Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival (June, 2017)

HIFF is honoured to welcome Mike Hoolboom, winner of the 2017 Governor General’s Award in Media Arts for a retrospective entitled “In this Body.” Mike Hoolboom is an image maker, author, journalist, arts advocate, and one of the most prolific and influential experimental/avant-garde filmmakers of our time. A tour de force, creating over 90 works on celluloid, tape, digitality, and with found footage. His personal, poignant, and political films resonate with our inner thoughts and reflect moments in our cultural history. “In this Body” is a collection of some of his most profound work exploring variations on the human form while challenging us to connect to what makes us human.

Program One
Frank’s Cock (8 minutes,1993)
Scrapbook (18 minutes, 2015)
Identification (29 minutes, 2017)
Colour My World (3 minutes, 2017)
Buffalo Death Mask (23 minutes, 2013)

Program Two
Citizen Poetry (8 minutes, 2017)
Incident Reports (70 minutes, 2016)

The evening before I was going to step on the plane to Halifax, my mother called to say my father wasn’t doing well. I trained into Burlington where my father was being looked after by the extra kind staff at Tansley Woods. He hardly budged that week, and language was beyond him, though there were a few mouthed expressions attempted in a moment of lucidity on Thursday. Mostly he breathed loudly and emphatically, his shrunken body splayed on the bed, warm and moist to the touch. I think I touched my father more that week than in the accumulated past decades. He had become a body again, and invited us to become bodies as well. We held this vigil while the staff scurried in and out of the room, making adjustments, shooting him up with dilaudid every four hours. When had we ever been more human, more fully ourselves? We stayed with him on his last trip in the dying place. I could feel him letting go, he had always been so easy going, he had made the transition to his new nursing home so easily and lightly, and now he was stepping into death with the same lightness. On Friday at one in the morning it was over. His breathing had become shallower and shallower, and then stopped. We said our good-byes, and left that part of us behind, stumbling into the dark. Even the trees were crying.