Trailer of the Day: Backbone: Early Vancouver Experimental Cinema, 1967-1981


From the mid-1960s through the 1970s, Vancouver, B.C. was an international hub for experimental film and the source of an enduring body of work that resonates today. Vancouver filmmaker Richard Martin’s documentary examines some of the key works of the era, offering perspective on the social and cultural context of the time and the varied influences of psychedelic pop, structuralism, experimental drama, and poetic cinema. Featuring interviews from members of Vancouver’s cultural community—including the artists themselves—the film offers a primer for appreciating a program of key works curated by Martin, all of which reveal vibrant visions. Martin’s BACKBONE (60 mins.) will be followed by Gary Lee Nova’s STEEL MUSHROOMS (1967), Al Razutis’s LUMIÈRE’S TRAIN (ARRIVING AT THE STATION) (1979), Sturla Gunnarsson’s A DAY MUCH LIKE THE OTHERS (1977), Chris Gallagher’s SEEING IN THE RAIN (1981), Patricia Gruben’s THE CENTRAL CHARACTER (1977), David Rimmer’s CANADIAN PACIFIC 1 (1974), Tom Braidwood’s BACKBONE (1972), Peter Lipskis’s ECLIPSE (1979), Kirk Tougas’s FAR FROM QUEBEC (LOIN DU QUÉBEC) (1971), and Michael McGarry’s IN BLACK AND WHITE (1979). (Total program running time: 156 mins.)

Director Richard Martin will introduce the program.

Co-presented by Portland Experimental Film Festival, May 21-26.

To hear a special edition of our Adjust Your Tracking podcast, featuring an interview with Richard Martin, click here.



BACKBONE-03-01-13 720 Trailer-Vimeo 720 alt-mp4 Setting from Richard Martin on Vimeo.



BACKBONE: EARLY VANCOUVER EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA, 1967-1981 screens on Thursday, May  2 at 7p.m. in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our ongoing Northwest Tracking series.

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.

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