Carts of Darkness by Murray Siple

NFB, 2006, 59 mins 29s

English – Documentary

From the picture-postcard community of North Vancouver, filmmaker Murray Siple who began his film career making extreme sport videos, travels with captures the lives of men have turned bottle-picking, their primary source of income, into the extreme sport of shopping cart racing. In 1996, a serious car accident changed Murray’s life forever when he became a quadriplegic. Ten years later, Murray returns to filmmaking, with this feature documentary on that depicts street life as much more than the stereotypes available to us in the mainstream media.

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

I lived in Whistler, B.C and directed five independent action sport videos that were pre-“X-games” and pre-“mainstream extreme”. I set down deep roots in a short period while living in the mountain community; and traveled internationally filming snow and skateboarding. That lifestyle/ dream was destroyed in 1996 when a high-speed motor vehicle accident compounded by an emergency room error rendered me a quadriplegic.

Throughout the following eight years, I continued to hope that my life could still somehow include my passion for filmmaking. Eventually, I was able to renovate a home in North Vancouver that became a model of accessibility and independence. But outside the comforting accessibility of this new home, my vantage point was largely limited to flat pathways, accessible public buildings, and shopping centers.

I learned to drive a van which extended my freedom, but my limited hand dexterity made it difficult to work a camera like I had before. So in spite of solid gains in the direction of freedom and mobility, I found myself largely retreating from the dream of returning to filmmaking. The next few years were chiefly spent adjusting to my disability and trying to ignore the craving to make films.

I discovered the story behind Carts of Darkness when I was grocery shopping one evening. I noticed some loud individuals who were cashing in bottles. I had a romantic vision that both of our lifestyles were stereotypes to the passing customers: the drunken and comically disordered bottle returners, and me, wheelchair-bound and precarious in my adapted vehicle. When I approached the men with the idea to make a film, a world was revealed to me I had never expected to discover in my own neighbourhood.

Read more about the film here>>

Special Delivery by Eunice Macaulay & John Weldon

NFB, 1978, 7 mins 7s

English

This 1978 Oscar Winner for Best Short Film (animated) is about Ralph who dismisses his wife’s orders to clear the snow from the front walk. When he comes homes and finds the mailman dead on his front stairs, Ralph attempts a massive cover-up with disastrous results.

The Danish Poet by Torill Kove

NFB 2007, 15mins 16s

English

Can we trace the chain of events that leads to our own birth? Is our existence just coincidence? Do little things matter?

The narrator, Liv Ullmann, considers these questions as we follow Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet the famous writer, Sigrid Undset. As Kasper’s quest for inspiration unfolds, it appears that a spell of bad weather, an angry dog, slippery barn planks, a careless postman, hungry goats and other seemingly unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all.

This film won the 2007 OSCAR for Best Short Subjects Animation.

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Hungu by Nicolas Brault

(source: www.nfb.ca)

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NFB 9 mins 9s

Under the African sun, the soul of a mother resurrected by music gives strength and life to her child. African musical instrument, the hungu is an opportunity for Nicolas Brault sign a timeless tale where the graceful animation brings to life a fable without borders. Film without words.

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Jamie Lo, small and shy by Lillian Chan

(source: http://www.nfb.ca)

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NFB 2006, 7 mins 48s

A lovely story about a little girl who has to deal with her father leaving out of town in search of work. Many of us have been kids whose parents who have desperately left countries in search of new futures. This movie handles that dilemma, but in a genuine childlike manner that only animation seems to manage. Jamie Lo needs to cope with her dad’s absence and finds a way too.

Carried Away by Alan Pakarnyk and Vonnie Von Helmolt

(source: www.nfb.ca)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

NFB 1986, 6 mins 11s

This short animated film is an impressionistic reflection on the creative process. Using black-and-white photographs (to represent reality), overlaid with animated colour drawings (to represent fantasy), it illustrates the artist as he braves creative storms, indulges spontaneous bursts of inspiration and learns, by trial and error, to harness his creative powers.

Fantasy is only the truth. 

Abbie Hoffman

Can you differentiate between real and ‘unreal’ all the time?