Still Not Over It: 70 Years of Queer Canadian Film

Runtime: 94 min

Festival year: 2015

Still Not Over It: 70 Years of Queer Canadian Film

Spotlight(s): Maple Smoked Cinema

Still Not Over It is an extensive program of queer Canadian documentary, experimental, performance, animation, and fiction shorts spanning 70 years of moving images. Variously addressing memory, social history, and futures, these shorts use anachronism, queered retellings, hope, reminiscence, and prophesy to elicit questions on queer temporality: what is our past without our overcomings? Who were we and what did we want to be? Will I find a date for Friday night? This selection shows us bygone times and timeless aspirations from WWII-era crypto-homo desire to 1960s subtleties, 70s experimentalism, 80s essays, 90s elegies, and millennial flux. Culled from the newly launched online catalogue mediaqueer.ca—a research tool for LGBT moving image art in Canada and Québec—the program will be presented in two parts with a short discussion with artists in-between.

Presented in partnership with the Queer Media Database Canada-Québec and Video Out Distribution.

Guest programmers Jordan Arseneault, Alan Kollins and Thomas Waugh.

Q&A after the screening with some directors in attendance.

Boogie Doodle
Norman McLaren | Canada | 1940 | 3 min
National Film Board of Canada animation featuring Albert Ammons (music/boogie) and Norman McLaren (drawings/doodle). Made without the use of a camera, Boogie-Doodle is a rhythmic, bright coloured film experiment using direct draw on celluloid techniques.
L’Usure
Jeanne Crépeau | Canada | 1986 | 8 min
Who said breaking up was beautiful? A quickie melodrama by one of Québec’s leading lesbian directors.
Frankly, Shirley
Margaret Moores | Canada | 1987 | 22 min
A one-night stand that continues. The affair is wistfully recounted by one of the lovers. She recalls the last time they made love and chronicles their amorous adventures. They never made love in bed and the narrator surmises that their relationship ended because of a dearth of conversation and a lack of locations. Where some lesbians hesitate to hold hands, this work places sexuality in the public domain. Against a backdrop of tourist attractions, their passion rules.
Gravity
Wrik Mead | Canada | 1987 | 3 min
When you wake up and you have so much to do that you just want to go back to bed. The illusion of a reverse shooting schedule emphasizes the entire cycle of life.
Gayblevision: a Celebration of 2 Years on Air (excerpt)
Gayblevision | Canada | 1982 | 4 min
Recently digitized and restored by Video Out Distribution, these excerpts are culled from Vancouver's first LGBTQ public television program, Gayblevision, produced through Vancouver’s West End Cable 10 between 1980-1986. It covers a broad spectrum of Vancouver's LGBTQ experience: from the Mr. Leather Contest, to evenings at the Vanport, the first Gay Unity Parade, and Jane Rule’s controversial statement about coming out.
1919
Canada | 1996 | 8 min
Winnipeg's 1919 General Strike seen through the window of Sammy Wong's steam bath & barbershop. This Guy-Maddinesque “silent” film queers the embodied social/ist history of the brutally repressed strike.
Man from Venus
James Diamond | Canada | 1999 | 3 min
This experimental confessional narrative reflects the urban isolation and confusion of a young First Nations trans man who questions his sexual and racial identity.
60 Unit Bruise
Paul Wong | Canada | 1976 | 4 min
Wong's first colour videotape, from the series The Mainstreet Tapes takes up artistic genres popular in the 1970s, including performance and body art. Ken Fletcher draws several millilitres of blood from his arm and injects the contents of the syringe into Paul Wong's back. Blood-sharing as a sort of ritual uniting the artist and his then-boyfriend as blood brothers, as well as dangerous performative foreshadowing of the AIDS era.
So When Did You Figure Out You Had AIDS?
Vincent Chevalier | Canada | 2010 | 5 min
Home video footage recorded when Chevalier was 13 is recycled as a conceptual blockbuster presaging the artist’s HIV diagnosis and affinity with performance art.
Frank’s Cock
Mike Hoolboom | Canada | 1993 | 8 min
Callum Rennie plays a man who shares his memory of a lover he lost to AIDS. Split screen fragmentation takes on the symbolic “effects of AIDS, which breaks the body into dispersed vantages, while the narration serves to bind with words what this disease will render lifeless and inert.” (Jack Rusholme)
A Girl Named Kai
Kai Ling Xue | Canada | 2004 | 8 min
Using Super-8 and 16mm footage, filmmaker Kai Ling Xue opens her personal diary to us to reveal a journey about relationships, self-discovery, passion, secrets and dreams.
Galactic Docking Company
Clark Nikolai | Canada | 2009 | 3 min
The commercialization of space causes new discoveries. Using found and original footage shot on Earth and in near Earth orbit, we find that space wants to have an encounter of the most intimate kind. If ever existed a sci-fi porn-com, this is it!
Search Engine
Wayne Yung | 1999 | 4 min
A young gay man uses 90s technology to remember boyfriends past, in the search of boyfriends future.
Drag on a Fag
Nick Stagias | Canada | 1994 | 5 min
An experimental essay about queer slang, language and semiotics, playful and subverted.
Untouchable
Thirza Cuthand | Canada | 1998 | 4 min
Pedophiles, teenage stalkers, and innocent little girls! Cuthand explores the struggles between inter-generational partners and the powerlessness felt by youth. Winner of the 1998 Best Canadian Short Award, Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
Cornet at Night
Stanley Jackson | Canada | 1963 | 14 min
Based on a short story by Sinclair Ross (1939), a Prairies queer coming-of-age haunted by operatic melodies. “With Cornet at Night, Ross had still not yet been canonized by McClelland & Stewart – much less come out as a geriatric ‘gay lib’ figurehead.”(Thomas Waugh) A pantheistic rural universe hums along to the uncanny trumpet blowing by the blonde city boy who doesn’t know how to stook.