All screenings at Neutral Ground Gallery, 1856 Scarth Street.
Rhys Ernst, USA, 2012, 15:17 min.
There’s something missing in Tristan and Zooey’s relationship. Zooey has spent weeks planning a road trip to a mysterious roadside attraction known as “The Thing“ in the hopes that she and Tristan will reconnect. Tristan, a transgender man, and his fluffy grey cat Steven struggle to find places to comfortably pee, while Zooey learns the open road isn’t everything she hoped it would be. Will they find what they’re looking for at "The Thing"? Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival, 2012.
Wu Tsang, USA, 2012, 75 min.
Rooted in the tropical underground of Los Angeles nightlife, Wildness is a documentary portrait of the Silver Platter, a historic bar in the MacArthur Park area that has been home for Latin/LBGT immigrant communities since 1963. With a magical-realist flourish, the bar itself becomes a character, narrating what happens when a group of young artists create a weekly performance art/dance party (organized by director Wu Tsang and DJs NGUZUNGUZU & Total Freedom) called Wildness, which explodes into creativity and conflict. What does “safe space” mean, and who needs it? And how does it differ among us? At the Silver Platter, the search for answers to these questions creates coalitions across generations.
The Brand Album
Kris Brandhagen, Regina, 2007 ongoing, 9:10 min.
The Brand Album is a unified collection of stop-motion video scenes made of still self-portrait photographs that explore the subject of identity. As a whole, The Brand Album’s major impetus is “the seeing of oneself” in terms of physicality, presence, body language, and emotion, through which Brandhagen attempts to establish a view of “self” from an external perspective.
Transqueery, Miki Encounters the Neil Richards Collection
Miki Mappin, Saskatoon, 2012, 20:38 min.
Exploring the University of Saskatchewan’s queer archives, Miki engages with the material and becomes fascinated with the collection. Largely hand held, using existing light and the camera’s microphone, Miki Mappin’s disarmingly simple technique results in a direct, personal, and entertaining engagement with her subject. World premiere.
Thirza Cuthand, Saskatoon, 2012, 3:33 min.
Super 8 footage layered with Sharpie marked lines and circles obscuring the image illustrates the story of the filmmaker’s experience with temporary episodes of migraine related blindness and her cousin’s self induced blindness later in life. Paralleling the experience of Blindness with Mental Illness, Cuthand deftly elucidates that any of us could lose any of our abilities at any time.
A branch is too big to come out of a twig
Steve Reinke and Turner Prize*, Regina/Chicago, 2012, 8 min.
In March 2012, the Saskatchewan-based artist collective Turner Prize* (Jason Cawood, Blair Fornwald, and John G. Hampton) visited artist Steve Reinke in his Chicago studio in order to extract texts from his subconscious. Reinke participated in three mechanically-assisted dream simulation sessions, wherein he described scenarios, thoughts, and images to Turner Prize*. Scenes evoking Reinke’s visions were enacted by the collective in a series of short performative video clips, which were subsequently edited by Reinke. The resulting work is a collaborative exploration of the transformative act of interpretation, a self-indulgent daydream, and an exercise in automatic writing, all diluted through long-distance exchange. In short, it is a fairly inaccurate portrait of Steve Reinke’s subconscious.
Iryn Tushabe, Regina, 2012, 11:52 min.
Coming home late, with a lingering unfamiliar perfume, sparks a tearful confrontation for a couple. But telling the truth – in more ways than one – results in greater closeness and renewal.
Boi Oh Boi
Thirza Cuthand, Saskatoon, 2012, 9:32 min.
An exploration of Butch Lesbian identity, with a description of the curious side trip of exploring the possibility of transitioning to male. Sbahn rides back and forth on the same route to highlight the ambivalence of one genderqueer’s journey to an identity s/he feels comfortable with.
Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin
Mariah Garnett, USA, 2012, 20min.
Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin deals primarily with monumentality, narcissism and the ways in which our heroes are embedded into our identities, and manifested through the body. Through a variety of gestures, the pervasiveness of this practice is highlighted alongside its ultimate, inevitable failure. The viewer moves through various stages of anxiety, idolization and actual touchdown with 70’s gay sex icon Peter Berlin himself, capturing both the apparent and the hidden. The film guides the viewer through the process of making contact with a figure who exists only in his own photographs.
At Least you know you exist
Zackary Drucker with Flawless Sabrina, USA, 2011, 16 min.
Created inside an archeology of the uptown New York City apartment inhabited by legendary performer/drag queen Mother Flawless Sabrina, At Least you know you exist is a site-specific exploration of a fixed space where everything is in a state of change. In this 16mm film, totemic mystical objects act as a collection of mysterious sculptures in different states of mutation, and rich layers of feverish history interface with a new vision of transgender performativity. Navigating the real and the unconscious, oscillating between documentary and myth narrative, Drucker weaves a fluid, parallel text of these two divergent lives, exploring a legacy being passed from a lost generation towards the future.
Circle in the Sand
Michael Robinson, USA, 2012, 45:45 min.
In a broken near future, a band of listless vagabonds ambles across a war-torn coastal territory, supervised and sorted by a group of idle soldiers. Rummaging, stuttering, and smashing through the leftovers of Western culture, these ragged souls conjure an unstable magic, fueled by their own apathy and the poisonous histories imbedded in their unearthed junk. Suspicion, boredom, garbage, and glamour conspire in the languid pageantry of ruin. Feel the breeze in your hair, and the world crumbling through your fingers.
The Church of Feel Good
Jason Penney, Canada, 2012, 17 min.
The Church of Feel Good teaches us how to reach out beyond the mundane entrapments of modern living and grab onto the divine satisfaction we so deserve. A loving homage to 1980’s direct to VHS lifestyle videos, this short film by Jason Penney goes beyond the self help and actualization movement mumbo jumbo and presents us with a step by step method of learning how we can have ourselves a plausibly good time or a close enough approximation. Watch in shock, awe, and glee as we take the reigns of control and make ourselves and loved ones into the stars of our own reality.
I Am Divine
Jeffrey Schwarz, USA, 2013, 86 min.
I Am Divine is the story of Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, from his humble beginnings as an overweight, teased Baltimore youth to internationally recognized drag superstar through his collaboration with filmmaker John Waters. Spitting in the face of the status quos of body image, gender identity, sexuality, and preconceived notions of beauty, Divine was the ultimate outsider turned underground royalty. With a completely committed in-your-face style, he blurred the line between performer and personality, and revolutionized pop culture. I Am Divine is a definitive biographical portrait that charts the legendary icon’s rise to infamy and emotional complexities.
“A breathtaking and touching portrait of two people inside the same body.”
Joshua Brunstig – CriterionCast
“Just as garish, splashy, and loud as Divine himself.”
Drew Taylor – indieWire’s The Playlist