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Home > Festivals & Events > Café Ex: The Films of Philip Hoffman
Café Ex: The Films of Philip Hoffman
dir. Philip Hoffman
Canada, 90 minutes

Club SAW, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 7:30 pm
Inaugurated in 1998, the eighteenth season of this ongoing visiting artist series presents artist-curated evenings of independent experimental film and video in the intimate atmosphere of Club SAW. Once again, the series features Canadian experimental cinema, with guest filmmakers presenting their work and engaging in extensive discussions with audience members for a "pay-what-you-can" admission.


By the Time We Got to Expo (Hoffman/Kolcze, 9 min, 2015)
A meditative journey through Expo 67, re-visiting a significant moment in Canadian history using manipulated imagery taken from educational and documentary films. Footage has been re-worked using tints, toners and photochemical techniques to create a vibrant collision of colours, textures and forms. The exhibition returns new, in a startling display of beauty and loss.

Slaughterhouse (15 min, 2014)
This multi-framed work weaves several inter-connected threads of loss: of land and agriculture, of property and business. The archival materials in the work have been gleaned from public and personal sources such as the National Archive of Canada, in the story of a nineteenth century aboriginal woman and land rights activist Nahnebahwequay (1824-65) and more recently organic farmer Michael Schmidt, from excerpts of the Farmer’s Advocate and Family Herald publications 1958-1968, also a trip into the artist’s familial past, and the rise and fall of his family’s slaughterhouse and pork processing plant, Hoffman Meats (1951-81), in Kitchener, Ontario.

Aged (45 min, 2014)
"Philip Hoffman's Aged [is] the most touching piece in this year's fest. Hoffman assembled this 45-minute work from footage he shot over six years while tending to his infirm father. Using both analog and digital manipulation techniques, he makes the images appear otherworldly while maintaining a heartrending intimacy with his subjects." – Chicago Reader, Ben SachsPhilip Hoffman's filmmaking began with his boyhood interest in photography. As semi-official historian of family life, Hoffman became intrigued by questions of reality in photography and later in cinema. After completing his formal education, which includes a Diploma in Media Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Literature, Hoffman began working on his films, as well as teaching film, electronic and computer-based media. He is currently a faculty member in the Film and Video Department at York University (Toronto).
A filmmaker of memory and association, Hoffman creates highly ‘personal’ yet universal works, which weave fiction and documentary in an experimental ‘diarist’ cinema. He has screened his work in England, Holland, Australia, Estonia, Germany, Belgium, Italy, France and the USA.

“Philip Hoffman has long been recognized as Canada’s pre-eminent diary filmmaker. For over twenty years he has been straining history through personal fictions, using the material of his life to deconstruct the Griersonian legacy of documentary practice. As an artist working directly upon the material of film, Hoffman is keenly attuned to the shape of seeing, foregrounding the image and its creation as well as the manufacture of point of view. Hoffman’s films are deeply troubled in their remembrances; he dusts off the family archive to examine how estrangement fuels a fascination with the familiar surroundings of home…. Hoffman approaches the limits of representation and the ethical burdens of vision and reproduction.

“The works of Philip Hoffman incontestably establish him as an independent filmmaker of intricate artistic achievement and philosophical depth.” Peter Harcourt (Canadian Film Encyclopedia)

Philip Hoffman will attend the screening to introduce and discuss his work.