A Summer Long Since Passed: Three Films by Kurt Walker
- s01e03 + I Thought the World of You + Hit 2 Pass
- A Summer Long Since Passed: Three Films by Kurt Walker
- July 6, 2023 7:00
This program of films will include a screening of s01e03 and I Thought the World of You followed by a discussion with filmmaker Kurt Walker. There will then be a short break before a screening of Hit 2 Pass.
57 min. DCP
An echo from deep within a secret archive of dreams, video memories, private messages, and atomized, emptied-out Vancouver living spaces, Kurt Walker’s luminously sprawling second feature is a film like no other made about this city. Tracing connections between long-distance friends in New York and Final Fantasy XI’s world of Vana’diel, the film covers a single summer day, the final one before a server shutdown in the MMO game. s01e03 (TV code for entering a narrative midseason) has the feel of a work guided by pure intuition: an ambient collage of the overlap, rather than the hierarchy, of digital and physical presence. But the design here is deliberate. Faced with endings and barriers, Walker builds out an anatomy of lingering possibilities for art and affection, which multiply rather than resolve. It’s not quite an elegy: you could just as confidently say this film belongs to FFXI players circa 2009 as to the unknown Vancouver artists of the future.
“Works like this are rare … More than any film I’ve seen since Phil Solomon’s Grand Theft Auto series, s01e03 provides a clear image of how identity and sociality have radically changed since the advent of online gaming and social media.” Michael Sicinski
“Lyrical … I’ve yet to see another [film] that so effectively expresses the inner turmoil and emotional poignancy of instant text communication the way s01e03 does.” Eddie Paz, Fanbyte
I Thought the World of You
17 min. DCP
Where did the outsider musician Lewis come from? Was he born straight from the ether, fabricated by ’00s music blogs, or was it true that his out-of-time work had really been unknown until a Calgary record shop made the crate-find to end all crate-finds? Kurt Walker’s latest elegantly structured film takes on this legend, its threads leading to ardent explosions of internet amateur discovery, as well as the shadows of 1980s Vancouver. Refining his approach and shooting, for the first time, on film—Ryan Ermacora and Jessica Johnson act as DPs—Walker lets loose a roving consciousness through time. As in his previous films, neither the modern, speculative world of text exchanges nor the “classical” one that the artist inhabits is positioned above the other. Instead, the film searches for links between Lewis’s persona, listeners’ rooms, and the music itself—a plangent voice of unguarded romanticism—and the way it brings people and a bricolage of ideas together.
“A truly beautiful lyrical essay.” Guy Maddin
“Wistful and affecting.” Andréa Picard, TIFF
Hit 2 Pass
74 min. DCP
Rather than a portrait, chronicle, or diary film about the Prince George auto event that gives Kurt Walker’s first feature its name, Hit 2 Pass is a reflection on all three of those non-fiction forms. While Tyson Storozinski, Walker’s friend and connection to the area, initially acts as guide to the process of stripping and preparing a vehicle for entry in the community pastime (a cross between a collision derby and a rally race), the film quickly finds room for a medley of voices and camera formats, allowing the film’s attention to pivot elsewhere: to rituals, hidden histories, and the codes and responsibilities of filmmaking with friends. While never far from gearhead talk and engine revs, the film’s animating curiosity continually points outwards, a risk-taking approach that was awarded in its premiere at Doclisboa.
“Hit 2 Pass is a neighbourhood fireworks show of a film: small, spirited, and lightly disreputable, gearheaded and bighearted as they come. It fits into Truffaut’s prescription about the joys and agonies of making cinema, with an emphasis on the former.” Jim Gabriel
“Inventive and playful … I think its greatest charm is that it does away with all these conventions, wipes the board clean, and creates [a] new kind of storytelling.” Dorothy Woodend
“A humanist road movie dressed in the pixelated grains of early archival digital images, Kurt Walker’s Hit 2 Pass is an act of genuine and tender interrogation and self-discovery.” Giovanni Vimercati, Film Comment
“As sincere, funny, and mysterious as contemporary experimental cinema gets.” Spectacle (Brooklyn)