Kamal Aljafari: The Roof & Port of Memory

Monday, March 8, 2010 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by cheyanne turions, Amy Kazymerchyk and Cinema Project

Part essayistic meditation, part family portrait, The Roof is an eloquent and understated exploration of physical and psychic place in the context of filmmaker Kamal Aljafari’s family history. Returning to his parents’ and grandmother’s homes in Ramleh and Jaffa, now part of Israel, Aljafari uses elegant cinematography, unhurried rhythms, and fragmented narrative to convey how space, time and history have been molded by politics and Israeli institutionalized neglect. The roof of the title is an absent one, on the unfinished house where his family has lived since their resettlement in 1948, and it functions as a place of waiting marked by constant deferral. Curator Jean-Pierre Rehm has called the film “as much a stylistic as a political manifesto” that “reveals not so much the meaning of an absent roof, but the architecture of identity, place, and present pasts.”

Aljafari again draws from the lived experience of his kin in Port of Memory, following the reaction of his family when they receive an order to evacuate their home in Ajami, Jaffa's once-wealthy sea-front neighbourhood. Their lives and those of the other residents are thrown into disarray because they don't have access to the means to effectively fight back. Radically poetic, Port of Memory is a reflection on the absurdity of being at once absent and present, blending the mundane gestures of everyday life and collective memory.

Kamal Aljafari (b. 1972) is originally from Ramleh, Palestine. He graduated from the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne. His film Visit Iraq (2003) he received the Visual Art Prize of the City of Cologne (2004) and an award from the Sundance Documentary Fund (2007). In 2005, he was awarded a fellowship by the German Kunstfonds. The Roof won the Best International On Screen (Video) Award at the Images Festival in Toronto (2008) and also the award for best soundtrack at the FID Marseille documentary festival in France. He was a featured artist at the 2009 Robert Flaherty Film Seminar at Colgate University in New York. Through 2010, he is a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. His work has shown at many international film festivals and will be exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, March 2010.

The Roof. 2006, 61:00mins, DV.
Port of Memory. 2009, 63:00mins, DV.

Thought on Film
Tuesday March 09 2010, 6pm
Cineworks Independent Filmmaker's Society 1131 Howe St. (alley
The March meeting of Thought on Film will feature a selection of theory that has influenced Aljafari's practice. We will read excerpts from:
Edward Said, After the Lost Sky, "Interiors"
Robert Bresson, Notes to the Cinematographer
Andre Mazawi, Film production and Jaffa's predicament
Co-presented with Cinema Project and Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society.


Robby Herbst presented his YTSSP essay Mediation, Self Marginalization and Post Politics in Protest Media at an offsite event at Studio 1202. You can view this essay here:



The YouTube School of Social Politics

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Red76
Gabriel Saloman & Sam Gould (Red76) and Robby Herbst in person
The YouTube School for Social Politics (YTSSP) invites historians, artists, and theorists to construct passages of historical inquiry through assemblages of YouTube clips. In an increasingly invisible society we are each a consumer, creator, and clearing house for knowledge, just as much as we are receiver, producer, and disposer of material goods. These notions of surplus knowledge play a central role within the YouTube School for Social Politics. Scattered throughout YouTube lie countless personal and collective points of view and scattered historical moments. By arranging segments of documentaries, personal missives, family films, newsreels and music videos, new light is shed on the sociopolitical landscape of history past and history present.
Red76 is the moniker for initiatives most often conceived by Sam Gould and collaboratively realized with Zefrey Throwell, Gabriel Mindel-Saloman, Dan S. Wang, Mike Wolf, Laura Baldwin, and many others dispersed throughout the world. Their initiatives focus on the facilitation of discussion, thought and action within public space. Their projects manifest within the realms of printed matter, multi-media, social practices and anything else they can get their hands on.
Gabriel Saloman, Mystery Ecology. 2009, 55mins, dv.
Sam Gould, Human Masks. 2009, 50mins, dv.
Artist talk: Sam Gould and Robby Herbst
Saturday January 16 2010, 2pm, Free
Artspeak 233 Carrall Street
Sam and Robby, editors of the Journal of Radical Shimming and The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest respectively, will discuss their use of printed matter in art, social engagement and politics.
Screening & live A/V performance: Robby Herbst & Sade Sade
Saturday January 16 2010, 7:30pm, $10 suggested donation
Studio 1202, RSVP programming(at)dimcinema(dot)ca for location
Complimentary light food and beverages will be available, but b.y.o.b. is welcome.

Robby Herbst, Mediation, Self Marginalization and Post Politics in Protest Media. 2009, 60mins, dv.
Sade Sade, War Requiem. 2009, 12mins, a/v performance.
Robby Herbst is part of the editorial collective of the Los Angeles based publication, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest. Also an artist and writer, Robby's work looks at the intersection of theory, beauty and social upheaval. His work examines both what forms and images are created in the act of protest and how it is influenced by the world of art. Robbie will be screening and discussing his YTSSP essay in an informal and convivial environment. Complimentary light food and beverages will be available, but b.y.o.b. is welcome.

Also this evening will be a debut of Sade Sade's YTSSP inspired composition, War Requiem. A meditation on musical and lyrical forms of opposition to War,  War Requiem layers video featuring Benjamin Britten, CRASS, John Cage and Arvo Part to create an original sound work which acts both as a study and a response to these artists.

Co-presented with ARTSPEAK and VIVO Media Arts

Programmed by cheyanne turions, Alicia Monro and Amy Kazymerchyk

The “projection performances” of New York-based artist and architect Bruce McClure are immersive cinematic [or proto-cinematic] happenings. Lightning surges of luminescence and thunderclaps of sine waves create visceral experiences on the screen and in the body. McClure’s illuminations are time-based: they are essentially ephemeral and singular, existing outside the bounds of simulation and reproduction. His alchemical, hallucinatory experiments with light, darkness and sound will employ two projectors running simultaneously. As beams of light converge with optically generated sound, the audience is enveloped in interactive play with apparatus.

McClure will conduct  four unique performances using two projectors: You Know My Methods (2003), Christmas Tree Stand - Part 1 (2004), Evertwo Circumflicksrent Page 298 (2007), and Cong In Our Gregational Pompoms (2009).


Working the Room
12 + 13 December 2009, 10am-5pm
Cineworks Studio [1131 Howe, back lane entrance]
Cost is $75 for Cineworks members / $125 for non-members

Led by Bruce McClure, this workshop will examine how the variously dimensioned spaces in the trajectory between the spectator and projected image, via lamplight, can be reconfigured as boundaries where cinematic work can be made.  


Deliberate Obstructions + Calculated Aimlessness
10 December 2009, 7pm
Cineworks Studio [1131 Howe, back lane entrance]

This conversation with Bruce McClure will explore the potential of the 16mm projector as a liberated instrument of the projection of pictures and an optical soundtrack. Local expanded-cinema artist, curator and writer, Alex MacKenzie, will moderate the discussion.

Co-Presented with Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society