IMAGES FESTIVAL of independent and experimental film, video, installation, performance and new media. April 13-22. See listings, this page, for details. 416-297-0433, www.imagesfestival.com. Rating: NNNNN
FASCINATION (Mike Hoolboom). 80 minutes. Bloor Cinema. April 13 at 8 pm. Rating: NNNN
Fest gala opener Mike Hoolboom 's Fascination looks to a community of Toronto artists that's been integral to the fest over the years through a portrait of the late video artist Colin Campbell .
Rather than package Campbell in a neat bio, Hoolboom immerses the viewer in his world, to the point where you can no longer feel its edges. Archival footage of nuclear tests reveals the social concerns that drove Campbell's work, and a series of contemplative voice-overs draws attention to our amnesia in the age of video, "a tool that can only erase as it records."
Moments with Campbell's circle of friends, including luminaries like John Greyson , give the film an intimate feel, while clips of the artist's often hilarious work, in drag as Colleena or as the smouldering, perpetually shirtless Art Star, bring a degree of levity to this touching work that Campbell surely would have appreciated.
How Little We Know Of Our Neighbours (Rebecca Baron). 48 minutes. Part of International Shorts Program 7: Strange Flowers Of Reason. Goethe Institute. April 20 at 9 pm. Rating: NNNN
The average Londoner is photographed or caught on video 300 times a day. That's just one of the disturbing facts in Rebecca Baron 's brilliant doc that takes a concise look at public surveillance over the past century.
Baron focuses a lot of her attention on Britain's Mass Observation Movement, which began as an anthropological study, took on a sinister edge when it showed the government how people were behaving during the second world war and eventually became -- what else? -- a marketing tool.
Baron, an American, is a genuine artist, shifting effortlessly from present to past and touching on a wide range of issues that includes privacy, eugenics and the study of human behaviour.
Her look at one creepy photographer who secretly shot British schoolgirls -- and even had pet names for them -- will make you cringe.
Extremely relevant, especially with the rise of portable digital cameras and webcams.