Early Monthly Segments

#49 = 4th Anniversary! = 3/18/13 = Trinh Minh-hà + Michael Wallin


“With uncanny eloquence, Reassemblage distills sounds and images of Senegalese villagers and their surroundings to reconsider the premises and methods of ethnographic filmmaking. By disjunctive editing and a probing narration, this ‘documentary’ strikingly counterpoints the authoritative stance typical of the National Geographic approach.” — Laura Thielan

We are thrilled to be celebrating our 4th anniversary with a pair of visionary essay films from the 1980s that are rarely shown in their original 16mm format, our raison d’etre, four years on! Trinh T. Minh-hà’s first film Reassemblage (shot in 1981 in Senegal) opens with her voiceover, “I do not intend to speak about, just speak nearby”, which frames her groundbreaking experimental “interrogation” that centres on women in rural Senegal. Minh-hà proceeds to call much into question: what is filming? what is the place of the filmmaker? What is or should be an ethnographic documentary?

We open with a short film from 1988 by Michael Wallin. Decodings is an indelible found footage film that explores the possibilities of, and barriers to, intimate relationships between men and was produced at the height of AIDS hysteria. Wallin takes us to the Mojave Desert; into the locker room with frolicking boys; and on a journey with a man who drives with his dog into the centre of bad weather; all set to a moving Shostakovich score. What is understood? What is decoded?

“Michael Wallin’s Decodings is a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of collective memory…the search for self ends in aching poignancy with stills of a boy and his mother at the kitchen table, catching the moment that marks the dawning of anguish and loss; desire becomes imprinted on that which was long ago.” – Manohla Dargis, The Village Voice

Decodings, Michael Wallin, 1988, USA, 16mm, b&w, sound, 15 min
Reassemblage, Trinh Minh-hà, 1982, USA/Senegal, 16mm, colour, sound, 40 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday March 18, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5 suggested donation

Thanks to CFMDC, Women Make Movies + Gladstone Hotel.



Next up: EMS #50 = Monday April 22 = TBA