The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia – Take 6
Screening Dates
  • June 22 (Wednesday) 8:45

Vancouver Rising: Artists in the Mist

Al Neil: A Portrait
Canada 1979
David Rimmer
44 min. 16mm

Al Neil, the musician, poet, sculptor and shaman’ was virtually an institution in West Coast art mythology. He was considered an inspiration to many artists in the sixties … Whether he was a recluse, mystic, or Dadaist is only of historical concern now. The task facing Rimmer was the creation of a portrait of both an institution and a friend … Al Neil: A Portrait is more than a documentary profile of a man engaged in the life and death struggle with his genius and his obsessions. While the narrative thread is centred on pathos, the film represents a coming to terms with what these generalizations really mean … the many personas of Al Neil: the private, intoxicated and poetic man; the public performer and musician; and the family outcast. Rimmer’s integration of these levels is masterful” (Al Razutis).

preceded by

In Search of Innocence
Canada 1964
Léonard Forest
27 min. DCP

A questioning filmmaker from Québec finds out how Vancouver’s poets and painters look at life and art. Among the people seen are sculptor Donald Jarvis, painters Jack Shadbolt, Joy Long and Margaret Peterson, and printmaker Sing Lim” (National Film Board of Canada). With Glenn MacDonald (tenor sax), Al Neil (piano), and Don Thompson (acoustic double bass) in performance at The Cellar, Vancouver.

This charming impressionistic view of Vancouver’s art scene in the early 1960s shows glimpses of many of the city’s most important and influential modernists and beats.” Harry Killas

Introduction by Phil Smith, a Vancouver-based writer-performer and a Lecturer Emeritus at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.