Practical Dreamers: Conversations with Movie Artists

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Mike Hoolboom
Coach House Books, Sep 27, 2013 - Performing Arts - 250 pages
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'The streets are full of admirable craftsmen, but so few practical dreamers.' – Man Ray

What if there were movies made the same way as suits, custom fitted, each one tailored for one person? Not broadcast, but narrowcast? Not theatres around the world showing the same globalized pictures, but instead a local circumstance, a movie so particular, so peculiar, it could cure night blindness or vertigo?

Welcome to the world of fringe movies, where artists have been busy putting queer shoulders to the wheels, or bending light to talk about First Nations rights (and making it funny at the same time), or demonstrating how a personality can be taken apart and put together again, all in the course of a ten-minute movie which might take years to make.

Practical Dreamers takes us to this other side of the media plantation. In it, twenty-seven Canadian artists dish about how they get it done and why it matters. The conversations are personal, up close and jargon free, smart without smarting. The stellar cast includes smartbomb Steve Reinke; visionary Peter Mettler; Middle East specialist Jayce Salloum; queer Asian avatars Richard Fung, Midi Onodera, Ho Tam, and Wayne Yung; footage recyclers Aleesa Cohene and Jubal Brown; overhead projector king Daniel Barrow; First Nations vets Kent Monkman and Shelley Niro; international art presence Paulette Philips; and documentarian Donigan Cumming.

These in-depth talks come lavishly illustrated in an oversized volume.

  

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About the author (2013)

Mike Hoolboom has published two books of interviews with Canadian movie artists, Inside the Pleasure Dome and Practical Dreamers, and a novel, The Steve Machine. Tom McSorley is the director of the Canadian Film Institute. He is a past programmer for the Montreal World Film Festival. He teaches at Carleton University and is the editor of Rivers of Time: The Films of Philip Hoffman.

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