FOUND IN TRANSLATION : TIME AND PLACE
May 16 - June 27, 2019


Movies mark the passage of time by providing a documentation of movement and change. They also, paradoxically perhaps, immortalize a moment in time, recording it for (re)viewing at any time in the future. The films in the TIME AND PLACE program all look back: to filmmakers who have gone before, to fathers and mothers and grandmothers, to historical figures, to past events, and to the pop culture of the past.

 

FOUND IN TRANSLATION: TIME AND PLACE
By Stephanie Berrington

 

Movies mark the passage of time by providing a documentation of movement and change. They also, paradoxically perhaps, immortalize a moment in time, recording it for (re)viewing at any time in the future. The films in this program all look back: to filmmakers who have gone before, to fathers and mothers and grandmothers, to historical figures, to past events, and to the pop culture of the past. Some are memories embodied, although often distorted, as Jaimz Asmundson’s film Echoes (2015) dreamily denotes. While each presents to us an interpretation of history, together they provide a glimpse into the history of Canadian prairie filmmaking.


The godfather of Winnipeg filmmaking, avant-garde auteur Guy Maddin, collaborates with Isabella Rossellini to commemorate the 100thbirthday of her long-dead father, legendary filmmaker Roberto Rossellini. Maddin’s film, My Dad is 100 Years Old (2005), is characteristically evocative of early silent cinema. Rossellini reflects on her father’s life and filmmaking practice, contrasting it with the aesthetics of his contemporaries: Hitchcock, Fellini, Chaplin, and Selznick (each of whom is played with gentle humour by Rossellini herself). The film is rich in metaphor and the relationship between father and daughter stands in for the history of filmmaking itself, as the film performs Rossellini’s meditation on her father’s legacy by exploring Maddin’s artistic ancestors at the same time.

...each presents to us an interpretation of history, together they provide a glimpse into the history of Canadian prairie filmmaking.
Echoes (Échos), Directed by Jaimz Asmundson, 06:00 | Experimental | 2015

Echoes (Échos), Directed by Jaimz Asmundson, 06:00 | Experimental | 2015

George Bassler’s Perpetual Motion Machine (2014) by Berny Hi looks at two men, separated by centuries but with uncanny similarities, who both invented machines to tame time, attempting to harness time in the way that only perhaps cinema can. Hi, as a filmmaker, is engaged in the same pursuit as the two men whose stories he resurrects, defying time in the process. 

Echoes (2015) is an experimental expression of grief and a recreation of memory, the voice-over relaying a dream of a mother’s death. Filmmaker Jaimz Asmundson projected images associated with his own mother onto natural textures and surfaces, re-photographing, re-animating and processing them to abstract the memories, thereby creating a dreamy representation of loss and the disintegration of memory over time, like his mother’s body in death.

Matthew Rankin recreates a seminal memory from Winnipeg’s film history in his homage to Guy Maddin: Barber Gull Rub (2008). Parodying Maddin’s distinctive style, Rankin looks back to a minor but memorable scene from Maddin’s "Tales from the Gimli Hospital", which catapulted Maddin and his Manitoba home (also Rankin’s birthplace) to film fame, playfully reinforcing the mythologization of Maddin’s art and his prairie muse.

...creating a dreamy representation of loss and the disintegration of memory over time...
Barber Gull Rub (Barber frotte-mouette), Directed by Matthew Rankin, 02:24 | Narrative Comedy | 2008

Barber Gull Rub (Barber frotte-mouette), Directed by Matthew Rankin, 02:24 | Narrative Comedy | 2008

A journey across time, Carole O’Brien, working under the film name Aubriand, appropriates 16mm found footage of a priest’s travels around Europe in the 1960s in her film Time Away (2007). She tackles two motifs common to film: the concept of the journey and the question of time. A trio of voices, our mystical female tour guides, recite a poem over the priest’s moving images of roads and landscapes adopted and revived by O’Brien forty years later. 

The program here undergoes a shift from the personal and introspective to shared cultural memory with John Paizs’s 1981 satire of North American suburbia of the 1950s: Springtime in Greenland (1981). Startlingly relevant to contemporary audiences familiar with the “Make America Great Again” refrain, Paizs’s colourful and humorous film pokes fun at this fictional American utopia, utilizing tropes from the pop culture of the past that helped manufacture this idea of America, to recreate and ultimately undermine the nostalgia that celebrates this troubling whitewashing and romanticization of American history. 

...Paizs’s colourful and humorous film pokes fun at this fictional American utopia...
Springtime in Greenland (Un printemps au pays du gazon) Directed by John Paizs, 24:24 | Narrative Comedy, 1981

Springtime in Greenland (Un printemps au pays du gazon)Directed by John Paizs, 24min 24sec | Narrative Comedy, 1981

Cecilia AranedaWhat Comes Between (2009) takes us to 1970s Chile during the US-engineered coup, a far cry from the idyllic America of Paizs’s parody. Araneda juxtaposes found footage from her past, as a child refugee fleeing from Chile to Canada, with historic sources to represent a trauma that was, and is, both personal and cultural in scope, a trauma whose scars remain despite the passing of time and space.

The program closes with yaya/ayat (2010), Shimby Zegeye-Gebrehiwot’s experimental reflection on her journey to Greece to visit a grandmother whose language she cannot speak. The film itself transcends language as an expression of love for her grandmother and an attempt to reconcile her hybrid identity as a first-generation Canadian and come to terms with the diasporic history of her family’s cultures. 

...Araneda juxtaposes found footage from her past, as a child refugee fleeing from Chile to Canada, with historic sources to represent a trauma...
yaya/ayat, Directed by Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot 5min 25sec, Experimental Documentary, 2010

yaya/ayat, Directed by Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, 5min 25sec, Experimental Documentary, 2010

FOUND IN TRANSLATION: TIME AND PLACE
TRADUCTION FIDÈLE : L'HEURE ET L'ENDROIT



My Dad is 100 Years Old (Mon père a 100 ans), Directed by Guy Maddin, Written by Isabella Rossellini, 17:05 | Experimental Narrative | 2005
In a stunning collaboration with avant-garde filmmaker Guy Maddin, Isabella Rossellini celebrates the life and work of her father, director Roberto Rossellini, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.


George Bassler’s Perpetual Motion Machine (La machine de mouvement perpétuel de George Bassler), Directed by Berny Hi, 03:30 | Fiction | 2014
Following his family’s untimely demise, prairie homesteader George Bassler bizarrely spends 1945 crafting a Perpetual Motion machine uncannily echoing similarly named inventor Johann Bessler’s 1712 invention, the Perpetuum Mobile. 


Echoes (Échos), Directed by Jaimz Asmundson, 06:00 | Experimental | 2015
A process-based, experimental film about loss, and the parallel between memory and the physical self: how it evolves, degrades and disintegrates.


Barber Gull Rub (Barber frotte-mouette), Directed by Matthew Rankin, 02:24 | Narrative Comedy | 2008
Deep in the winter of 1986, Guy Maddin is in the process of filming "Tales from the Gimli Hospital" and needs to rub a dead seagull on somebody’s chest. Immediately, Winnipeg Cinematheque programmer Dave Barber agrees, submitting his bare flesh to Maddin’s road kill and to film history.


Time Away (Du temps au loin), Directed by Carole O’Brien (Aubriand), 07:00 | Experimental | 2007
Three guides accompany us on a road trip away from time... and towards the transformative end of the road, space...  



Springtime in Greenland (Un printemps au pays du gazon), Directed by John Paizs, 24:24 | Narrative Comedy | 1981
A lifetime of suburbia in a half hour, "Springtime in Greenland" uses 1950s cinematic conventions to tell a story about the sophomoric inhabitants of a fictional utopia. Meet Nick: he’s silent, aloof and straining against suburban values.


What Comes Between (Entre les deux), Directed by Cecilia Araneda, 05:30 | Experimental Documentary | 2009
An examination of personal memory and loss rooted in the filmmaker's birth place, Chile, and her departure from that country long ago.


yaya/ayat, Directed by Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, 05:25 | Experimental Documentary | 2010
"yaya/aya" explores identities, being lost in translation and distance through the eyes of a young woman. This is an experimental documentary about how being a part of any diaspora shapes a person’s identity.
 


THE FOUND IN TRANSLATION SERIES IS PRESENTED BY THE WINNIPEG FILM GROUP
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.