Vancouver filmmaker Jessica Johnson’s short, Flowers.
Julia Kwan’s stylishly-shot charmer, a festival hit at home and abroad, is set in a loving re-created early-1970s Vancouver.
Patricia Gruben’s highly original, highly personal documentary essay is preceded by Eva Pekarova’s short, Zmena - Medzi Dvoma Svetmi.
The acclaimed feature debut of Andrew Huculiak is preceded by Kathleen Hepburn's award-winning short, Never Steady, Never Still.
SFU grad Keith Behrman's arresting long-form debut is preceded by Hubert Davis's Oscar-nominated documentary short, Hardwood.
This program of work by Iris Film Collective includes short films made in and around B.C.
Film is an instrument for social change in Mo Simpson's remarkable documentaries.
John Pozer’s no-budget film, which launched the West Coast Wave of the 1990s, is preceded by Mark Sawers's Cannes-selected Stroke.
Veteran American actor and director Charles Martin Smith's stirring adventure film is preceded by Martin Rose's Trawna Tuh Belvul.