Garine Torossian and Guy Maddin as part of The Independents, Cinematheque Ontario (Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas West), January 23. 416-968-4456. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
what happens when a visionary musician wants to do something creative with the impossibly commercial object we know as the music video?Mark Linkous, brainy front-guy of Richmond, Virginia's, unclassifiable band Sparklehorse, commissioned eight filmmakers to produce clips for his latest album, It's A Wonderful Life. The two Canadian efforts were screened at the Cinematheque last Wednesday.
Garin Torossian's subdued Babies On The Sun unfolds with an almost anaesthetized feel. The filmmaker and Linkous seem bored with the straight treatment -- he with the conventional rock song structure, she with the pristine image. They both like distorting their material with filters.
Torossian's intricate process involves photographing illustrations from children's books on 35mm slide film, pasting her images onto film stock, taping them on video as they run through a flatbed, then finishing the multi-layered piece on a computer.
The result is a Dick-and-Jane spool of yarn that succinctly complements the flicker of Linkous's tender yet afflicted vocals, delivered in a withered voice as if from a hospital bed.
Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin has made a snap-crackle-and-pop black-and-white film that syncs up with the campfire-and-cereal comfort of It's A Wonderful Life's title track. The director opts for melancholic nostalgia by using fuzzy, spinning 1930s imagery.
Domestic scenes ache, Wurlitzers whirr and precise analog touches animate every frame, conjuring a hermetic world of lost plastic spades and snake pits.
And no, this isn't the kind of thing that goes into regular rotation on MuchMusic.