21. February 2016 · Comments Off on The Films of Arthur Lipsett · Categories: Canadian Filmmakers, Experimental Films, Visible Cinema · Tags: ,

The Films of Arthur Lipsett  – experimental film
mattby Matt Joyce

Arthur Lipsett (1936-1986) is one of the most mysterious and unique filmmakers within the tradition of experimental film in Canada. He is able both to reveal an interior world of such intense awareness while also inspiring within the viewer a felt experience of universal truths. Comparing two of his films, Free Fall (1964) and A Trip down Memory Lane (1965), and contrasting them with his first film, Very Nice, Very Nice (1961), we can see how Lipsett unveils, through his film collages and fractured soundscapes, layers of conditioned, received attitudes toward modern life, while probing the more complex and enmeshed motivations behind human behaviour. In so doing Lipsett is attempting to elicit an awakening – a conscious response – from a people who inhabit their external environment like sleepwalkers, allowing the moment to pass over them without questioning or examining its deeper meaning or truth. More »

Toys – Grant Munro (NFB) – experimental film
mattby Matt Joyce

On the surface, the short film, Toys (1966) by Grant Munro, can be seen as an anti-war film. A message about the effects war toys have on children, it reveals how their glamorization has noticeable repercussions, potentially furthering desensitization to violence. Though this is not the sole message, the film’s derived authenticity comes from its use of dualities. Through the cinematic use of pixilation, realist film form and chosen composition, the film dissolves the structures that separate common binary oppositions. These formal elements, combined with the humanist relation between child and toy, attempt to merge the dichotomies that society understands and perceives as being either fantasy or reality, probable or improbable connections.

The film begins by situating the child in the domain of fantasy – a toy store – a place filled with imagination, where the displays of possibility captivate the mind. The camera portrays faces of excitement and wonder as these children mentally debate their favourite figure. More »