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Directions in New Documentary

IV. Directions in New Documentary
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The Splits
Canada 2015. Dir: Allison Hrabluik. 15 min. DCP

Vancouver artist Hrabluik explores documentary and narrative practice in this playful, rhythmic record of various individuals — including speed skippers, tap dancers, dog trainers, and a pizza-dough thrower — in performance. A lovely “documentary” that extends the documentary form by (partly) working in the groove of contemporary visual art.


The Joy of Subletting
Canada 2015. Dir: Rafi Spivak. 19 min. DCP

In Rafi Spivak’s personal documentary, the filmmaker’s friend, Vancouver-based theatre lighting designer Itai Erdal, learns that the man who has been subletting his East Van apartment has died, mysteriously, on the premises. As Spivak and Erdal investigate what happened, the film alludes to the intimate human dimensions underlying renting, subletting, real estate, and urban life.






Memory of the Peace
Canada 2017. Dirs: Jennifer Chiu, Jean Parsons. 26 min. DCP

In this documentary portrait of Fort St. John, B.C. and the nearby Site C dam project, the cyclical forces of industry, resource extraction, and colonization that have historically shaped Canada are examined through the stories of a young male oil worker, an Indigenous woman, and a Dane-zaa drummer. The sense of place is palpable; the work approaches drama in the way in which it is filmed and constructed.

— Intermission (10 min.) —





East Hastings Pharmacy
Canada 2012. Dir: Antoine Bourges. 46 min. DCP

“Simultaneously a fictionalization, a reconstruction, and a documentation” (Cinema Scope), Antoine Bourges’s trompe l’oeil treatment of the rites and routines of methadone patients receiving their medication in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside employs real-life patients “playing themselves,” a pharmacist played by a professional actor, and a set recreating an East Hastings pharmacy. This unique work shows the influence of Jeff Wall’s photographic staging techniques of “near documentary” and asserts the power of the visual in the documentary form.

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Guest in attendance

Introduced by Pablo de Ocampo, Exhibitions Curator at the Western Front