Early Monthly Segments

#39 = 5/7/12 = Nicky Hamlyn in person!

Nicky Hamlyn, photo courtesy Aliza Ma

We’re pleased to host a screening of rare films by UK filmmaker Nicky Hamlyn. His work looks at the relationship between the camera and the elements being filmed—object, reflection, colour, light, shadow—resulting in a rigorous reflection on the act of filming itself. The films have a hard-won beauty, but open themselves up to our appreciation through patient observation. This screening focuses on two of his sound films—That Has Been and Tobacco Shed—plus the stunning White Light.

That Has Been is the last in a series of longer works made in the first half of the 1980s. The film was shot in two adjacent rooms. Outside views are seen in reflection via an aluminum photographic lamp, while some of the imagery is generated from photographs taken in the same spaces. The occasional voice over explores the relationship between places and dreams and that between memories and the physical events that can trigger them.” (Hamlyn)

White Light, made a few years after the short film Minutiae initiated a stylistic epiphany, also focuses on reflections—this time in the chrome-plated faucets of his studio sink. The faucets are shot frame-by-frame while the focus is racked back and forth, creating a shimmering rhythmic experience. The film’s animated quality is further enhanced by rotoscoped sequences (photographic images traced by hand). These animations deepen the enquiry into the abstract and the photographic and into the way that illusions create visual forms.

Tobacco Shed is shot at a tobacco-curing oven in northwest Umbria, Italy. It uses the serial nature of the building (a series of open bays) to construct the film—circling the building and framing each doorway in a consistent manner. This simple set-up allows for the small differences (an open doorway, a car parked askew) and character of the building—soon to be transformed due to changing agricultural priorities—to come through.

That Has Been, 1984, 16mm, UK, 40 min.
White Light, 1996, 16mm, UK, 22 min. silent
Tobacco Shed, 2010, 16mm, UK, 11 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday May 7, 2012 | 8:00 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Tobacco Shed

Upcoming #40 = June = TBA