Marvelous Movie Mondays: Pattern For Survival

EPFC | April 8th, 2019

guest curator: Alex Johnston
The theme for this month: “SAYS WHO?”: MEDIA AND AUTHORITY

How does authority inhere in media? How is it maintained and how is it expressed? Who has the authority to define the past? Who has the authority to determine the future? Who has the authority to speak for whom? Who has the authority to lead? Who has the authority to bury the dead?

Says who?

This week we’ve got Kelly Sears “dreadfully” brilliant short film, PATTERN FOR SURVIVAL (2015), a spare yet dense interrogation of ideologies of “preparedness” in the face of perceived existential threats. How-to models (cut out from exercise manuals, emergency preparedness texts, hunting guidebooks, etc.) find themselves caught in desperate and compulsive loops of aggression, physical conditioning and disaster mitigation, as ominous slogans such as “Don’t pretend you have no fears,” “You can use bone as an effective weapon,” and “Security takes priority” appear below them on screen. These grotesque and revealing fragments of text, culled from a US Army Survival Manual, combine with the images to produce a kind of bizarro world survivalist handbook. In this way, Sears’ film compels us to question who and what it is we should actually be fearing.


Hallowe’en In The Spring at EPFC North

EPFC | April 1st, 2019

Screening: Hallowe’en In The Spring: Selections from Gothtober 
Thursday, April 4 
7:30 pm; FREE EVENT!
This week at EPFC North we’re delighted to welcome visiting filmmaker and musician Paul Gailiunas for a night of spooky short films created for beloved website, and perhaps a scary tune or two. Refreshments will be served. Free event! Everyone welcome!

7646 Prince Albert Street, Vancouver, BC

Marvelous Movie Mondays: No More Leadershit

EPFC | April 1st, 2019

guest curator: Alex Johnston

The theme for this month: “SAYS WHO?”: MEDIA AND AUTHORITY

How does authority inhere in media? How is it maintained and how is it expressed? Who has the authority to define the past? Who has the authority to determine the future? Who has the authority to speak for whom? Who has the authority to lead? Who has the authority to bury the dead?

Says who?

The films I have chosen for this month all grapple in some way with these questions of authority, either within the film text itself, or in society, culture, and history-at large. First up in the series is a wonderful little essay film from 1971, Nick Macdonald’s meditation on anarchism in practice, “No More Leadershit.”

Macdonald is a New York-based writer, filmmaker, and avowed anarchist, who in the 1970s made a cycle of radical, essayistic experimental documentaries.

“No More Leadershit” is a diminutive and playful work, combining stop motion animation and live action in a simple structural conceit. Accompanied by the sounds of his children playing, Macdonald (in voiceover) grapples with the inherent inequality of political leadership, and advocates for a world in which there are no more leaders . . . on the Right or the Left. (Particularly amusing is his reluctant renunciation of iconic liberatory figures such as Malcolm X and Abbie Hoffman.) In our contemporary historical moment, when populist demagoguery is seemingly in vogue around the world, the film’s core message is troublingly resonant.

Enjoy “No More Leadershit”!

Festivals We Love: Images

EPFC | April 1st, 2019

Started in 1987, Toronto’s artist-run Images Festival continues to push the envelop on what a film festival can and should be. This year’s iteration includes powerful work by current EPFC Co-op Member Eve-Lauryn LaFountain and former EPFC Youth Film Instructor Thorbjorg Jonsdottir in a shorts program entitled Interior Mythologies; check out the full program and all the details here!


Marvelous Movie Mondays: Begging In Mushin Market

EPFC | March 26th, 2019

guest curator: Ariel Kavoussi

The theme for this month: “WHAT’S THE BODY GOT TO DO WITH IT?” This March, I will be selecting short film & video work that explore questions of the body.

For my fourth and final film/video work in this series, I’ve chosen a piece by up-and-coming visual and performance artist, Petra Szilagyi. It is entitled “Begging in Mushin Market.”

According to their Bio – “Szilagyi is an artist and student of the Super Natural. The product of a nomadic Afro-Caribbean/Hungarian, Petra has travelled from Japan, to Nigeria and many places in between, in a calling to seek the inexplicable, the unquantifiable and rich anti-structure spaces.” Szilagyi received their BA from Williams College and is current living in Richmond working on their Master’s degree in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University.

I was lucky to be able to get the artist to answer a few questions regarding this performance:

AK: Can you give any context for the video work performed in West Africa? Why were you there? What motivated these performances?
PS: I went to Lagos, Nigeria in 2010 to stay with my uncle, a Nigerian architect who has been a strong proponent to the revivification of the Nigerian aesthetic in architecture and design. I was specifically looking for art forms that I would recognize as a black American: graffiti, hip hop, versions of afro-futurism that you might see throughout the diaspora. I didn’t find these things, but rather found a culturescape in deep conversation with its own distinct lineage and a relationship to the West completely unlike the one I as a black American would have. Furthermore, given the color of my skin, I was not only a cultural outsider but considered an Oyibo, or white person, so I was a racial outsider. This was rough; I had hoped to find a deeper sense of cultural identity and connection and found my sense of identity only further unravelling. Moreover, I began to fear that this visible cultural cleft between myself and the people I encountered could fracture deeper so that even basic human connection might seem impossible. I decided to beg as an act of desperation. A desperate attempt to get people to see me as something other than a Westerner and all of the implications that characterization might bring with it (wealth, imperialism, arrogance). I begged to invert the existing narrative of ‘Young American goes to Africa and imparts aid as a form of cultural and moral imperialism’. I begged to regain my dignity and to ask for a pardon for how my country exploits and mischaracterizes Nigeria (this performance took place after Nigeria was put on the terror watch list in 2010). I begged to recognize that what I truly sought- connection, meaning, heritage- I had flown across the Atlantic to ask for in Nigeria. I came to Nigeria because I needed, and so I asked and listened to the answers and felt enriched by both the generosity of offerings and declinations.

AK: Who was your videographer / did you have any creative partners in these performances? What was your relationship to these small towns?
PS: I worked with a brilliant, wonderful, incredible performance artist name Jelili Atiku. He is from Ejigbo, where a couple of my other performances took place and we collaborated on a number of pieces while I was there. After we collaborated on a piece he had created entitled Corpus Collosum, I shared my idea to beg in a market place–an especially striking gesture because begging and panhandling is extremely uncommon in Lagos. We spoke about the manifold cultural implications on either side of the Atlantic, but most importantly, I think we were excited by this gesture’s ability to pose far more questions than it could answer.

AK: Do you have any inspirations for your performance work?
PS: I think I was inspired by all of the awkward situations I have found myself in since I could remember. Those are usually some of the richest. I was also a big fan of Leigh Bowery and David Hammons at the time.

AK: What are working on now and will you be performing again soon?
PS: I recently did a performance inspired by Rachel Dolezol that kind of felt like a continuation of the conversation I was having here. I might perform that again, it is an interactive performance with a component similar to the one I performed at Anthology Film Archive’s “Stories We Tell” Film/Video Event. I perform as a trans-racial person wearing white face makeup and a diasporan mish-mash outfit. Everyone is given my cell phone number, and after a guided meditation they are asked to text me their questions about trans-racial identity. It strikes a weird chord, not quite parody or homage, again posing more questions than it answers. I am also building and painting a series of prayer kneelers shaped like all sorts of cool things like bunnies, UFOs and naked women. I am hoping to do an ongoing piece where I ask people to submit prayer request and I pray for whatever they ask for. I am excited about this one.

Please enjoy the unique early work from contemporary video/performance artist Petra Szilagyi. And for more check out their website: