Pacific Cinémathèque, home of Vancouver’s most thoughtful program of art-house, foreign and experimental cinema, played host to a rare night of live musical performance this winter. Hooliganship, a Portland-based “multimedia dance duo,” performed in the theatre for the last night of the “Cartune Xprez 2008 AMRCAN Fall Tour,” a collection of short animated videos that, according to the website, celebrates “the wilderness of imagination through motion pictures.” After Hooliganship’s Peter Burr introduced himself and his partner Christopher Doulgeris, the duo performed in the front of the theatre and made use of a specially constructed stage set-up that included a stairway, allowing a bass-playing Burr to walk up in front of the screen while interacting with the fantastic animated scenes unfolding behind him. Doulgeris, meanwhile, mostly stayed put down on the floor in front of stage left, but he was no less animated, jumping and dancing around behind his keyboards, and busting out some high kicks as he belted out a few notes on the recorder.
As a strange narrative about a journey involving scary giants and tons of garbage carried out behind them, both Burr and Doulgeris brought an infectious enthusiasm to their performance, which combined video game synths with angular post-punk guitars.
After Hooliganship finished, they showed a program of 11 short animated features from different directors, which ranged from “Wow, how did they think of that?” to “Oh man, why am I watching this?” Highlights included Muto, a visually entrancing animation unfolding in graffiti on the walls of Buenos Aires and Baden, Germany, from the Italian artist known as Blu, and Adventure Land Fun Balloon from Vancouver’s Crystalbeard (who was in attendance that night), which combined the grotesquely cute with the cutely grotesque and featured music by Chad VanGaalen.
The event was presented as part of DIM, a monthly night of avant-garde cinema, intended in part to help fill the void in the local scene left by the closure of the Blinding Light Cinema. DIM takes place the third Monday of every month at Pacific Cinémathèque. Check out www.dimcinema.ca for upcoming shows and events.