Friday, January 29, 2010

Quality and Quantity February and the Double Bill at the Mayfair

February Film Listings

Bytowne Cinema
Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993) 01/02 & 02/02.
Antichrist (Lars Von Trier, 2009) 05/02 - 09/02.
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958) 07/02 & 08/02.
The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009) 19/02 - 28/02.

Café Ex
The World Viewed (Chris Kennedy, 2003-2006) 04/02.

Canadian Film Institute
All Fall Down (Philip Hoffman, 2009) 13/02.
Polytechnique (Denis Villeneuve, 2009) 20/02.

The Mayfair Theatre
Black Caesar (Larry Cohen, 1973) 06/02.
The Sexy Film Festival (?, ?) 12/02.
Casablance (Michael Curtiz, 1942) 14/02 & 15/02.
Play It Again, Sam (Herbert Ross, 1972) 14/02 & 15/02.
Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009) 19/02 - 21/02, 24/02 & 25/02.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009) 20/02 - 23/02.
The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2007) 23/02.
Antichrist (Lars Von Trier, 2009) 24/02 & 25/02.
Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) 27/02 & 28/02.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Case of a Fire

This article was originally published November 27th 2009 here on Ottawa Film Review. It is slightly modified.-D.D.

The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan, 1991)
*** (A Must-See)

The internationally known Canadian artist and filmmaker Atom Egoyan will be in Ottawa on Thursday January 28th at 7PM at the Libary and Archieves Canada to introduce his 1991 fourth feature The Adjuster to accompany the official book launch of Tom McSorley's monograph Atom Egoyan's: The Adjuster (University of Toronto Press, $16.95).

Tom McSorley’s new book is a revealing examination of Atom Egoyan’s fourth feature The Adjuster. McSorley describes The Adjuster as “a dark drama about the complex and intense relationships between an insurance adjuster and his clients”. As the executive director of the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa, Tom McSorley in the last couple of years has helped program screenings at the Library and Archives Canada of Atom Egoyan’s first and latest feature: Next of Kin (1984), and Adoration (2008). The book is part of the Canadian Cinema series whose goal is to “bring scholarly reflection on Canadian cinematic tradition and contemporary Canadian film”.

McSorley’s monograph on The Adjuster begins with a short history of Canadian cinema. The 1982 government Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) lead to the post-tax shelter generation of Canadian filmmakers who would spearhead a creative resurgence in national film. The Toronto Festival of Festivals - now more commonly known as the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) - emphasis on Canadian content (e.g., “The Northern Light”, “Perspective Canada”) was a launch pad for the Toronto New Wave filmmakers emerging work, Atom Egoyan at the frontline. McSorley connects The Adjuster with Egoyan’s first three films Next of Kin, Family Viewing (1987) and Speaking Parts (1989) emphasizing thematic continuity, an expansion from video to a Cinemascope widescreen and growing international attention. The analysis of the film is illuminating. Specifically its examination of the fire motif, the influence of the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, the absurdist theatre tradition, and finally pinpointing what exactly is the integral aspect of The Adjuster viewing experience. The quality of not knowing.

Tom McSorley’s monograph on The Adjuster came out in September and feels really fresh with its references to Adoration that was released in May 2009. The book launch at the 2009 TIFF, the programming of The Adjuster as part of the festivals “Open Vault” retrospective and an upcoming film Chloe emphasize Atom Egoyan importance as a Canadian filmmaker and rich body of work that has consistently been getting more international attention and quality appraisals. If you have not yet seen The Adjuster, it is well worth seeing. If you want to better appreciate it and understand its role in the context of Canadian cinema, read this book.-David Davidson

(Canadian Film Institute, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street,28/01 & 6/02)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Recommended Reading: The Canadian Journal of Film Studies

Ottawan’s and the Enlightenment
By David Davidson

The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Editors-in-Chief: Charles Acland and Catherine Russell, Film Studies Association of Canada Press, $15.00.

The Canadian Journal of Film Studies is an ongoing series compiled of scholarly articles on films, reviews of film-related books and miscellaneous writing relating to film studies. Thought I do believe the journal should have a proposed mandate, whether in the journal or on its website, the efforts are a great contribution to a nation-bound endorsement for academic writing about film and film studies. It highlights the importance of peer review work and being accountable to neighboring university film-studies graduate and professors. The Film Studies Association of Canada, who publishes the Canadian Journal of Film Studies, is having its 12th annual graduate colloquium with presentations on topics in Canadian film and media and comparative analyses of film and other media on February 11 – 13 2010 at Carleton University.

I am currently finishing my undergrad with a minor in film studies at the University of Ottawa. The professors were all relatively competent and the classes were usually graded on two papers ranging from 5 to 15 pages and attendance. I felt slight friction in a few classes with classmates and professor as it is hard to reference films and directors that no one else has ever of. I was taught by the following professors: Gary Evans and Boulou Ebanda de B'béri- both from the Department of Communications, Douglas Clayton and Franco Ricci- both from the Department of Modern Languages and Literature, and Leslie Sheldon from the Department of English.

Gary Evans wrote a few Canadian film-related books and in his Canadian documentary class the mandatory readings included his textbooks In the National Interest: A Chronicle of the National Film Board of Canada from 1949 to 1989 (1991) and John Grierson: Trailblazer of Documentary Film (2005). The Russian Cinema professor Douglas Clayton communicated well his knowledge and enthusiasm for Russian and Soviet culture and his preferred directors included Andrei Tarkovsky, Georgi Daneliya, and Alexander Sokurov. A great classroom experience was after the screening of Sokurov's The Russian Ark (2002) professor Clayton turned the lights back on and was in tears as he was so taken aback by the films beauty. The Italian Cinema professor Franco Ricci screened many Vittorio de Sica and Bernardo Bertolucci films. I really appreciated Mr. Ricci as he would later hire me as a marker for his Italian Culture and Cinema class. The professor for Literature and Film Leslie Sheldon made aware a preference for the movies of the Coen brothers and Steven Spielberg and he also seemed adept in film history.

In Boulou Ebanda de B'béri Canadian Cinema and African and Australian Cinema class there was a general disregard towards film history. No films were watched in their entirety and the screened movie-clips were marginal and scarce. His selection of films were questionable as they included really commercial fare from the last decade with little interest in diverging in works from the past or from more experimental directors. However he did introduce me to Zacharias Kunuk which I am very grateful for. Film narrative and the mediums malleable sight and sound elements were not discussed but instead there was an obnoxious perseverance for a meta-discourse on certain communication concepts (e.g., representation, ideologies) and at times concepts were unclear.

These are a few things that are awry about the non-regulated film studies program at the University of Ottawa which lacks a unifying structure. These shortfalls could be avoided if there was a stronger faculty emphasis to impose the professors to be engaged in the greater Canadian Film Studies academic community and abide by a structured format to maximize educating about film.


Charles Tepperman’s “Stolen From the Realm of the Night:” Modernity, Visual Culture and the Reception of Cinema in Ottawa in The Canadian Journal of Film Studies Volume 18 No. 2 Fall 2009 issue is a pleasurable read that has much to offer on the years in which cinema was being introduced to Canadians as well as a social-cultural-developmental-political history of the nation’s capital city interlaced with nostalgic remnants. Tepperman argues that Ottawa between 1894 and 1896, even then a major Canadian city, specific conditions including its particular configurations of commercial entertainment, electrification, and urban expansion prepared its citizens for the reception of motion pictures.

The first contact with photoplays was Edison’s Kinetoscope, the solitary viewing motion picture peepshow, premiered in Ottawa November 3rd 1894 and returned November 2nd 1895. Charles Tepperman argues that this was part of the process of local modernization of urban entertainment. The exhibitors were George and Andrew Holland. The Holland brothers had a close business relationship with Thomas Edison and it was them who opened the first Kinetoscope parlor in New York City April 14 1984. The subject matter of the films, usually Edison company shorts, was secondary to the impressive technical nature of the machine itself.

Throughout Ottawa the proto-cinematic qualities of illumination was beginning to take place. At the Ottawa Winter Carnival electrification enabled the lighting of the Chaudiere Falls and electrical burst of spectacular effects and elaborate mass choreography at the "Storming of the Ice Castle" on Nepean point anticipated future illuminations.

The six week exhibition of the Vitascope in Ottawa July 1896 was the first Canadian exhibition organized again by the Holland brothers. During this period Wilfred Laurier was elected prime minister. The New West End Park outside of the city, with the Vitascope, was a new center of attraction. The Ottawa Electric Railway Company and the Ottawa Land Associations owned the land in Hintonburg and Mechanicsville, where the land was cheaper and the taxes lower, capitalized on the expansion and used the streetcars to advertise their property.

Interestingly this blog is a continuation of the film going tradition described in the essay. While some of the old methods of exchanging information are still around such as the Ottawa Citizen, some are not like the Ottawa Journal and the Ottawa Free Press. The locations are now a little different; there is no longer the Grand Opera House, Wonderland Musée Theatre, and the New Perley Block (55 spark street), but there is the Bytowne Cinema, Mayfair Theatre and the Library and Achieves Canada. Instead of peeping at Thomas Edison we go watch movies by Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin etc. In the essay there are highlights of Ottawa geography that sparks some nostalgic warmth as it acknowledges the importance of certain places as part of the experience of living in this city. Some of these include the Ottawa River landscape, the Experimental Farm, the Post Office, Sparks Street and Bank Street, Ottawa Canal town, and Lansdowne Park. While now some of these landmarks have been razed and new ones have been built and there has been a shift in media from physical to digital, It is through an understanding of Ottawa's history that enlightens one towards a more cultural ingrained film-going tradition and makes engaging with local repertories a lot more rewarding.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gilles Carle

La Vraie Nature de Bernadette (Gilles Carles, 1972)
*** (A Must-See)

(Canadian Film Institute, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, 22/01 & 24/01)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ryan Arnold on Skidlove

Ryan Arnold synopsizes Skidlove as the following:
Skidlove-as in dark, gritty, infested with lies-is about a artist who meets a young woman (Paige) at a party. She quickly becomes his girlfriend in spite of the mystery that surrounds her. How does she make her living? What is she hiding in her bedroom? And why won’t she let anyone in? The love struck painter tries everything in his power to understand what she refuses to acknowledge. This film is an unsettling look at the beginning and the end of an “anti-romance” between two twenty-something hipsters living in Toronto. Through images, some of them graphic bordering on gory, we discover the “secret garden” of Paige’s boss and clients of his small business. With its B-movie aesthetic, fragmented story line and experimentation with the use of natural light, Skidlove paints a grim urban portrait, the sordid flipside of a story that could have been happily-ever-after.
For more information about the film check out the website ( and there the press kit offers director notes which provides interesting insight pertaining to trust in relationships, perverts and style within Skidlove and good quality stills from the film which I have interlaced within this interview.

Since the completion of the Skidlove it has premiered at the Nouveau Cinema Film Festival in Montreal and at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival, where the Borsos Competition Jury awarded Jayme Keith with a Special Jury Prize for her central performance in the film. I wrote a review of the film after seeing it in Montreal, which can be found here, as well Skidlove made it into my ten best film list of 2009.

The following is a question and answer exchange I had with Ryan about his film Skidlove.

David Davidson: What were the neighborhoods and areas you were filming in? I am thinking in particular of the scenes by the train tracks, the park, the downtown streets, and the biking scenes. These shots are all visually captivating: The train tracks had a very discomforting feeling towards them; the dead squirrel lying on them in the beginning of the film is an unsettling use of foreshadowing, the park scene where you confront Jayme Keith remind me of the personal confessionals in the cinema of Andrei Tarkosvky, and the shots of the downtown streets made me feel like I was actually there.

Ryan Arnold: We shot the film in west Toronto proper, specifically Parkdale, Roncesvalles Village, High Park and the Junction. There’s an abundance of tracks throughout this whole corridor. I like train tracks, just hanging out getting drunk on them is a pretty decent party in itself for my tastes, which we do in the film. I don’t find them discomforting myself as most of the time they’re very still, save the obvious example. I would say the discomfort comes from the fact that they can’t just stop on a dime, and quite often they can sneak up on you despite their size and noise when immediately beside you. Maybe that’s what I was thinking. Who knows? They’ve got an ominous presence, are a product of industrial revolution that have persevered and will hopefully continue to do so in the face of modern methods. We’ll continue to invent new ways of travel and shipping (see; general space travel/back to the future films) but the train will never die – at least not for a while I don’t think. At least I hope not. I like to think trains and ocean tankers are two really tight drinking buddies. I can’t wait to shred on an oil tanker.

I’ve never seen a Tarkovsky film, but I’m aware of his work. I’ll have to really take a look at some of his films before I answer that question with the respect it deserves. That being said, I’m flattered and I think the goal was to put the viewer there but still have a slight veneer to it all. I always like to sense some level of whimsicality.

David Davidson: How much of your own experiences did you want to bring to the film? I remember in the film Rennie (played by Ryan Arnold) tells Jayme you are from the other side of the country, and you are from Vancouver right?

Ryan Arnold: I don’t know if one can truly control how much they let out. There is always going to be, and always should be a certain amount of personal heartache involved for a good strong connection with the audience. They need to feel the humanity to ultimately connect. That’s what’s important and that’s what hopefully made its way in. Aside from the moment you mentioned regarding coming from the other side of the country, and some drinking on the tracks, the film is fiction. It is a fiction that I chose to create and ultimately live in briefly, only to return to the dregs of reality. I think that’s all filmmaking is to me. A level of escapism to places that, are not necessarily happier or sadder than my own existence, but rather just more interesting. I don’t think I’ll use filmmaking to vent my anger or frustration with my real life relationships but rather explore things that are far more interesting than my own life. As a viewer of film, I’m not sure what it does for me. Most of the time it just makes me anxious.

David Davidson: The film had a lot to say about relationships and corruption, what are feelings about these issues living in Toronto today?

Ryan Arnold: I don’t believe there can be complete trust or complete honesty in any situation. I do not feel that it is possible to completely trust someone or to be completely honest with anyone but oneself. That doesn’t mean however, that an effort cannot be made, and relationships are in fact opportunities to explore how close you can get to being completely honest and trustworthy with someone you deeply care for. I wanted to trek that ground through this film, along the way revealing how important it is to strive for a mutual understanding of one another because the consequences can be quite devastating. This can be applied to any relationship in any city in the world. No city is more romantic than another. No city is more dangerous than another city – when it comes to relationships and emotions. Warfare in cities is another story, and I don’t feel like talking about warfare right now.

David Davidson: I really liked the extra attention to detail and how you had the paintings in the background to accentuate the story development. That is something I would have liked to have seen more of, something like the ending of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev (1966) where there are many panning close-ups of the medieval Russian icon painters work. It looked like a lot of time and effort went into the paintings, you painted them right? Can you tell me about your experiences with painting?

Ryan Arnold: Again, I know of the film but I have never seen it. Yes, a lot of time does go into painting. Like filmmaking there is no immediacy to it. It is long, drawn out and tedious. As a result, the process is very difficult to capture on film. Thankfully, I knew the style in which I was going to be cutting the film and I was able to jump through the process and show the progression spread over 3 shots or set-ups intercut with the other side of the story. Another effort to put the viewer in there with the character was to have all the paintings done on polyurethane plastic so that we could shoot through it. I think it worked in some cases but I wouldn’t advise working with poly and paint, particularly if you’re a beginner. I enjoyed it but time was of the essence and had the ‘shooting through poly’ not been the desired effect I wouldn’t work with it again. Poor blending, poor adhesion, poor pockets and too much liquor required to deal with it all. Plus everything had to be on a large scale, which just added so much more time on top of it. However, it did pay off and I’m glad I went through it. The images and the sheer size help connect Rennie in his efforts to piece the story together, all the while providing some level of foreshadowing. Interestingly, I had planned on having a load of close-ups of the pieces toward the end of the picture, but we couldn’t get the right light cast across them because of the reflective nature of the poly. It’s nice to know it might have worked though.

David Davidson: How was working so close with the cameraman? It must have been very intimate as many of the shots were very personal and up close.

Ryan Arnold: Chris (DOP) and I fell into a very casual, mutual working relationship. We eased into it over a couple months all the while working on the script. I was horribly lucky to have met Chris, as we both have a very similar sensibility for what we want and how to get it. Furthermore, I knew we weren’t going to shoot conventionally with a structured 30 day shoot. We didn’t have the budget, but more importantly we couldn’t get the light we wanted all day, every day for 30 days straight. As a result, we shot very organically, just chasing the dying light around the west end until it was dark. Chris is great at taking anyone’s ideas, in this case mine, and making them 100 times better, which was very lucky for me again. He did this all in addition to providing a slew of his own ideas. That’s not to say there weren’t arguments between us because there were, but the good times out weighed the bad. Regarding the camera being in close, I’ll have to admit it was never in close at all. The camera was never very close to either model in the frame because we long-lensed the majority of the film to get a more interesting depth of field. We started to devise a way of shooting and communicating over distances, sometimes very great ones to get the look and feel we wanted. It took longer, but it looks so much better.

David Davidson: How was being both the star and director of the film? What role did you like the most?

Ryan Arnold: Quite simply, I much prefer directing to acting, though there can be moments of fulfillment from acting. In this case, it wasn’t always the plan to act, however with the amount of time that would be required of another actor and the budgetary constraints upon us it just made sense to me after a while. I knew I could do it so I did it. I would do it again, but hopefully in a smaller supporting capacity. So far as appearing in other projects conceived by other people, I’d love to try it out and see what happens to get a different perspective. I appeared in Chris’s film that we shot last spring and it was very rewarding.

David Davidson: My friend Matthew Curran who I was with at the movie had a question he wanted me to ask you, so I am going to do it. How long did it take you to grow the beard?

Ryan Arnold: Would that be the first, second or third time I grew the beard?

David Davidson: Thanks again for corresponding. It was great to hear your thoughts on Skidlove.

Anarchy, Self-promotion and the Comedian

Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2008)
** (Worth Seeing)

(The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, 15/01 - 17/01, 20/01 & 21/01)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Library and Archieves January

A separate post on the Canadian Film Institue January projections as there are some really interesting films being programmed. La Vraie Nature de Bernadette (1972) by Gilles Carles-who died November 28 2009 at the age of 89, For The Love Of Movies: The Story Of American Film Criticism (2009) which will be definitly worth seeing just to hear what my favorite film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has to say, and finally the most exciting event, the screening of Atom Egoyan's The Adjuster with the official book launch of Tom McSorley's monograph on the film and with an introduction by Mr. Egoyan himself. To read my thoughts on Tom McSorley's great book, my review can be found here.-D.D.

January Listings

Canadian Film Institute
La Vraie Nature de Bernadette (Gilles Carles, 1972) 22/01.
For The Love Of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism (Gerald Peary, 2009) 23/01.
The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan, 1991) 28/01 & 6/02.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Apocalyptic Prophesy

Collapse (Chris Smith, 2009)
** (Worth Seeing)

Scare-mongering and facetious, Chris Smith's documentary Collapse is an 80-minute interview with conspiracy theorist Michael Ruppert.

Mr. Ruppert is the founder and editor of the investigative journalism publication From the Wilderness and he has a deep hatred towards the American politicians George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and the current President Barack Obama. He claims the world oil supply, any day now, is going to be depleted and after the collapse of government, which will happen soon enough, only the survivalist and those who are strong enough to live through the “transition” will persevere. Oh and lest I forget, he imagines that plant seeds will become a new form of currency.

Let’s just say, his argument is less then convincing. Mr. Rupperts anger towards the government and parliamentary corruption overshadow any strength behind his convictions and there is a bargain-basement quality to his argument. All of this is made worst by the tactless cinematography with its manipulative zoom-in close-ups that try to win the viewer through pathos and emphasizing the “authority” of this self-proclaimed seer.

Collapse’s only redeeming facet is as a cultural artifact. Though there are faults to Mr. Ruppert’s logic, the film presents an in depth presentation of the views of a social discontent in the wake of a major economic downturn, one which he apparently foresaw. Late in the documentary it is even told, in one of the many awkward black screens, that Mr. Ruppert is now late for paying his rent and he is facing eviction.

This engagement with the stalled American landscape classifies the documentary, for me, as a recession film. A recession film is one that thematically encapsulates the personal effects of the credit system collapse and the burst of the housing bubble due regulatory failure. Others recession films include: Capitalism: A Love Story, Wendy and Lucy, The Limits of Control, Up in The Air, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The Informant! etc. It is through consciousness and engagement with the issues of our times, in these cases through socially conscious filmmaking, which increases ones world-view and strengthens convictions towards mindful change.-David Davidson

(The Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, 8/01 - 10/01)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Toronto Snow

Recent Snow: Projected Works by Michael Snow (Michael Snow, 2000-2009)
**** (Masterpiece)

Recent Snow: Projected Works by Michael Snow at the Power Plant art gallery in Toronto includes seven video installations by the 81-year-old internationally known multimedia artist. The cinematic works are playful experiments with sight and sound, reality and projections, and it aims to create non-programmed activities within the cinematographic frame through playful and enthralling means. The order of the projections of the works created in the last decade are Piano Sculpture (2009), The Corner of Braque and Picasso Streets (2009), Condensation: A Cove Story (2008), Serve, Deserve (2009), That/Cela/Dat (2000), Solar Breath (Northen Caryatids) (2002), and on the second floor of the gallery SSHTOORRTY (2005).

What is so special about the work on display is the richness of each individual installation and its creeping ability to reveal itself. At a first glance a work might appear cryptic (e.g., what am I even looking at? Why is this image so bland?), but slowly the wealth of the images of non-programmed activities seeps through. Similar to Jacques Tati’s Playtime (1967), or to use a contemporary example Wes Anderson's The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), there is an abundance of activity going on in each filmic frame and for Mr. Snow it is prolonged for an extended period of time, emphasizing the necessity of the viewers engagement and attuned observation.

Piano Sculpture is a video and sound installation where on each of the four walls of the room there is footage of Michael Snow's hands playing an open piano and on top of the piano strings lays a speaker. The images have slight differences and the loudness of each speaker changes. Looking at any one image would align your ears to opposite side speakers, and through consecutively turning to see what you hear, the spin and liveliness of the music provides a vertiginous feeling. This improvisational piano concerto could be heard throughout the other exhibits.

The Corner of Braque and Picasso Streets projects a live video feed of Queens Quay West on the gallery wall distorted by rectangular plinths. The camera is placed outside on the Harbour Front Centre parking booth.

Condensation: A Cove Story is a 10-minute projection of a scene from the Canadian Maritines, a Newfounland cove. It resembles the landscape work of the Group of Seven where in the photograph there is a field, trees, mountains, cliffs, the Atlantic ocean, waves crashing against rocks, and a small beach. Through time-lapse photography the installations captures variations of the weather throughout a day, creating variations in the photographic space. The condensation includes fog, mist, rainstorms and clouds. As well the lack of condensation reveals sunlight and the shadows of racing clouds. The distorted condensation of space in the photograph, and the reduction of real-time creates a mythic quality to the surroundings.

Serve, Deserve, a.k.a. Waiter! is the projection on a table against a wall of a white table cloth with plates, cups and eating utensils. Tossed water, salad, wine, noodles, and tomato sauce dirties the table profile before rewinding. In The Globe and Mail Sarah Milroy writes “The piece offers a metaphor for the structure of cinema, Snow says, where the image is carried from its source in the projector to the screen on a beam of light. “The image is always on its way," he says, just like food on its journey from kitchen to table.”.

That/Cela/Dat is a triptych of video-projections of text and color in English, French and Dutch, addressing the audience through flashes of words, one at a time. It is interlaced with Mr. Snow’s wit, wisecracks, and meditations.

Solar Breath (Northen Caryatids) is footage of two windows. One of them swung open and its thin white curtain blows forward by the wind - revealing the covered day-lit backyard - then crashes against what first appears to be an invisible wall. This creates a supernatural quality to the work, though actually there is a fine mesh screen. The focus anew is the non-programmed pose of the curtain on the surface, with subtle differences between each landing.

The only narrative in the exhibit SSHTOORRTY is distinct as the second half of the story is superimposed on the first half. The title is a combination of two words: story and short. The 2-minute films is about an artist trying to sell one of his paintings to a woman, and after her husbands suspects the infidelity of his wife with the painter, the patron stops the sale. A confrontation ensues. The cinematography is eye-popping and it is a lot of fun to watch.-David Davidson

(The Power Plant, Harbour Front Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON)