5 must-watch films in the 2022 Media City Film Festival

Michele Goulette, Surface/Sunset, 2019
digital video, (silent), 6:37
Mesmerizing waters. Sant Elena, Venice, June 2019

The 2022 Media City Film Festival is here! From February 8 — March 1, 2022, 70+ films from cinema pioneers worldwide are available to watch for free during this incredible event. MCFF 2022 features an eclectic selection of films streaming across three sections: International, Spotlight, and Regional — a category whose films are being co-presented by the Art Gallery of Windsor! Now that you know a little more about MCFF, here are five can’t-miss films we’re recommending at MCFF 2022.

1. Surface/Sunset, Michele Goulette
Recommended by the Art Gallery of Windsor

Imagine looking down into the shimmering water of the Venice Canal as you walk along the water’s edge at sunset. The beauty of this water is featured in Michele Goulette’s Surface/Sunset, which is featuring “Mesmerizing water, the play of dense seaweed undulating below. Repetition, overlay, variations in opacity and speed invoke a purely visual meditative experience.”

Further, visitors to the Art Gallery of Windsor will be able to see Michele Goulette’s work on exhibition in her upcoming solo exhibition Michele Goulette: DOWNRIVER. The film Surface/Sunset, and other striking digital work by Goulette, will be displayed on the third floor of the Gallery. Keep posted for more information on our reopening date!

2. R.E.M Burn, Bawaadan Collective
Recommended by Julie Tucker, AGW Head of Programs & Collection

“R.E.M Burn is a visual poem addressing thematic elements of life and death cycles and traditional knowledge principles. In our initial consideration for this piece, the collective discussed examining the art and fashion world’s appropriation of Indigenous design and iconography. The film quickly became about more than acknowledging the distinction between appropriation and recontextualization, which is increasingly less distinguishable in an age of commodification. As Indigenous people, we understand that knowledge comes from our relationship with ourselves, each other, our communities, our animal relatives, and the land herself. In its truest form, this knowledge is without replication. R.E.M Burn is ultimately a reflection on the land that sustains us, the knowledge she offers, and the responsibility we carry to share those teachings for the well-being of future generations.”
–Media City Film Festival

3. Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy, Tracey Moffatt
Recommended by Julie Tucker

On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. The adopted daughter’s attentive gestures mask an almost palpable hostility. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be raised in white families. The stark, sensual drama unfolds without dialogue against vivid painted sets as the smooth crooning of an Aboriginal Christian singer provides an ironic counterpoint. Moffatt’s first 35mm film displays rare visual assurance and emotional power.”
–Women Make Movies

4. “Não são favas, são feijocas”, Tânia Dinis
Recommended by Abbey Lee Hallett, AGW audience engagement coordinator

This film is described as “a portrait of the artist and her grandmother”, in which the artist and her grandmother react to footage that was taken of Dinis’ grandmother a year and a half prior. The film shows the grandmother’s personality and routines so honestly that I felt like I was right in the middle of the action. From the moment she starts speaking, Dinis’ grandmother brings you right in with her refreshingly honest — and, quite frankly, hilarious — commentary about the video footage. At one point, she asks — about the project — “what kind of an idea was this, Tânia?” in a tone of voice that I hear every time I speak to my own grandmother.

The beauty of this film is in the way it showcases the beauty in the everyday. Whether Dinis’ grandmother is picking potatoes, feeding her chickens, or simply sitting at the table, the viewer is reminded to take gratitude in small moments spent with their own families.

5. About the Art of Love or a Film with 14441 Frames, Karpo Godina
Recommended by Abbey Lee Hallett

I found the story behind this film just as fascinating as the film itself. Karpo Godina was commissioned by the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA) to create a film about the YPA’s soldiers, and the YPA itself. While Godina was given a massive amount of time and resources to create this militaristic film, he decided to go in a different direction: he made a film about love.

Shots of Saramzalino’s rolling hills are set to dreamy music, and clips of the soldiers training are interspersed with clips of the women in the next town over. These filmmaking decisions give the impression that the soldiers are running towards their loved ones, as opposed to training for battle. While this film is stunning to watch, its reception at the time of its release was not so favourable. As you might imagine, the YPA was less than thrilled to see that their supposed militaristic film had turned into a love story. They didn’t just voice their frustrations — they, quite literally, chopped the film into pieces with an ax! Thankfully, Godina was able to save one print of his film from the chopping block, or we would have never gotten to see this fascinating story.

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Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.

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Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.

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