Super 8 Filmmaker John Porter, Toronto, Canada



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The Funnel Collection Catalogue 1984

(digitized for CineZine by Fringe Online, 2007)

62 Pages! 50 Filmmakers! 200 Films & Related Work!

Index; Artists A-J;
Introduction w/ Alphabetical Film Listing;
Appendix (Filmography / Bibliography / Screenings).

Below: ARTISTS L-W, Pages 25-43
Robin Lee, Keith Lock, Rose Lowder, Toby MacLennan,
Paul McGowan, Ross McLaren, Michaelle McLean,
Sandra Meigs, Michael Merrill, Adrienne Mitchell,
Suzanne Naughton, Stephen Niblock, Midi Onodera,
John Porter, Robert Rayher, Pierre Rovere, Julian Samuel,
Alan Sondheim, Blaine Speigel, Edith Steiner, Leila Sujir,
Adam Swica, Villem Teder, Carolyn White, Joyce Wieland.




Born: Galt, Ontario, 1956

Robin Lee began making films at an early age and with his friend, Mark Sobel, produced a number of award-winning short films while in high school. He studied film at Queen's University in Kingston, graduating in 1979. After returning to Toronto, Lee became a member of The Funnel and began to produce films again. A number of experimental works have dealt with the visual effects and structuring systems of film. One of his more recent films, Travel Song, explores an area of wide interest among filmmakers: the emotional involvement of an audience with narrative. The formal properties of the film medium continue to be of interest to Lee; now he has extended this structural exploration into the domain of narrative.

(1981, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 18 minutes)
This film is constructed of a two minute period of music over black, followed by four three-minute takes (the length of a Super 8 cartridge). Numbers one and three show objects in the world, while numbers two and four emphasize filmic manipulation. Sound and image come together in harmony in the final take. "Film sound/film image - seen in mutual isolation and together.
Productive frustration of expectation. Lovely long take, lovely blue. Abutting of world image with emulsion potential." R. L.


ALCHEMY #1 (1981, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 10 minutes)
This film reverses the strategy of the preceding one. It is composed of visual patterns formed by shooting single frames of a stationary object at three different focal lengths. A visual counterpoint is provided by sections where acid has been applied to the film. Sound is on synthesizer and piano. "Audience assault and why. Fugue-like structuring of material. Light-struck image production versus alchemical acid image. And brought to harmony." R. L.

SONG (1981, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 10 minutes)
This can be seen as the resolution in the trilogy formed by it and the two preceding films. There are three sections, linked by tones of blue: a three-minute static take, a long, moving, hand-held take, and a three-minute pixillated shot of a stationary object.
"A meditation on the filmmaker's presence/absence. The nature and effect of the long take. Beautiful lyric blue. Singing in silence." R. L.

TRAVEL SONG (1982, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 28 minutes)
The story of a young photographer in a subway station, who becomes involved in a chance telephone conversation with a total stranger. "The major aim of Travel Song is to allow an audience to feel, while at the same time providing them with sufficient distance on their emotional involvement so that they may also think. I believe the film speaks to the difficulty of, and the necessity for, human communication." R. L.



Born: Toronto, 1951

Keith Lock began making films while still in his teens. Several early works were produced in collaboration with James Anderson, including Arnold and Work Bike and Eat, companion pieces that deal with short time periods in the life of a young man named Arnold.

Lock's work continues to portray events, characters and places. Works from the mid to late 70s like Everything Everywhere Again Alive and Going document real situations from the filmmaker's life, yet through unorthodox or experimental structure reveal the mood or character of the thing represented. More recently Lock has employed traditional narrative format in the film Highway with a view to concentrating on the content rather than the form of the film.

Regardless of the extent to which his films conform to narrative conventions, they retain a consistent regard for the integrity of their subjects.

Lock holds a degree in Film from York University. He has worked in collaboration with other artists including Peter Dudar and Lily Eng of Missing Associates, and Michael Snow. Recently he worked as camera operator on Snow's film Presents.


(1974, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 72 minutes)
Ostensibly a document portraying life on a rural commune, this film is also a lyrical composition, a treatise on the cycles of nature, etc. "The film is about human construction, human nourishment and natural processes. It requires common sense and mysterious uncommon sense at the same time. When the film was being put together, I must have screened the material, which was basically documentary in nature, hundreds of times trying to decide what to do with it. I noticed that whenever certain parts came up, I "heard" sounds from the picture in what was probably some kind of sensory cross-over. These sounds were duplicated as nearly as possible with a sound synthesizer and then added to the picture in the places they belonged. Initially, shot followed shot, but I didn't want this to happen because I didn't want to be tied to presenting reality in the documentary sense and also because the shots themselves did not follow each other as they were being exposed. Each shot was a'complete thing in itself which went black when the camera was switched off. Bits of black were added after some shots and eventually this became bits of pure colours through which afterimages lingered and other interesting effects happened. The film appeals to the subconscious. Best seen after midnight." K. L.

Keith Lock has also produced other films, in collaboration with James Anderson. These are listed under James Anderson and Keith Lock.


Born: Peru, 1941

Rose Lowder lives and works in Paris France. She began filmmaking in 1973 and since that time her films have been shown and acclaimed internationally for their poetic beauty and structural clarity; she is priased by the feminist community as an innovator in the search for a uniquely feminine filmmaking. Rose Lowder shuns dominant narrative structure in favour of almost musical variations of light and colour, camera movement and focal point. She has written on her own work and produced graphic scores which illustrate the metric/temporal structure of her films. She has also been involved in programming and organizational work in relation to avant-garde film in France.

"By the time I first began to work with film in 1978, independent cinema had developed considerably, many issues had been debated, whole histories of films were already more or less stored in museums after having transited through parallel screening venues and art galleries. ... I decided to return to a more primitive, pre-1900 level of enquiry in re-examining the paradox and ambiguity of filmed visual images in relation to perception, this latter a variable system, the functioning of which is itself subject to variation, in reality and existence. . . In my own work, the methods of proceeding in each film evolved from observations obtained in a series of related studies; manner in which certain features can be integrated and related to each other, possibilities of inserting the actual filming into the filmed situation upon which the film is based, investigation into the varying activity of visual-thought processes." R. L.

CHAMP PROVENCAL (1979, Colour, Silent, 16mm, 9 minutes)
Through 1979-1981, Lowder completed four films. Champ Provencal is the second in this series which represents a more or less discrete stage of study and practice. Champ Provencal charts the progress of a peach orchard through four stages of growth including blossoming and fruit-bearing. It's companion piece, Rue des Tenturiers, focuses on a fixed position from a balcony which overlooks a canalized river and a street. The following two films re-work the preceding two with rephotographed footage and double-screen projection.
"In looking at Rose Lowder's films, tiny image variations exploring all possibilities at an accelerated rhythm, one thinks of music. It is impossible to imagine music being added to the picture as the picture is in itself, music." Isabelle Brighi, Notes from the Festival du Cinema Francais, 1980, Grenoble



Born: Detroit, Michigan

Toby MacLennan is known primarily as a performance artist and writer. She studied at the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, Michigan, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is presently a member of the Fine Arts Faculty at York University. In Toronto, MacLennan's best known works are Singing the Stars, a piece performed at a number of planetariums and at P. S. 1 in New York, and The Absence of a Hole, a film/sculpture/installation that has been exhibited in A Space Gallery's "Apartment" series, the Centre for Inter-American Relations in New York and at Optica Gallery in Montreal. Singing the Stars is also the title of MacLennan's book recently published by Coach House Press in Toronto.

Sheila McIntyre has written: "To say that Toby MacLennan's work integrates striking verbal and visual metaphor to reveal the relationship between subject and object does not capture its distinctive quality. Admittedly these revealed relationships often turn ordinary perceptions on their heads and instill a sense of wonder that revitalizes the world around us - a world of spoon and cups no less than the landscape of night and ocean waves." And Samuel Delaney has said of her art: "In MacLennan the coherence - the repetition - of objects and images urges us to recall Freud's passing dictur, `Repetition is desire'. And as it follows itself into new time, to new landscapes, through new concepts, desire in MacLennan's work creates its clean scaffolding for an elegant, lyric and intensely pleasurable exploration of the transcendant world and of whatever in the world - beauty, meaning - exceeds the common functions, objects, and images from which her work is garnered."


THE ABSENCE OF A HOLE (1981, B&W, 16mm, 23 minutes, Sound)
The Absence of a Hole narrates the story of a person who attempts to discover the relationship of objects and meanings to himself. Occasionally reminiscent of the paintings of Rene Magritte and frequently humourous, the film develops a universe of remarkable fluidity: objects are devoured by the eyes or tied to the body in the way that normally food is taken into the mouth or concepts become 'attached' to the mind; space becomes movable and capable of being portioned at will. In the words of MacLennan's narrator, '...the space inside a cup is just the still sky outside.'

The Absence of a Hole was originally created as part of an installation. There are two rooms. The first room is painted white, and in it is the image of a man walking across the floor to sit in a chair. He appears on life-size photo cutouts that are attached to the wall. Within his silhouette are images of the furniture and windows that he passes as he walks through the room. A small light is focussed on each photograph. The floor is completely covered in sand. The second room is also white with a sand-covered floor. It contains only two chairs made of sand and a large, five-foot spoon which sits on the floor in front of the back wall. This wall functions as a screen upon which the film is projected, filling the entire surface. The images of people and objects appear to be life-sized inhabitants of the space.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: The film is available separately or as part of an installation through special arrangements with the artist.


Born: Oakville, Ontario, 1953

Paul McGowan claims, "I am a person who works with his hands; most often my right hand. I see with my left eye. I listen with my left ear. These sinister and intuitive perceptions guide my analytical hands." McGowan's films are both straightforward and personal. The subject is usually family or friends. Without attempting to analyze or control the events documented, they reveal various levels on which events may be understood.

McGowan graduated from Sheridan College in the Toronto area in 1978. He has been an active member of the Funnel for several years and is currently building an animation stand for the organization. While occasionally employed as a film editor or animator he continues to produce his personal work and is planning a series of short films based on unconscious symbolism, after C. G. Jung.

FARMSKIPOME (1975, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 2 1/2 minutes, B & W)
A walk through a farmyard is recorded in a single take. The farm animals, fascinated by the presence of the camera are more than mere bystanders.

EGGYOKE (1977, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 4 1/2 minutes)
A short film that the filmmaker claims is about "the end of the world in a hockey rink" or "athletics and atomic bombs."


LOOSE ENDS (1977, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 12 1/2 minutes)
This narrative has a touch of the theatre of the absurd. The characters seem to be opening either totally independently of one another, or at cross-purposes. Loose Ends is a film about distraction, as well as an exploration of narrative.

STEVE AND BOB (1980, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 7 minutes)
In 1969, two close friends of the artist survived a serious car accident. The film is a conversation between these two men. According to McGowan, "the shock waves from that event are still being felt." The film tries to deal with these tremors.

NASHVILLE CATS (1977-81, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 26 minutes)
McGowan and a friend decided to travel by car to Nashville in search of the "mythical cowboy." With very little budget they shot a sort of epic home movie, recording their "immersion in the archetype."

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE ALIVE? (1982, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 30 minutes)
The film is a series of portraits of the filmmaker's family. Each is asked the question, "Why do you want to be alive?" The film was made as a means of dealing with the death of a friend. The results are surprising.



Born: Sudbury, 1953

Ross McLaren initiated a series of screenings of avant-garde film at Toronto's Centre for Experimental Art and Communication in late 1976. By September 1977 he had consolidated this film programme under the name of The Funnel, as the organization's first Director and Programmer. This beginning was also a completion, because for several years he had attempted to establish institutions specifically for the promotion of avant-garde film - first a Super 8 distribution centre, then the Toronto Super 8 Festival. McLaren began making films and organizing experimental film activity while still a student at the Ontario College of Art. His early films enjoyed immediate success, winning several awards at film festivals.

Ross McLaren's films fall roughly into three areas of concern. One direction is typified by Weather Building and his segment of Launch Five. These are characterized by a dark ground (shot at night) from which emerge the images and form of the work. They are constructed intuitively and demand an intuitive reading by others. The second group includes 9X12 and January 17, 1979, and show a concern for the nature of the film. material, typical of "structural" or conceptual films. Finally Crash 'n' Burn, Summer Camp and Sex Without Glasses share a. fascination with human performance before a camera.

As well as his own filmmaking and his contribution to the community through organizational work, Ross McLaren has also given great assistance to Toronto-made experimental film through his filmmaking workshops at The Funnel, his work as instructor at the Ontario College of Art, and his aid to many artists in the production of work.


(1976, Colour, Sound, Available in Super 8 and 16mm, 10 minutes, 15 seconds)
The first half of Weather Building shows an empty room. Through the window is seen the film's central emblem, the lighted tower at the top of an office building. A series of lighting and camera manipulations cause the planes of light in the room to shift and dissolve into one another. This and the soundtrack of footsteps (of someone who never appears) open for consideration a range of conceptions of filmic space.

Part two repeats the "script" of the first half of the film - using a video playback of part one in the "role" of the Weather Building. There is no window in this second room, and these variations, together with the repetition, simultaneously explicate and complicate the spatial assumptions established earlier.

I.E. (1976, Colour, Silent, 16mm, 14 minutes, 45 seconds)
I. E. is composed of a series of themes and variations involving the interaction of camera and filmmaker. There is a predominance of in-camera animation, and the resultant distortions and manipulations both reveal and conceal the process of the film's making. I.E. deals with illusion, although there is no doubt that it verges on the autobiographical. What we see is the filmmaker in the act of making the film, that is we see the traces of this process - in so far as the procedures used are capable of transmitting them. The figures in the film finally lose their abstract value and become vehicles for the rhythmic, lyrical flow of imagery.


CRASH 'N' BURN (1977, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 27 minutes, 45 seconds)
Toronto's first punk-rock club is the subject of this innovative document featuring performances by The Diodes, Teenage Head, and The Dead Boys. The rock magazine Creem praised the film for "doing everything in its flickering power to self-destruct", and commented that anyone who "thought Canadians bored their beef to death ate at a different delicatessen".

SUMMER CAMP (1978, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 60 minutes)
The notion of the "ready-made" art object, as proposed by Marcel Duchamp entails the conferring of a new status upon a piece of manufactured goods. Summer Camp is a film entirely of found footage. But despite the artist's role as finder, the film does not act as a ready-made; it does not attain a mysterious dislocation from its original utilitarian purpose. Instead, it holds a magnifying-glass to the artifice, anxiety and exploitative qualities of these purposes. None-the-less, Summer Camp manages to be excruciatingly funny. A long series of drama auditions shows a number of young and amateurish actors reciting a memorized script and engaging in an improvisational skit on the subject of terminal cancer.

SNORKEL (1976-1979, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 10 minutes)
When a film camera is introduced into an unexpected setting it acts as a catalyst for spontaneous performance. This has been an abiding interest with McLaren for a number of years, although most of his work, generally in Super 8, has not been made public. Snorkel, which was shot in Super 8 and transferred to 16mm film, shows a group of friends gathered for a social evening. They put on various acts, including the garbled telling of some sci-fi movie's plot, and snorkelling in a pail of water. McLaren's camera is by no means an innocent bystander; it intrudes itself upon the scene, picks out particular activities, and generally impels the action as mediator between event and document.


JANUARY 17, 1979 (1979, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 4 minutes, 40 seconds)
This film reduces to their most essential qualities, opposing notions regarding the passing of time in cinema. On the one hand there is the narrative, which selects particular moments as significant and subjects them to a linear structure. And on the other hand, there is the materialist view which prefers to see the film in terms of frames passing a light source at a certain rate, almost as though the content were devoid of meaning. The two are woven together here in a kind of hollow narrative.

9X12 (1982, B&W, Silent, 16mm, 1 minute, 30 seconds)
This film is a companion piece to a microfiche insert that the artist produced for Impulse Magazine. Situating his camera at the centre of a large room, the filmmaker executed a series of vertical pans, scanning from ceiling to floor with each take, and recording, in total, the entire perimeter of the space. Since the camera's motion mirrored the motion of the film through the camera, the resulting film strips from each pan could be pieced together on the microfiche card into a "still" image of the room. The film converts this "still" back into motion.

SEX WITHOUT GLASSES (1983, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 12 minutes, 30 seconds)
"The quintessential boy meets girl story, Sex Without Glasses is a tale about relationships—of various kinds. This film has everything from alphabets (manual) to zithers, and features some of Toronto's most celestial. bodies." Anna Gronau



Born: Toronto, 1953

Michaelle McLean was born in Toronto and studied at the Ontario College of Art; her work includes filmmaking, sculpture and graphic arts. She has been a member of The Funnel since 1978 and since 1980 has been employed by The Funnel. During 1981-1982 Michaelle assisted with the initiation of the Funnel Film Collection. To promote the Collection, and more generally the audience for experimental film in Canada, Michaelle took on an ambitious education and outreach project, informing the artist-operated centres across the country about experimental film, and laying the groundwork for a Canada Council program to fund experimental film screenings across the country. This catalogue is an extension of the project Michaelle McLean began. Along with her work as a filmmaker and Director/Programmer at The Funnel, she has served on the management committee of the Association of National Non-Profit Artist's Centres.

In both her filmmaking and graphic arts, Michaelle McLean applies geometric structures to organize intimate, transitory information. She has written that it was her "interest in sequence" which led her to filmmaking. Her editing of delicate footage according to geometric principles does not lead to mechanizing or rigid effects. Rather, the structure of geometry provides a quiet clarity and integrity of form in which the special capacity of film to address the nature of time and temporality is shown. Recent works develop these principles with narrative implications.


MORNING BED-X (1979, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 3 minutes)
This is McLean's first film. It's central section consists of a series of images - a window's cross-pieces, a dusty mirror, and the filmmaker herself - which dissolve from one to another. The opening and closing shots of the film are of an unmade bed, suggesting that the images are derived from dreams.

UNTITLED ([]) (1980, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 4 minutes)
"McLean's four-minute film explores a section of a parking lot surface which she designated with white tape. The camera moves down a length of tape, stops abruptly at a corner, and then moves down the next length of tape. This continues around and around the square, broken periodically by a blackout on the screen. Sensually, the film is rich with the colours and texture of the asphalt, the blurring movement of the camera, and the varying pace of the film itself. McLean spoke about the film in terms of manipulating the temporal experience of a stationary object. In this way, she makes a statement about the film medium, about looking and about sensitivity." Wayne Johnson, The Gazette (November 17, 1981)

20:20 (1980, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 20 seconds)
Twenty minutes of late afternoon light shot at one minute intervals of one second each (18 frames). The image is a window with a sheet tacked over most of it. The sheet acts as a screen upon which the shadow of the window's cross-pieces is projected. Projecting the film on a screen echoes the image and its production. M. M.


STILL LIFE (1981, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 3 minutes)
"The movement in this moving picture is limited to changes caused by the wind. As light moves over the still life arrangement in this short film a sense of surface is revealed. McLean's concerns with texture and light as seen in the earlier work Morning Bed-X are continued here." Anna Gronau, September 1981

A hand-held stationary shot of a bread and fruit arrangement sitting on a bleached wood table straddling a path through long grass. Shot on a windy day - the frame moves, the grass moves, the light moves, the film moves: a moving picture. M. M.

UNTITLED (/\) (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 11 minutes)
"Isolated 'moments' of a story are presented in three chapters of circumstance/action/result. The threefold structure recurs in the various uses of time: condensed time/real time/expanded time; and in the filmed triangular diagram." Ross McLaren & David Poole/March 1983

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Please note that there is sound only at the very end of the film. After the lower right side of the pink triangle is seen the image goes black - then start sound.


UNTITLED (1983, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 5 minutes)
The film, is comprised of four sections: three repeating images prefixed by a written text. The text is a short fable by Ambrose Bierce entitled "The Inconsolable Widow". A stranger addresses a woman dressed in black and weeping at a gravesite. Assuming she is mourning a dead husband the stranger offers sympathy by suggesting that she will find another man who will keep her happy. The woman's response reveals that although she is married, she is in fact mourning the loss of a lover, paradoxically turning the stranger's mistaken assumption into a truthful description of the situation.

The text suggests that the 'truth' in the story of the images that follow will be found in a similarly paradoxical reading. The three images - a male's hands which repeatedly draw the ace of spades; a faceless female figure who turns again and again to confront the camera; and a male head posing and re-posing in 'mug-shot' positions - are seen in black and white negative, and accompanied by a repetitive, percussive sound track which culminates in a high-pitched ringing tone. M M.

"The Ambrose Bierce story at the head might be a clue or merely a sleight of hand to land the viewer, at the film's end, where Bierce's characters are at the film's start." Peter Chapman (1983)



Born: Baltimore, Maryland, 1953

Born in the United States, Meigs became a landed immigrant of Canada in 1981. She graduated from programmes in both art and philosophy. She has studied the philosophy of Metacritique, and the philosophical discourse on social alienation in the face of technocracy informs her work. Meigs' primary medium is drawing - usually these drawings are produced in series which become part of installation works which include Super 8 film, audio tapes and/or theatrical props. The artist's own writing - recorded or displayed as titles, circular or caption - is often part of her work.

To quote Corinne Mandel "The world according to Meigs is a realism, expressive and charged with emotion... The angst, intensity and evocativeness of such work strikes the viewer immediately and holds him long after he has left the gallery... Purgatorio: a Drinking Bout is not only about but is the product of the cultural climate of the Western hemisphere. It is a gesamtkunstwerk, a combination of such diverse arts as painting, music, video and stage design by which Meigs disseminates her social commentary."

Sandra Meigs requests that she be present at the screen, ings which are indicated. Through slides and discussion, she will put the films in context by describing the original installations that the films were part of.


A DENSE FOG (1977, B&W, Silent, Super 8, 15 minutes)
The Elephant Man is the main character in this film which was made as part of an installation with twenty Elephant Man costumes. The dense fog subsumes all of the passengers on the ship. The Elephant Man, within the foggy conditions, is transformed into a beauty. This film juxtaposes a narrative in title form with live images. S. M.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Available for rental only with the artist's accompaniment.

(1978, Colour, Super 8, Sound, 15 minutes)
The crocodiles in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris confronted the viewer in this film which was made for an installation which included a five-foot, nine inch, drop ceiling. The narrative text in the form of titles explores a reptilian transformation and the possibility for willful action amid states of oppression. Portions of text in this film were exerpted from Jean Genet's Querelle de Brest. S. M.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Soundtrack is on audio casette. Available for rental with artist accompaniment only.


THE MAELSTROM (1980, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 20 minutes)
The Maelstrom is a whirlpool off the coast of Norway. It was fabled to have sucked in and swallowed up anything that passed through it. After a brief introduction to this story, the film presents a tangent story in which the viewer is asked about his/her indifference and will to act within the outer exertion of circumstances presented in the film. The text of the narrative is presented in title form, to be read by the viewer. These titles are juxtaposed with live images. This film was exhibited in an installation which also included a three foot by, six foot mechanized theatrical table which rose and fell, and twenty watercolours. S. M.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Available for rental only with the artist's accompaniment.

PURGATORIO, A DRINKING BOUT (1981, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 11 minutes)
'Smokey the bar. Lights dimly glow. It's good that way, 'Cause heartaches don't show.' (from the song by W. Penix / H. Thompson.) Executed in Berlin, this film portrays the melancholia of drinking in the metaphorical Purgatory, where one's self-determined responsibility may still be recognized. The bout begins at the bar and is carried to the Rosengarten where the song is sung. Finally a soliloquy about a boxing match is heard. S.M.

APHASIA: CAUGHT IN THE ACT (1981, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 4 minutes)
Aphasia: Caught in the Act uses live images with quickly changing superimposed text and the sound of a boxing arena. The main image is a person walking through the forest, constantly turning her head to look over either shoulder. Throughout the film text appears in the bottom of the frame. This poetic text consists of eighty-eight lines, each of which appears for two or three seconds so that it must be quickly read. 'Shuffle Shuffle Shuffle. Shuffle' the cards and they'll come out in the order that you put them in.



Born: Montreal, 1953

Michael Merrill is known primarily as a painter and has exhibited at galleries in Toronto for a number of years. His painting is personal and representational in style and is strongly based in drawing, with line and outline of paramount importance.

Merrill, who was born and educated in Montreal has extended his love of drawing to cartoons on several occasions, and has produced a comic book, entitled `Cows Crossing, Men Working', in conjunction with Stephen Ellis. He is also presently curating an exhibition of cartoons by artists to be held at Grunwald Gallery in Toronto.

While filmmaking remains a secondary activity in Merrills' range of artistic endeavours, it is one in which, nonetheless, he brings his outrageous sense of humour into full play.

UNTAMED HOOVES (1974, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 2 minutes)
Black humour is created by the synthesis of a rock soundtrack and images from a slaughterhouse.



Peter Dudar & Lily Eng

Through 1971, Peter Dudar's emphasis in his work on conceptual and process elements led him from painting to the construction of three dimensional works—installations whose apparently simple materials and forms (one, 40-foot-long, 4" X 4" cedar beam, one 20-foot beam jammed between two walls) were transformed by time, gravity, or the perception of the viewer. Lily Eng, trained in modern dance and ballet in the early sixties, became dissatisfied with company situations which limited her creative freedom. "Contemporary art was introduced to contemporary dance with the partnership of Peter Dudar and Lily Eng in 1972 (as Missing Associates)."

Missing Associates' work through the mid-seventies included mainly multi-media performance works combining Eng's exploration of body movement as an instrument of communication, confrontation and social reference, with Dudar's examination of the "relationship of movement to recording media, and the quasi musical composition of multi-media pieces." Through the mid to late seventies, Missing Associates' confrontation with the commodity set-up of dance became more openly political/ideological. To quote Philip Monk, "For Lily Eng, this coming to speech, in the sense of introducing politics into dance but also literally through voice, took effect within dance; for Peter Dudar it took the form of a movement toward film and performance."


D. P. (1982, 16mm, Colour, Sound, 17 minutes)
Writer/Director: Peter Dudar.
Choreography: Lily Eng.

"DP is about displaced persons. The film interprets state terror through the children of its survivors.

The subject's consciousness is not the only site of ideological constraint. In the film DP ... this registration is enunciated through a voice: a narrative of constricted movement, of surveillance and subsistence, of occupation, of forced labour and escape in the Ukraine and Germany during World War II ... the history of these displacements are spoken under the Left and Right slogans of the inter-titles: 'Imperialism', 'Nationalism', 'Practise', ... When asked 'how did you feel when you knew that Germany had lost the war?', the narrator replies on titles 'Whoever wins, you lose' ... periodically the film is broken by the insistence of another resistance, that of the body of Lily Eng in performance." from Language and Representation (catalogue) Philip Monk, 1982



Born: Sudbury, 1960

Adrienne Mitchell has studied film at Queens University and Ryerson Polytechnic Institute and done independent study of film semiotics through the work of performance theorist Richard Shecker. Her early works, as represented in The Funnel collection, follow an expressionist tradition using gestures, stances and spatial/temporal manipulations to represent emotional states or moments. These films were used as the basis for several performance events that took from the behavioral modes set up in the films.

Mitchell is currently working on a film that she describes as a "docu-drama" that will compare and contrast the political climates of Toronto and West Berlin - and the resulting art cultures in each city.

KIND WHIP (1982, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 11 minutes, also available on 3/4" Video)
The film explores the tension between a younger man and an older woman. Their actions are portrayed in such a manner as to epitomize conflict. Reason and purpose drop away, leaving only their hollow and destructive actions.

Featuring: Patrick McKay
Camera and Concept: Adrienne Mitchell

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Film version requires double system projector, as sound is on magnetic stock only. Film may be played silent as an alternative, or video version may be used instead.



Suzanne Naughton studied film at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. Her film Mondo Punk, produced while she was still in school, generated much controversy when released because of its style and content. It was even shown in London by the British Film Institute. Naughton has since sought employment in the film industry and is still a rock 'n' roll fan.

MONDO PUNK (1978, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 6 minutes)
A fast-moving montage of sounds and images from the punk-rockers. "Three hundred and twenty-plus images in six minutes." S.N.



Born: Toronto, 1955

Stephen Niblock considers himself primarily a visual and performance artist. He has worked with set-designing, painting, installation, sculpture and film. A number of his film works exist in 'unprojectable' states as well as prints which may be run through a projector. The original may be exhibited as a gallery piece, mounted on rewinds. An examination of the film strip reveals its highly scuptural qualities. Sections are literally 'inlaid', emulsion is torn away, parts are spray-painted. Like 'artists' books', these film works question the basic qualities of the communicating format. As an art object, the film acts as a metaphor for itself.

Niblock has combined film and performance as well. The Magician Sees, for example, sets the "illusion" of film (ie: that real objects are seen to move) as the backdrop for "sleight of hand" illusions. The work is built around this doubling of meanings; film as language as communication.

In 1982 Niblock graduated from the Ontario College of Art and helped to found Chromazone Gallery in Toronto. He is a Funnel member.


(1980, Colour, Silent, 16mm blow-up from Super 8, 4 minutes)
A film poem about the adventures of a new buddha. I used the voyeuristic process of looking through the moving lens and magnification of sexually exotic/erotic imagery, plants, a golden horse, slow icy fish, and a cold blue mountain all in contrast with a looming image of a buddha figurine. Our new buddha is given the task to solve the struggle between the objective and subjective worlds. His adventure takes him through the four seasons towards his ultimate goal.

A NEW FICTION 12345678910
(1980, 16mm original film/sculpture shown on rewinds,
Colour, Silent, Super 8 reduction from 16mm, 8 minutes)
This film is an experiment towards the concept of a shaped film or film as sculpture. Starting with the assumption that the film frame and the imposed linearity of the film implies a narrative then one can simply advance the narrative in a reductivist and additive process using colour, texture, and shape. The actors' roles are severely edited to emphasize the relationship of the audience to the film as a sign and to emphasize the significance of the archetypal truth of a common humanity. I believe that an artists' responsibility implies an almost tragic sense of identification with the audience and to emphasize this I used the film as a physical palette. The film became a product of my hands about the aging and death of the characters portrayed. Through the contrast of the film as object with the human archetypal life the audience feels a change in perspective and a relativity through vision.


(1981, Double Screen, Colour, Sound, 10 minutes,
16mm original film/sculpture shown on rewinds, and Super 8)
Like in A New Fiction 12345678910 the aura of factuality that film has is severely reduced through painterly manipulation of the film heightening and sharpening the interior narrative structure of the film. The interior of the film is opened up through the use of double projection to create a dramatic didacticism. The image on the left is of a woman's face talking in real time with chevrons of bright colour and texture being pulled through the frame at a dizzying rate. The woman seems to be trying to talk through this electric barrage which also serves to cut off the audience from her message. The screen on the right serves as the message giver to the audience. Exactly the same footage which has been further manipulated in the optical printer, a dark red filter is superimposed dramatically darkening the image, and as well the image is slowed down to where the only perceivable movement comes from her moving lips. The chevrons are reduced to slowly falling shapes analagous to her story falling from her lips. What happens in this half provides an explanation of the other side, the eye falls into the dark pool of her image from its frantic other half and this red pool reflects her message directly to the audience. Her eyes appeal to you and you are captured in her struggle. Her humanity is your reflection.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Only Super 8 version available for projection. Left Screen 18fps, right screen (dark red) 24fps.


(1982, Film/Performance, Colour, Sound on cassette, Super 8 original, 25 minutes)
In the darkness two wooden blocks clap, the fable begins. The spatial centre of the action is a large, circular screen against which a cascade of images collapse and form; a dissolving procession of shots buried inside a swirling and reticular colour field of paint and applique. Out of this, we see the chief visuals of the work; shots of a man's heavily made-up eyes, a white bird, a young woman. These assert and reassert themselves within the film and in juxtaposition with events played out around the screen.

A man, dressed in standard streetwear (business suit) blunders into the cone of projection. He stares transfixed by the images. He hurries out of the light. Two wooden blocks clap. The man reappears, somersaulting back onto the stage in the garb of an Oriental fighter. He looks out into the audience and, in perfect synchrony, blinks his eyes with the theatrical, grease painted visage which now dominates the screen behind him. The hero looks at the screen, tentatively, he takes hold of the screen, it begins to turn about its vertical axis and the fighter with it. The images flip-flop anamorphically before us, the magician continuing to follow. The screen stops, the magician is gone. Before the screen stands a young woman whom we saw on the screen. She releases the white bird. The magician reappears to release a cascade of cloth birds from the rafters. The film ends.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Available only through special arrangements with the artist.



Born: Toronto, 1961

Midi Onodera graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1983 where she studied film with Ross McLaren and was an active member of the College's Women Artists Collective. Her work shows her strong commitment to feminism. The credo of Onodera's work is "the personal is political" and its converse, by implication. In addition to making films, Midi Onodera is a writer and photographer. She also contributed to Hide, a local fanzine, Incite magazine, Fuse magazine and has produced a documentary film on the women's band, Fifth Column. Midi is currently equipment manager at The Funnel.

(1981, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 3 1/2 minutes)
The intermittently heard voice-over talks about a woman's self-awareness - being unable to know if she has really changed or not. The images are esoteric and hard to interpret: young women in black in various urban settings, something moving rhythmically. A personal, yet intriguing film.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound starts part way through film.

ENDOCRINE (1982, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 15 minutes)
Endocrine is about feminism - both on a political and personal level. "Endocrine is the most significant social-political film I have made to this date. It pertains to stereotypes - media portrayals and sexual roles - and personal feelings toward the feminist movement." M.O.

HOME WAS NEVER LIKE THIS (1983, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 5 minutes)
Step-printed images of a "home" - a suburban house, no people in sight, combine with a children's story, told in saccharine tones, about the country mouse who discovers that "there's no place like home". A gently told tale of alienation.


Born: Toronto, 1948

John Porter is a prolific filmmaker and performer who now works almost exclusively in Super 8. The lightweight Super 8 camera he uses has an automatic 'intervalometer' and a shutter which can be left constantly open. It is the perfect instrument for experimenting with what he calls "two of my oldest ideas: animation/pixillation...and the wiping of images with time exposures". Porter has produced two major series of films: Porter's Condensed Rituals which exploit the animating capacities of his camera, and Camera Dances which takes advantage of the lightness and mobility of Super 8. Porter's films are innovative and fun, a pleasure for young children and seasoned avant-garde film fans. Jim Hoberman of the Village Voice has called Porter's films "as enjoyably kinetic as they are refreshingly artless."

Porter has been a contributing member of The Funnel for a number of years and is a tireless contributor to the community. He is currently working on a written history of experimental film in Toronto.

Most of the following films are part of a series entitled Camera Dances, begun in 1974. Dances are created on the screen by choreographing the camera or the projector. Porter performs alone in many of them, and with some he performs live in the theatre. The portability and responsiveness of Super 8 equipment is used to its fullest. Unless otherwise noted, all are in Super 8 projected at 18fps.


CINEFUGE (1974-81, Colour, Sound, 5 minutes)
From the viewpoint of a camera flying around him on a string, Porter appears to fly head over heels while talking about his films and The Funnel.

JUNA AND I (1976, B&W, Silent, 2 minutes)
Self-portrait on a hillside with a dog. An extreme contrast between stillness and action.

ANGEL BABY (1979, Colour, Silent, 2 minutes)
Using stop-frame techniques inspired by Norman McLaren, Porter plays a young angel learning to fly - a character based on the bird Woodstock in the Peanuts comic strip.

FIREFLY (1980, Colour, Silent, 3 minutes)
Porter performs against dark surroundings, with a small electric light flying around him in varying patterns.

FIREFLY (Performance, 2 minutes, first performed 1980)
SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Arrangements must be made with the artist regarding his availability.


DOWN ON ME (1980-81, Colour, Silent, 4 minutes)
From the overhead viewpoint of a camera falling from various heights, some extreme, Porter is seen performing in different locations. "Most impressive ... unique in my experience of movies." Jim Hoberman / Village Voice.

"Exceptionally good ... its effect is on the edge of revolutionary." Kerri Kwinter / Fuse Magazine.

"Eerie and evocative." Ross Skoggard / Art Magazine

CALENDAR GIRL (1981, Colour, Sound, 3 minutes)
A musical statement on sexism in the media. By painting colours on top of black and white film, the symbolism in a supposedly harmless rock video is humourously revealed.

ANIMAL IN MOTION (1981, Film/Performance, 2 minutes)
Inspired by E. Muybridge's Animals in Motion, Porter becomes an animal in front of the screen. At first he and the film perform together, then they fight one another.

SWINGING (1981, Colour, Silent, 2 minutes)
Stop-framing a la Norman McLaren. Porter performs swinging at thirty times normal speed, creating patterns and optical illusions.


TOM'S TRAMPOLINE (1981, Colour, Silent, 1 minute)
Stop-framing a la Norman McLaren. Various People take turns bouncing on an outdoor trampoline at sixty times normal speed. It includes reactions from passersby.

MARTHA'S BALLOON RIDE (1981/82, Colour, Silent, 4 minutes)
The view from a hot-air balloon, accelerated by stop-framing to sixty times normal travelling speed. Fields and forests become abstract patterns and textures with occasional recognizable objects.

TOY CATALOGUE (1981/83, Colour, Sound, Variable length)
A humourous but slickly displayed document of Porter's extensive collection of miniature toys, some demonstrated by an attractive model.

SCANNING (1981/83, Film/Performance, Colour, Variable length)
"Scanning is presented by Porter himself. He cradles the projector in his arms, and, standing in front of the audience, he projects the film in the same way as that in which it was shot. The audience is strangely witness to a scene of disgorgement rather than present at a projection; the projector becomes the reverse of the camera rather than its compliment." Martha Fleming / Parachute #25, 1981


PORTER'S CONDENSED RITUALS (1976/ -, Colour, Silent, Super 8)
A continuing series of over seventy short films, all of which are time-lapse (sped-up) documents of some ritualistic event. Most of them show a single, continuous viewpoint, usually elevated, of a mass public gathering such as a parade, concert or festival - in its entirety, without editing. Large crowds and long events are condensed into a three minute film, individuals become blurred, and the impression is of a mad but beautiful society as viewed from another dimension.

OLEO AND I (1976, 3 minutes)
SANTA CLAUS PARADE (1976, 4 minutes)
MOTHER AND CHILD (1977, 2 minutes)
LANDSCAPE (1977, 1 minute)
HIGH SCHOOL MOSAIC (1977, 4 minutes)
CIRCUS (1977/78, 4 minutes)
FASHION SHOW I (1978, 5 minutes)
FIREWORKS (1978, 2 minutes)
ROCK JAM (1978/82,13 minutes)
TARTAN TATTOO (1978, 4 minutes)
MUSICAL RIDE (1978, 1 minute)
FAIRIES (1978, 4 minutes)
AMUSEMENT PARK (1978/79, 6 minutes)
ICE FOLLIES (1979, 3 minutes)
STOCK EXCHANGE (1979, 2 minutes)
CHRISTMAS (1979/82, 15 minutes)
FASHION SHOW (1981, 7 minutes)
DRIVE-IN MOVIES (1981, 7 minutes)
ROYAL WEDDING (1981, 17 minutes)
EXAMS (1982, 3 minutes)
ON THE WATERFRONT (1982, 15 minutes)
DRAWING CLASS (1983, 5 minutes)



Born: Peterson, New Jersey, 1957

Robert Rayher studied avant-garde film at McGill University in Montreal. He considers himself an "independent moving imager" and works in video, words, sound and still photography in addition to making films. Bruce Jenkins of Media Study/Buffalo writes: "Tracing his roots to three significant influences (Brakhage, Snow and Cage) Robert Rayher has developed a style which is both sensual and minimalist, rigorous and alleatory, abstract and concrete."

Rayher's works are marked by an interest in the workings of chance. Some have used chance operations in editing, and some are even accompanied by instructions for projection, such as the suggestion that a coin be flipped to determine how projection should be carried out.

Recently, through an involvement with Tangente: Danse Actuelle, an alternative dance space in Montreal, Rayher has produced works on the interface of film or video and human movement. In addition to his own art work, Rayher has also taught and written on film aesthetics.


ECLIPSE (1980, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 1 minute)
The film alternates abstract coloured images with dark footage. The soundtrack reveals the illusory nature of the meaning that an image may hold.

EUREKA (1980, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 4 minutes)
The turning camera in this film results in a visual effect that the filmmaker has likened to watching "the top of a tall building as clouds passed over it." The images appear to rotate around the frame's perimeter, asking us to determine what is moving in relation to what.

LETTER TO A LONG LOST FRIEND (1980, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 8 minutes)
A narrator reads a passage of highly poetic language describing the events and sensations of a journey. The letter is "illustrated" by completely nonrepresentational imagery that becomes a vehicle for the production of mental images through the sound.

YELLING FIRE (1980, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 4 minutes)
A series of images ranging from abstract forms to film leader to specific, minimal, photographed hand motions, is juxtaposed against a soundtrack of garbled speech that gradually becomes clear. The voices speak of trauma, violence and fear, repeating a story of terror.



Born: Paris, France, 1953

Born in France, Pierre Rovere moved to Canada (Montreal and Toronto) in 1981. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in cinema from the University of Paris. Starting as a filmmaker in 1970, his work now ranges from experimentation with computer, film & video to the creation of multi-media environments. Many of his works, including the film Black and Light, exist in several formats - installations as well as film or video. Rovere's interest and facility with computer technology led him to involvement with Telidon and he recently designed TV Ontario's french language Telidon Data Base, and is currently head of Visual Presentation of TVO's videotext service. He has recently developed a videotext generator for the NAPLPS (North American Presentation Level Protocal Syntex) system, which is currently the prime focus for his own work.

BLACK AND LIGHT (1974, B/W, Sound, 16mm, 8 minutes)
Black and Light is a computer film. The programme (which produces the film without any use of cinematographic equipment) was made by the filmmaker in order to create a succession of composed facts to be translated by the projector in a sensation of movement. In each frame there are 12 bits (binary units), in other words, a choice of 4096 configurations for each frame. The sound track was similarly created: directly perforated by the pilot system.

The film attains the maximum contrast possible - Black was made by using the darkest film to be found, and Light, produced by holes in the black film. The film is experienced on the screen and in the area between the projector and the end of the room (movements of the "pencils" of light rays). Festival of Expanded Cinema, I.C.A., London 1976

"Black and Light, a gestalt perception piece, was decidedly Pierre Rovere's strongest work." Malcolm Legrice-Studio International



Born: Pakistan, 1952

Julian Samuel lives and works in Montreal. He made his first films in the mid 1970's in the Super 8 gauge. Some were enlarged to 16mm (as with Formation in the Funnel collection). With more recent work Samuel has shifted toward analysis. In Literature, Language and Film, for example, he examined the breakdown of meanings through abstraction and their reformation into other kinds of (poetic) meanings. The film In India and Pakistan uses structure as a device to approach anti-colonial political questions. Increasingly Samuel is concerned with an analysis of media/ideology manipulation both in his film work and other activities (such as a weekly radio programme which he hosts called Questioning Events in The Third World). He continues to stress the importance of experimentation in form as a means of creating new discourse on socio-political realities.

FORMATION (1976, Colour, Silent, 16mm, 11 minutes)
The play of light against various architectural details is examined in this film. The image rides a fine line between the representation of the objects that the light describes and the breakdown of that representation into abstract patterns on the screen.


Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 1943

Alan Sondheim is a multidisciplinary artist and writer; he has produced a large body of work in video, radio/audio, installation, film and writing. He has published sixty articles, ten books, and edited Individuals: Post-Movement Art in America (Dutton, 1977), an important anthology of writings by contemporary artists.

Some of Sondheim's early work (1968-75) included installations which assumed the form of scientific/perceptual experiments. To quote Robert Joseph Horovitz, "These rich-field experiments, though done in a quasi-scientific spirit, are deliberately outside the framework of experimental science ... they are designed to provoke and record intuition, analysis, and problem-solving behaviour in general, under circumstances where they cannot be easily applied." (Beyond Reductivism, Robert Joseph Horovitz, Artforum, December 1974)

In recent work, Sondheim has shifted his attention from experimental science to the so-called "soft sciences", where analytic methods are applied through language to rationalize social and psychological activity - information theory, cybernetics, structural analysis, linguistics, theories of perception and sexuality, deconstruction of narrative and ideology. He interrogates analytic methods; he challenges the 'neutrality' of technology and methodology by uncovering the interests at work in it.


Currently, Sondheim has abandoned video for the time being and is continuing his Numbered Untitled Film Series, and his series of articles on landscape, clutter, pornography, photography and science, among other topics.

HOLLYWOOD (1981, B&W, Sound, 16mm, 60 minutes)
"In most of my video and film work, the male tends to lose; the reason for this has to do with the structure of narrative itself. The traditional (perhaps phallocentric) narrative has a dialectic of tension and resolution, beginning, middle and end, identification and catharsis. This dialectic is a construction opposed to the everyday, in which noise and particularity predominate ...

"The work reflects clutter, and the kind of discourse which circulocutes discourse. Clutter grounds the social in the specific; events are frayed, fall away, dissolve, much as they do in reality." A. S.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Must be played on Mag Sound projector.




Blaine Speigel received a B. A. in Communications Studies at the University of Windsor then enrolled in York University's Film Program. However, he became disillusioned and has now switched to studying Electronic Music there. He is interested in combining film and photography with electronic music.

While still a student, Speigel has received several awards at festivals and had a film chosen for inclusion in the Frontier television series on the U.S. Public Broadcasting System.

THREE BIRD LIMIT (1982, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 5 1/2 minutes)
A collage-style film intended to look into the consciousness and contradictions of society in the 1980's. The film bombards the viewer with an overload of material from contemporary life. With Art Reinstein.

*Merit Award, Athens International Film Festival, 1982; Second Prize, Vancouver Metro Media Super 8 Film Festival.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound will seem low at the beginning, but it gets louder as the film progresses.



Edith Steiner has been a photographer since the early 1970's. Her work displayed in galleries or published in books is portraiture, particularly of musicians and performers. Some of these photos have appeared on record album covers. Steiner is personally active in music and her photographs often break through the conventionalized mystique of the celebrity to ground her subjects in everyday life and production. The work is intimate, direct and unsentimental.

Steiner's work frequently includes performance and original music. She experiments as well with vocal styles and instructions, writing and composing songs. Her first solo Mtn/performance took place at The Funnel in 1983.

EXAMINATION ABOARD A U.F.0. (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 4 minutes)
A woman, the filmmaker, reacts visibly to the changes in light in her environment. The film deals with being seen - by outside or hidden observers: aliens or audience. The original musical soundtrack was performed live by Steiner at early screenings, but is now available on cassette form for shows of the film.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound on cassette.


Born: London, England, 1953

Adam Swica's Super 8 films have a literate sophistication that at times belies their technical simplicity. Recent works have dealt provocatively with the issue of authority, at work both in the conventional modes of cinematic representation, and in content. Working in collaboration with writer John Frizzell, Swica has set up 'typical' filmic situations with an actor addressing the camera. What follows is an undermining of the viewer's familiarity and identification. The result is both infuriating and engaging.

Swica's most recent films, Words / Lazlo / Dentistry, Launch 5, Livingroom With John, Jackie-Death / Anger / Sex, and Beauty for Connie, form a group, of which Peter Chapman has written "Playing with the film audience's only too willing desire to suspend disbelief, these works confront and confound that desire and leave one wondering about yet another unreflected part of one's relationship to filmed images. Not the obvious product of any current academic theory of representation, these films make their points through humour, variations in acting technique and by playing artifice against our expectations of authenticity."

Swica was one of the original members of The Funnel and contributed much to its establishment and incorporation.


MONTANA SHUFFLE (1976, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 12 minutes)
"Film in the form of a card shuffle, with images slipping into a slot determined by the artist." Adam Swica

Urban scenes dissolve into one another maintaining a vertical axis that separates left from right but binds present, past and future together.

PEEP AND SQUEAK (1978, Colour, Sound on cassette, Super 8, 8 minutes)
A film essay on the inanity of the notion of pornography. 'Naughty' pens are taped to the front of a Super 8 camera's lens and as the lens is revolved, the male and female figures lose and regain their clothing. Focus is lost and regained, while the soundtrack - an absurd promo-audio on a variety of vacuum-cleaner sales themes - plays.

WORDS / LAZLO / DENTISTRY (1982, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 10 minutes)
In the first part, a man played by John Frizzell sits in a sunlit, middleclass living room and tells us in an ernest, confessional tone about an absurd personal ritual. In the second, the same actor sits in an elegant, chiaroscuro space and pompously but precisely tells us how he constructs and projects his appearance of authority through words. The third section has the on-screen narrator adopting a hard-boiled, 'matter of fact' manner as he tells us about his relationship to the prison dentist whose dental equipment is spot-lit in the neutral void behind him.


LIVINGROOM - WITH JOHN (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 10 minutes)
Again, John Frizzell is the apparent subject. The subject talks about whatever he wants to, under a gamut of lighting techniques and slight set changes. The drama is generated by Frizell's attempts to keep up with and supply Swica's camera. At one point he asks that the camera be shut off. Is he just acting? Is that even important anymore?

JACKIE - DEATH / ANGER / SEX (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 18 minutes)
In a bright apartment, Jackie Burroughs introduces herself as an "award winning Canadian actress," then proceeds to tell us about death, anger and sex. Are these deeply held convictions, personal reminiscences, bits of improvised banter or scripted speeches?

BEAUTY - FOR CONNIE (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 13 minutes)
Returning to the simplicity of Words / Lazlo / Dentistry, Swica films his wife Constance Buck dressed in an elaborate wedding gown and very obviously reading from cue cards - prepared speeches on beauty and romance, delivered by Ms. Buck with a wry earnestness. When silent, Ms. Buck's presence renders the text trivial and constricting. The film is most romantic when it is most ironic.



Born: Toronto, 1955

Villem Teder views his role as artist as part of a larger system involving the material properties of film, or projection and viewing conditions, and of perception of the work. The viewer of Teder's work is a privileged participant in this ongoing experimental process; a work may never be shown more than once in exactly the same form. Some films are made without a camera or laboratory. Teder marks the filmstrip's surface by hand and regards the projection as an important, discrete element in the film's list of properties and states. He points out, "the frame and the reticulation exist only in the projection of the film." The human eye participates in picking out continuity and "movement" from the masses of shapes on the screen.

In other works, Teder uses photographed images, but he is concerned mainly with film's ability to reveal hidden energies not usually visible to the eye. Highly abstract visual experiences like the way a forest floor looks when one looks down while walking quickly, are brought, by means of film's intensified theatrical viewing situation, from the background of life to conscious awareness.

Villem Teder was one of the original members of The Funnel, and has contributed much to the experimental film community through his technical expertise, advice and assistance to numerous filmmakers.


(1981-, Colour, Sound, 16mm, Average length 45 minutes, subject to change)
"In Batik # 5 I have discovered new methods of controlling the image and soundtrack, these being masking tape, interweaving film with itself, and using brushes and rollers to apply chemicals... I create new material every year, the previous year's version is pulled apart and incorporated with this new material. I keep the same beginning and ending scenes, and rearrange everything in-between... I regard the way that the film emulsion responds to my techniques to be as important as the techniques. To dominate by editing is to deny the integrity of the emulsion's behaviour." V. T.

CELLULAR PROGRESSION (1979, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 10 minutes)
"Through a series of experiments with various paint media, I discovered that when acrylic medium is covered with the 'Flo-set' fluid used in the colour xerox transparency process, the acrylic softens and rehardens to a wrinkled pattern." V.T.

Teder painted footage according to this discovery, cut it into a loop and rephotographed it using the optical printer, then re-edited a soundtrack recorded several years before, also using "loop" procedures.
"As for the title, the cellular part comes from someone viewing one of the test runs and commenting on the organic nature of the image, as if it were a view of cells under a microscope." V. T.


HOMAGE TO HENRY FORD (1978, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 4 minutes)
"In much the same way that the auto industry is an assembly-lirie, so is the film industry." V.T.

IF YOU FIND A WAY OUT (1982, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 9 minutes)
"While going through my collection of hand-processing experiments, and trying to decide what to do next, I noticed a lot of repetition of the use of camera pans and change or iris. I decided to use these as the basis for editing." V. T.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound on cassette tape.

INCIDENTS FROM THE TRIM BIN (1983, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 25 minutes)
"A collection of bits of found footage combined with out-takes from my films. Every few years, I sort through and take out stuff and add new things." V. T.

THE INTERVAL (1978-1979, Sound, 16mm, Length varies)
"The Interval is an uncommon system of simple coincidences and intervals. Although specific structure carries with each display of this piece, its characteristic rhythm remains: a flash of light, a percussive burst of sound - technically discrete components finding relationships solely within the viewer's own attention. A fascinating game of personal mathematics." Dean Motter, 1979

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound is on 1/4" audio-tape. Filmmaker must be present for exhibition of this piece.


(1977-1979, Sound, 16mm, Length varies)
"The inspiration came from two weekends spent living blindfolded (in non-visual space) with a group of students, as part of my studies at the Ontario College of Art." V. T.

"An array of subsonic rhythms not only reveal some of the invisibilities of sound, but the subtle sound/time distortions that occur in everyday existence. While the methodology is apparent, it is none-the-less an enthralling work." Dean Motter, 1979

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound on 1/4" audiotape. Filmmaker must be present for exhibition of this piece.

MAN RAY #3 (1979, Colour, Silent, 16mm, 8 minutes)
"`Ray-o-grams' are recordings of shadows on pieces of film; shadows produced by the light of the exposure, as well as shadows produced by the strips of film being in contact with each other during processing. From the initial results in black and white, a short length was edited and cut into a loop... In the resulting film, bits of the black and white were cut into short sequences, to act as an introduction for each movement. Fragments of colour images were selected and intercut with mag film to heighten the effect of after-images when cut to black." V. T.


MUSKOKA, NOVEMBER '79 (1979, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 20 minutes)
"Muskoka, November '79 shows us a visual experience that each of us has probably had - things like rain falling on a lake, a flickering fire, the way a forest looks as one walks through it quickly. The details of such events usually escapes us, but the film focuses so intently upon them that they seem to take on a new fascination.

(1982, Performance/Film, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 20-30 minutes)
A study in the perception of colour, form, motion and flicker, this film/performance uses three matched projectors on which three film loops are shown. The images are manipulated by the focus and alignment of the projectors and by adding coloured filters into the light beams.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Filmmaker must be present. Three matched 16mm projectors are needed. Sound may be played through separate speakers for each projector, or mixed onto one speaker as the situation permits.

NO COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL (1983, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 12 minutes)
Commercials are re-edited for comic effect.

NOVEMBER 13, '82 (1982, Colour, Silent, 16mm, 4 1/2 minutes)
Non-camera images are created through the chemical manipulation of emuslion.


TREES AND GRASS (1980, Colour, Silent, Super 8, 10 minutes)
"In Trees and Grass, the filmmaker deals with photographic images but he is concerned with the film's ability to reveal hidden energies of nature not usually visible to the eye. Teder's stationary camera picks up the tiny movements of tree branches, blades of grass on a lawn, and clouds going by. He likens this investigation to a type of scientific research into mathematical models of semi-random patterns found in nature, and known as Brownian movement." Anna Gronau

SEQUEL TO TREES AND GRASS (1981, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 60 minutes)
"Trees and Grass, 1980, started as an experiment to see what happens when a fixed camera records the events of nature, by the use of time lapse photography. The results were quite encouraging and I embarked on a much larger project. I have documented various scenes, some over several seasons, in an attempt to capture the variety of patterns that result." V.T.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Sound on cassette tape.

(1982, Colour, Silent, 16mm, 26 minutes, work in progress)
A documentation of the landscape at and around the family cottage in Northern Ontario, with occasional glimpses of human presence.



Born: Toronto, 1960

Carolyn White is currently a student at the Ontario College of Art where she is studying Experimental Arts. She has exhibited photo-text works on the themes of "beasts" and "dreams", and has completed a series of drawings which make reference to picture book Fairy Tales, re-interpreted to address contemporary issues such as abortion. Through the construction of a single, resonant image, Carolyn White's films address political problems without becoming polemical. The films are visually graphic and pleasing.

She was editor/designer of both SIC and RANT magazines, publishing the work of Toronto artists, and is a co-editor of Impulse Magazine.

TEST RABBIT (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 5 minutes)
An abstract portrait of a young girl's physical and mental journey through the experience of abortion.

WATER (1983, Colour, Sound, Super 8, 3 minutes)
A self-reflective portrait of a swimmer, focusing on the artist's sensual attraction to water.



Born: Toronto, 1931

Joyce Wieland's training as an artist began at Central Technical High School in Toronto and continued "on the job" as a commercial artist. Her interest in filmmaking began at Graphic Films in Toronto where she learned animation techniques.

Wieland is well-known in Canada primarily for her work in the visual arts - painting, drawing and mixed media work. Her films have won acclaim internationally for their innovative structures and content. In the 1960's, she and her husband at the time, Michael Snow, spent several years living and working in New York City, immersed in a flourishing and fertile avant-garde film culture. Wieland was one of the few women to achieve recognition as an experimental filmmaker during that period.

Joyce Wieland's work, in film and other media is both emotionally rich and conceptually strong. She has had a concern for imagery about women and with a feminine sensibility for many years and has combined this personal interest with overtly political and ecological (though infrequently didactic) content on a number of occasions.

Several of Wieland's films concern themselves with Canada, as a geographic and spiritual entity of lakes, rivers, mountains, wildlife and so on, and as a political nation with international vulnerability and internal divisions.

Joyce Wieland continues to work and exhibit, concentrating in recent years on figurative and allegorical painting. She has recently been awarded the Order of Canada for her outstanding contributions to Canadian culture.

WATER SARK (1964-65, Colour, Sound, 16mm, 14 minutes)
Originally shot in 8mm, Water Sark transforms ordinary objects from daily life - a teapot, a flower, mirrors, a magnifying glass, a toy boat, etc. - into a universe of shimmering metamorphosis. From time to time we see the filmmaker herself participating in the camera play.

"I decided to make a film at my kitchen table, there is nothing like knowing my table. The high art of the housewife. You take prisms, glass, lights and myself to it. 'The Housewife is High.' Water Sark is a film sculpture, drawing being made while you wait." J.W.


The Funnel's First Catalogue 1984
62 Pages! 50 Filmmakers! 200 Films & Related Work!

Artists A-J,

Introduction w/ Alphabetical Film Listing,

Appendix (Filmography / Bibliography / Screenings).

The Funnel Catalogue Supplement 1987
44 Pages! 30 Filmmakers! 120 Films & Related Work!

Introduction; Index; Artists A-J; Artists L-Y;

Alphabetical Film Listing; Funnel Publications;

Appendix (Filmography / Bibliography / Screenings).

The Funnel's First Pamphlet, 1982


CineZine - Histories - Toronto 8mm & Super 8 - The Funnel - Funnel Bios '82