Ellie Epp (2012)

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Ellie Epp
A collection of writings by and about celebrated Canadian artist Ellie Epp. Poetry as theory, theory as poetry. As well as a stunning series of photographs.

“I was born in Sexsmith and grew up on a farm fifteen miles west of there. When I was eighteen I was in a hurry to leave. I went away and studied and worked in a lot of different places. Now I’m sixty-three years old, have a reputation in experimental film and a PhD in neurophilosophy, and work in the US – but I’m still the Epp girl from La Glace. Where I come from has been important in everything I’ve done.”

“Coming belatedly to a great filmmaker’s work can either be revelatory or mortifying. My recent ‘discovery’ of the sparse canon of Vancouver filmmaker Ellie Epp was both: revelatory because her work is so astonishing, mortifying because I had never encountered any of her work though her first film (and her masterpiece), Trapline, dates back over a decade… I would dare not venture an analysis of Epp’s work, having screened each of her films only once, amidst a seven-hour, non-stop marathon preview of some recent Canadian experimental work. Suffice it to say that, amidst the unearned emotion, facile ideas, undigested cultural tradition and the slavish derivativeness of much of the work I saw, Epp’s work stood out as works of bracing resolute intelligence and purity. I would trade dozens of features I could name for the final shot of Trapline, which has the kind of heart-quickening beauty which makes you want to stop a screening and be alone for the rest of the day.” James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario programmer

“My films are documentaries, in the sense that they want to see and show some real thing. What they want to show is the qualities of natural motion, and then, beyond that, the experience of how much can be seen. A state of speechless seeing.”

Table of Contents

Film
Trapline
Current
notes in origin
Bright and Dark

Multimedia
Notes in origin: the performance

Interviews
Liveable Margins: interview with Mike Hoolboom
Notes in Origin: interview with Corinne Cantrill

Comment
Trapline by Paul Grant
Ellie Epp by Bart Testa
Notes on reading of avant-garde films: Trapline, syntax by Felix Thompson

Writing
charm, value, ethic tactic and gender, in writing
holding one’s own in an unfinished system
the play of the weather (excerpt)
field & field (excerpt)

Theory
Leaving The Land: Perception and Fantasy
Brain and Metaphor

Video
We Made This: a video album)

Notes
Acknowledgments
CV