Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/6/2007 (5222 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Guy Maddin's four-minute FuseBoy is a murky, funny experimental short, possibly involving a blown fuse, an aging custodian and some half-naked men. ("Sockets of Fire! A Janitor's Passion!" proclaim the melodramatic inter-titles.) It feels like a quick cinematic sketch, but still manages to be Maddinesque in every frame. (And yes, the guy is now so famous -- he's all over the recent Film Snob's Dictionary -- that he deserves his own adjective.)
L'Atelier national du Manitoba present Clifford's Ladies Wear, a clever little homage to the now-defunct local retailer and its wonderfully inept television commercials of the late '70s and early '80s, which featured waving women in smart slack-suits. Here, the Clifford's ladies -- and one cross-dressing Clifford's gentleman -- are given a postmodern makeover, when their smiling fashion-modelling turns to sexual and emotional turmoil, played out against a backdrop of Peg City landmarks.
The comedy continues in Darryl Nepinak's Good Morning Native America, which follows a sad-sack talk-show host in his increasingly desperate search for a guest. In the shrewd mock-doc Playing Dead, Erica Eyres carefully replicates "the artist interview" genre, except that the "art" she's talking about is fake suicide. And first-time filmmaker David Evans puts a nice twist on the film noir in Cleaner, in which WFG go-to-guy Mike Bell plays a dry cleaner who lives vicariously through his clients' clothing.
Bevan Klassen's Retired is a well-put-together narrative film, in which Doug, played with almost scary cheerfulness by Ron Moore, turns from tire-warehouse "worker of the week" to "disgruntled former employee" before our eyes.
Kevin Bacon packs some scary atmosphere into his three-minute horror short The Stork, while Polly Washburn delicately examines the themes of guilt and mourning in The Coffee Maker. In a more experimental vein, Heidi Phillips uses manipulated found-footage and an evocative soundtrack (from Mike Germain) in Isolating Landscapes, while Zarah Laszlo combines impressionistic images and words in A Girl on the 22nd Floor. Jaimz Asmundson uses occult symbolism and beautiful colour-saturated visuals to trace the work of his artist-father C. Graham Asmundson in Drawing Genesis.
(A note for bargain-seeking Manitobans: The Friday presentation of the WFG premieres is free, and you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to see if there are any seats left. Saturday and Sunday, it's business as usual.)
reGENESIS: A Winnipeg Film Group Premiere