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Vertical Features announces fall 2018 screenings

Vertical Features screening series has announced its fall 2018 programming, with films by Joële Walinga, Eric Baudelaire, Alexandra Cuesta, and Travis Wilkerson. The events will take place at Jackman Hall at the Art Gallery of Ontario, with filmmakers in attendance for most screenings.

God Straightens Legs (Joële Walinga)

Wednesday 26 September 2018: GOD STRAIGHTENS LEGS
Doors 6:30 PM | Screening 7:00 PM
Joële Walinga in attendance.

God Straightens Legs is the debut feature documentary by filmmaker and artist Joële Walinga. The film focuses on Renée, the filmmaker’s mother, as she negotiates her diagnosis with breast cancer and the decision to forego traditional treatment. Told primarily from inside her room in her suburban home, the devoutly Christian Renée watches her favourite television pastor, wrangles insurance companies, and reflects on her dreams and faith.

She also waits, while we see glimpses of the world passing by outside of her window - moments of beauty that move from the quotidian to the near fantastical, in one of the filmmaker’s several imaginative gestures. Shot with elegance and precision by cinematographer Maya Bankovic, God Straightens Legs is a film of profound intimacy, generosity, and reverence for small moments of grace.

God Straightens Legs (Joële Walinga, 2017, Canada, 70 min, Digital)

From 7 September to 13 October see Joële Walinga's new installation Puberty in Florida at Gallery 44 (401 Richmond St. W. #120) as part of the exhibition In the Same Breath.

Also Known As Jihadi (Eric Baudelaire)

Tuesday 16 October 2018: ALSO KNOWN AS JIHADI
Doors 6:30 PM | Screening 7:00 PM

Eric Baudelaire’s Also Known As Jihadi is the most recent of the artist’s responses to the work of Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi, in this case a remake of latter’s unconventional 1969 documentary A.K.A. Serial Killer. Utilizing his fukeiron landscape theory and filming the seemingly quotidian locations that the titular criminal had occupied, Adachi hoped to reveal something about the influence of environment on one’s psyche, an impetus carried over into Baudelaire’s investigation of a French national who travelled to Syria to fight with Daesh.

Succinctly edited by Chantal Akerman collaborator Claire Atherton, Also Known As Jihadi traces the relatively innocuous locations once navigated by the protagonist, from the banlieues of Paris to the Middle East. Interspersed with documents from his subsequent trial, what emerges is a film of surfaces, from the physical landscapes to the portrait of an unseen individual gleaned from their statements and Internet searches.

Also Known As Jihadi (Eric Baudelaire, 2017, France, 102 min, Digital)

Piensa en mí (Alexandra Cuesta)

Tuesday 6 November 2018: TERRITORIO + PIENSA EN MÍ
Doors 6:30 PM | Screening 7:00 PM
Alexandra Cuesta in attendance.

After a series of exceptional 16mm short films, shot predominantly in the United States, Alexandra Cuesta turned to her home country of Equador and HD video for the fragmentary feature travelogue Territorio. Drawing inspiration by the travel diaries of Henri Michaux, Cuesta moves from the sea to the interior, reducing the film to a series of isolated, self-contained sequences. With a talent for portraiture, as well as a refined sense of cinematic space and time, Cuesta’s camera presents a compendium of patient, unassuming moments that build into an evocative portrait of her country. The film is preceded by an earlier representation of travel, Piensa en mí, that offers poetic glimpses of a pedestrian’s Los Angeles, seen from concrete sidewalks and public transportation.

Piensa en mí (Alexandra Cuesta, 2009, USA, 15 min, 16mm)
Territorio (Alexandra Cuesta, 2016, Argentina/Ecuador/USA, 65 min, Digital)

Tuesday 11 December 2018: DID YOU WONDER WHO FIRED THE GUN?
Doors 6:30 PM | Screening 7:00 PM
Travis Wilkerson in attendance.

Adapted from a successful performance, Travis Wilkerson’s Did You Wonder who Fired the Gun? follows the filmmaker's previous examinations of abuses of power in the United States of America with a turn inward. Told though a mix of archival and original footage, Wilkerson excavates his own family history, focusing upon the murder of a black man by his white great-grandfather in 1946.

An unflinching image of America through an isolated, but easily replicated story, the film traces Wilkerson’s historical research and travel to his family’s southern home, while making room for intrusions from an all-too-similar present. Refuting sensationalism, saviourism, and trends in true crime storytelling, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? instead responds to Harper Lee and violent white supremacy in the United States with focus and urgency.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (Travis Wilkerson, 2017, USA, 90 min, Digital)

All screenings take place in:
Jackman Hall at the Art Gallery of Ontario
317 Dundas St. W. (Toronto, ON) - McCaul Street Entrance

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

$7 General Admission | $5 Students/Underemployed

The name Vertical Features serves to evoke the idea of work that exists adjacent—even perpendicular—to conventional cinema, works that risk oversight. The series hopes to promote vital non-fiction film and video that has had little or no Toronto exposure, including documentary, essay films, hybrid experiments, and artists’ moving image, placing contemporary films in dialogue with historical rediscoveries. Supplemented by introductions and discussions with guest scholars, artists, and critics, Vertical Features serves to highlight and situate these exceptional works.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.





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