Strut Fret and Flick(er)

Hey, did you know you can bring your own videos down to Video-In (1965 Main St) on the last Thursday of each month for an open-micstyle event called Cue Up? (The next one is on September 29) After the loss of BYO8 with the Blinding Light, it’s good to have a reliable thing like this going in town.

September’s incarnation will include a guest presentation from “Documenting Engagement,” a project of the Pacific Cinematheque. It involves a number of community-based artists from around Canada learning to video-document their artistic practice. If you’re interested in getting funding for your own
artworks, the current atmosphere almost demands “community” as every other word on your grant application, so this might be a very practical bunch of videos to watch.

If you’re dying to show stuff, either works-in-progress or newlyminted videos, get there early (after Cue-Up’s August hiatus, there might be anxious vid-kids camping out the night before). Each producer gets to answer questions and speak after their presentation, so it’s a good way to develop the craft in a supportive, media-maker crowd.

The Cue-Up collective, who organize these screenings, have gotten together to produce a Video-In contribution to SWARM, the festival of artist-run culture. As their press pack tells us: “editSix borrows from the tradition of add-and-pass-on art to combine the efforts of six practicing video artists into one presentation where no one artist has final control over the outcome.” SWARM is the most hopping art event of the year, as in, hopping from one gallery to
another, drinking cheap booze and seeing every single person you know who likes art. On Thursday, Sept 8, SWARM takes over most of the artist-run centres in Mount Pleasant, then does the same downtown on Friday, Sept 9. For exact venues and locations, check out

Among the exciting stuff at SWARM, Video In has also coproduced a show with Mercury Theatre. There’ll be an outdoor video screen with live mixing of videos from people like Michael Undem and the Instant Coffee collective; combined with live performances from folks like 20 Watt and Igor Santizo, all mixed with a live musical score. It’s taking place at Cathedral Park, at Dunsmuir & Richards.

On a completely different note, the same weekend hosts the Indie Music Video Festival, now in its fourth year, at the Railway Club, 8:45pm on September 7 and 9. The fest consists of dozens of music videos that are off the radar of MuchMusic and all those big boys. Though some of the clips at IMVF look like regular old videos that just didn’t make the big-league cut, there’s tons of wild and interesting stuff. The one-hour sneak-preview I saw, which has already shown at Toronto’s NXNE music festival, has plenty to enjoy. “Teeny Bop Derelict” by The Kites has one of the simplest, funnest takes on the old one-guy-dancing-in-the-same-shot-twice trick; Peter Miser’s “Scent of a Robot” is a cohesive fusion of rap with science fiction; the video by Lederhosen Lucil, in which she softly kills a series of cuddly muppets, must be seen to be disturbed. Three hours of video over two nights, plus live bands, make for a full night out on either date.

On a grander note, let us all bow our heads in thanks to the Lord that someone, somewhere, has finally paid tribute to those glowing American tragic heroes on Flight 93. Vancouver is hosting the production of a Movie of the Week about the fourth plane on September 11, the one that crashed in a field after passengers attacked the terrorists, launching their bum-rush with the perfectly embarrassing slogan, “Let’s Roll!” Yes, it’s about time someone paid
attention to America’s suffering! I can’t reveal how I got the script, but it’s packed not only with fanatical religious maniacs blowing up Americans, but with fanatical religious Americans fighting back against the maniacs! The Lord’s Prayer is recited, in full, just before the Yanks attack! My favourite line in the script: “…AHMED ALHAZNAWI, naked to the waist, shaves, moving the razor all the way down his neck to the top of his chest and watching the dark
hair fall in the white sink.”