Bruce McDonald’s career confounds auterist criticism’s tendency to boil down a director’s work to a single idea or a recurring set of themes. His diverse career encompasses road movies, punk rock films, horror movies and poignant character studies. In 2001, Playback magazine’s poll of fifteen “all time best Canadian movies” featured Hard Core Logo (1996) at number two and Highway 61 (1991) at number fifteen. Box office returns and allocated budgets, though, do not necessarily reflect McDonald’s high standing among industry professionals (who voted in the poll) or the devotion of his fans. Continue reading
Jan Lenica’s 1979 feature length animated film Ubu et la Grande Gidouille is his most ambitious work: boldly designed, assertively crude in its animation and subject matter, and most importantly, it is bitterly, unsparingly satirical. Ubu is a testament to a long career straddling the avant-garde and the commercial. Although Lenica lived until 2001, he worked only sporadically in animation afterwards, focusing instead on teaching and design. This was his chance to make a grand statement; to express his disillusionment at the failed promise of artistic and political ideals. Continue reading
Watch this space for erratic musings about such topics as: British horror, Marshall McLuhan, VHS aesthetics, visionary animation, Post-Soviet culture, sublime and ridiculous music, musty old books and records, shamanism, Twin Peaks, South Korea, the Caucasus, the grimy residue of Bargain Basement Brexit Britain &c.
Or none of the above.