Saturday, May 7, 2011

Film Heaven

RIP Videomatica, Vancouver's premiere specialty video store. According to today's Vancouver Sun, the iconic West 4th outlet will soon be shuttering its doors after 28 years in business, a victim of rising internet downloading.

Co-owners Graham Peat and Brian Bosworth are hoping to keep the collection (which includes approximately 30,000 DVDs, 1,000 Blu-ray discs, and 5,000 VHS tapes) together, likely by donating it to a cultural or educational institution. I sure hope so, as Videomatica is still the go-to place for obscure and hard-to-find titles, or for works that have not yet been transferred to DVD. Just last fall, in fact, I borrowed Videomatica's VHS copy of John Greyson's The Law of Enclosures in order to re-watch the film for a paper I was writing.

With local philanthropist Yosef Wosk involved in the talks around the collection, maybe the recipient institution might actually be SFU. That would be fantastic, a major coup for the film program in Contemporary Arts as it settles into its new digs at SFU Woodward's.

Speaking of which: this past Thursday at SFU Woodward's saw the opening night screening of the Contemporary Arts film grads' fourth-year films. It was a long evening--16 short films over 3+ hours--but well worth it, filled with many outstanding moments, including a cameo in one of the strongest films, Lisa Pham's Landing, by the Commercial Drive location of Black Dog Video, which I guess now inevitably inherits Videomatica's mantle.

I can't do justice to all the highlights in the program, which ranged across genres and styles. But I would like to give a special shout out to three films whose creators were instrumental in the making of Objecthood last year, and whose talents--judging by there efforts here--are limitless: Graham and Nelson Talbot's Looking Up; Jessica Han's Bill, Please!; and Sammy Chien's Patterns of Liquid Stars.

You can catch all three films, along with the rest of the program, tonight at SFU Woodward's, starting at 7 pm.


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