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Directors in Focus

Backbone / The Films & the Filmmakers

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Friday 10/3
7:00 pm
$9 General Public
$7 Students & Seniors
FREE IHP Members

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  call 215-387-5125, menu option 2. 

Backbone: Vancouver Experimental Cinema 1967-1981
dir. Richard Martin, Canada, 2013, digital, 58 min.

Courtesy of Moving Images Distribution

Backbone is a one hour documentary examining the films, filmmakers and history of Vancouver Experimental Cinema made between 1967 and 1981. Experimental filmmaking was a significant part of Vancouver’s art scene in the 70s, a fertile period marked by outrageous innovation, unbridled experimentation and outright subversion. This movement flourished for many years, thanks to a visionary and colorful collection of artists, curators, venues and institutions. Some of the films made in this period still see distribution while others remain in vaults and personal archives. Many of the works inform us of an art movement that set the stage for contemporary artists and filmmakers. Re-examining films such as BackBone (Tom Braidwood, 1972) and In Black and White (Michael McGarry, 1979) illuminates this rich past, while expressing a timeless vision that maintains their artistic and social relevancy today. The commentary by the artists serves to put the work into a critical context. The filmmakers included represent a diverse group of artists. Some, like David Rimmer, Al Razutis and Chris Gallagher, still engage in experimental media art. Others, like Patricia Gruben, Sturla Gunnarsson and Tom Braidwood shifted to work in academic realms or the world of independent features - All share a unique relationship to cinematic expression and the world of Vancouver film art.”


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The Films & The Filmmakers


This compilation of 10 short films, created by Vancouver filmmakers between 1967 and 1981, was curated by Richard Martin. As a Vancouver youth in that era, it was the work of these artists that inspired him to become a filmmaker.

Canadian Pacifici
dir. David Rimmer, 1974

Lumiere’s Train (Arriving at the Station)
dir. Al Razutis, 1979

The Central Character
dir. Patricia Gruben, 1977

Eclipse
dir. Peter Lipskis,1979

Seeing in the Rain
dir. Chris Gallagher, 1981

A Day Much like the Others
dir. Sturla Gunnarsson, 1977

Far From Quebec
dir. Kirk Tougas, 1971

Backbone
dir. Tom Braidwood, 1972

Steel Mushrooms
dir. Gary Lee-Nova, 1967

In Black and White
dir. Michael McGarry, 1979