David Rimmer II: Variations

Approx. Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes

David Rimmer II: Variations

Approx. Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes

David Rimmer II: Variations

Approx. Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes

TIFF Cinematheque - Free Screen

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Rimmer's classic Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper anchors this programme of stunning found-footage works.

David Rimmer will be joined onstage by Mike Hoolboom and the Academy Film Archive's Mark Toscano for a post-screening discussion on Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23..

This programme is rated 14A.

The world premiere of the restoration of David Rimmer's Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival was the first fruit of a major restoration project — undertaken by Mark Toscano at the Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles — devoted to one of Canada's most important experimental filmmakers. Rimmer has been exploring the formal properties of filmmaking since the late sixties, employing a structuralist approach that eschews that mode's occasional tendency towards intellectual dryness by filtering it through a West Coast sensitivity to landscape, poetry and psychedelia; indeed, many of his early films, comprised of a visceral mix of re-photographed found images and looped sounds, were made in the context of Vancouver's interdisciplinary happenings.

Even though Rimmer's films are recognized as key works of Canadian experimental cinema, they have not been screened extensively in Toronto for quite a few years. Recent publications, and Rimmer's honouring with the 2011 Governor's General Award, has brought back some well-deserved attention to his work, but it is unquestionably the AFA's restoration project that is the most important endeavour in resurrecting his invaluable oeuvre. Conceived as a status report on this long-term project, these two programmes of restorations and newly struck prints offers Toronto audiences a chance to discover or reacquaint themselves with the early work of one of Canada's most influential experimental filmmakers.

— Chris Kennedy

Part II: Variations

Often turning to found footage as a means to explore the expansive possibilities of film's material base, Rimmer took to using an optical printer to re-photograph short loops of documentary imagery, devising various strategies to manipulate, break down and otherwise transform the original footage. The results are as expressive as they are analytical: in Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper, Rimmer uses coloured gels to abstract a billowing sheet of plastic into pure psychedelia; in Watching for the Queen he step-prints a shot of a waiting crowd to virtual stillness, so that each frame allows us to pick out individual personalities and tics; and in Real Italian Pizza, he re-photographs street footage he shot from a Manhattan studio window to create an anthropological study of the everyday. The programme concludes with the remarkable, seldom-seen Bricolage, which serves as a virtual compendium of Rimmer's investigations into the social and aesthetic impulses behind the moving image.

Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1970 / 8.5 min. / 16mm)

Watching for the Queen (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1973 / 11 min. / 16mm)

Fracture (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1973 / 11 min. / 16mm)

Real Italian Pizza (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1971 / 13 min. / 16mm)

Square Inch Field (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1968 / 13 min. / 16mm)

Blue Movie (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1970 / 6 min. / 16mm)

Bricolage (dir. David Rimmer / Canada 1984 / 11 min. / 16mm)

The Free Screen is always free. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office two hours prior to event start time. One ticket per person.

Guest Biography

    • David Rimmer
    • David Rimmer was born in Vancouver. He studied at Simon Fraser University. In 2011 he was awarded a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. His films include Square Inch Field (68), Migration (69), Surfacing on the Thames (70), The Dance (70), Seashore (71), Real Italian Pizza (1971), Canadian Pacific (74), Canadian Pacific II (75), Bricolage (84), As Seen on TV (86), Divine Mannequin (89) Black Cat White Cat It's a Good Cat if it Catches the Mouse (89) and Local Knowledge (92).