January 14–April 8, 2019

The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia – Take 5

Curated by Harry Killas

In the fifth year of The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia,” we take note of and are thankful for the wonderful audiences that have come out to celebrate the films, participate in lively Q&As, and meet the filmmakers, who themselves are appreciative that their work is presented and remembered. It has also been heartening that directors whose work has been shown earlier in the series have continued to make new films, stretching into new genres, and garnering respect. (To wit, recent works such as Bruce Sweeney’s Kingsway, Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, Julia Kwan’s Everything Will Be, Helen Haig-Brown’s Edge of the Knife/SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna, and Keith Behrman’s Giant Little Ones.)

The inspiration for the series is Colin Browne’s The Image Before Us (1986), a short documentary that asks profound questions about how we read” our own films and what stories persist in our imaginaries of here. What other stories are not presented and consequently need to be?

The series begins with a snapshot of where we emerged from as a filmmaking community. From sponsored films celebrating British Columbians as self-reliant hewers of wood, we move into the personal and social introspect of peoples in the province whose perspectives had been glossed over by the media. Important themes this year include repatriation, as B.C.’s First Nations communities seek to bring back home sacred objects removed to faraway countries; a celebration of Black History Month; and classics from the archive that raise profound questions around ideologies presented in media and our shifting cultural mores.

At year five, we recognize that a history of the images before us” is in a constant state of revision. While we continue to honour important local legacies, and pay tribute in January to the contributions of Daryl Duke, we acknowledge, with recent work by emerging filmmakers such as Kathleen Hepburn and Wayne Wapeemukwa, that our cinema culture continues to evolve. – Harry Killas

List of Programmed Films

Date Film Title Director(s) Year Country
2019-Jan From the Archive
2019-Jan Waiting for Caroline Ron Kelly 1967 Canada
2019-Jan I Heard the Owl Call My Name Daryl Duke 1973 USA . . .
2019-Jan The Silent Partner Daryl Duke 1978 Canada
2019-Jan Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole Gil Cardinal 2003 Canada
2019-Jan The Washing of Tears Hugh Brody 1994 Canada
2019-Feb Mighty Jerome Charles Officer 2010 Canada
2019-Feb Rupert’s Land Jonathan Tammuz 1998 Canada
2019-Mar A Night of Animation
2019-Mar Luk’Luk’I Wayne Wapeemukwa 2017 Canada
2019-Mar Chi Anne Wheeler 2013 Canada
2019-Mar The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter
2019-Apr Obāchan’s Garden Linda Ohama 2001 Canada
2019-Apr Hard Core Logo Bruce McDonald 1996 Canada

Harry Killas is a Vancouver filmmaker and Associate Professor of Film + Screen Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Recently, with Ric Beairsto, he completed two feature-length documentaries, Superkids 2 (2018), which explores the lives of five young people identified as “gifted”’ when they were children, and Is There A Picture (2017), on the rise of the so-called “Vancouver School” of photo-based artists. Out in 2019 will be Greek to Me, an autobiographical documentary exploring themes of Greek ethnicity, fathers and sons, and time. This is the fifth year Killas has collaborated with The Cinematheque as guest curator of “The Image Before Us: A History of Film in British Columbia.”

Feature Image: CMYK, Marv Newland, 2011