Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:30pm
Five Films by Joyce Wieland

Presented in collaboration with X-initiative
Introduced by Emily Roysdon

When she came to the US from Toronto in the early 1960s, Joyce Wieland was already known in Canada as a painter who explored themes of female existence in ways that were often controversially explicit, but once in New York she also began working in Super-8 and 16mm. Along with Hollis Frampton, Paul Sharits, and her husband Michael Snow, Wieland became one of the circle of artists who defined the first generation of structural film (she held the distinction of being the only woman mentioned in P. Adams Sitney's seminal essay which described that sensibility). Though as equally attuned as her peers to an advanced, expanded notion of how space and time might function in cinema, Wieland's work also evinces a sharp wit and inventive narrative sense that foreshadows the small-gauge filmmaking of the 1980s and 90s.

Handtinting, 16mm, 1967, 6 mins
Handtinting is the apt title of a film made from outtakes from a Job Corps documentary which features hand-tinted sections. The film is full of small movements and actions, gestures begun and never completed. Repeated images, sometimes in colour, sometimes not. A beautifully realized type of chamber-music film whose sum-total feeling is ritualistic. - Bob Cowan

Rat Life and Diet in North America, 16mm, 1968, 16 mins
I can tell you that Wieland's film holds. It may be about the best (or richest) political movie around. It's all about rebels (enacted by real rats) and police (enacted by real cats). After long suffering under the cats, the rats break out of prison and escape to Canada. There they take up organic gardening, with no DDT in the grass. It is a parable, a satire, an adventure movie, or you can call it pop art or any art you want - I find it one of the most original films made recently. - Jonas Mekas

The film is witty, articulate, and a far cry from all the other cute animal humanism the cinema has sickened us with in the past. Nevertheless it is a vital extension of the aspect of her films that runs counter to the structural principle: ironic symbolism. - P. Adams Sitney

Pierre Vallieres, 16mm, 1972, 30 mins
He delivered three essays, without stopping, except for reel change and camera breakdown: 1) Mont Laurier; 2) Quebec history and race; 3) women's liberation. Everything which happened is recorded on film. It was a one-shot affair, I either got him on film or I missed. What we see on film is the mouth of a revolutionary, extremely close, his lips, his teeth, his spittle, his tongue which rolls so beautifully through his French, and finally the reflections in his teeth of the window behind me. - JW

Solidarity, 16mm, 1973, 10 mins
A film on the Dare strike of the early 1970s. Hundreds of feet and legs, milling, marching and picketing with the word “solidarity” superimposed on the screen. The soundtrack is an organizer's speech on the labour situation. Like her films Rat Life and Diet in North America, Pierre Vallieres and Reason Over Passion, Solidarity combines a political awareness, an aesthetic viewpoint and a sense of humour unique in Wieland's work. - CFMDC

A & B in Ontario, made with Hollis Frampton, 16mm, 1984, 16 mins
Hollis and I came back to Toronto on holiday in the summer of '67. We were staying at a friend's house. We worked our way through the city and eventually made it to the island. We followed each other around. We enjoyed ourselves. We said we were going to make a film about each other - and we did. - JW

Tickets - $7, available at door.