•  Search  •  Press  •  Contact Us  • 
Canadian Film Institute
Moving images.
Home > Festivals & Events > Café Ex 2011-2012 > Heidi Phillips: Mysteries of Light
Heidi Phillips: Mysteries of Light
dir. Heidi Phillips
Canada, 2005-2011, 120 minutes

Café Ex 2011-2012
Club SAW, Friday, October 28, 2011, 7:30 pm
Heidi Phillips sifts and searches through old films and found footage, lifting imagery and sound to recycle into her own layered and loosely structured narrative works. Increasingly, she is using old technology such as radios and television sets as sculptural objects within the space. Her use of moving images has progressed into a more tactile approach with the physicality of the film medium itself. These found-footage and hand-processed films entice the viewer into an alternate reality where sailboats have character and disembodied arms have hope. The program will conclude with the premiere of Phillips’ latest film series based on 8mm found footage bought from “Klass ‘A’ Auctions” in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

  • Spin (2010, 3:10 min.) After a guest visit to Winnipeg Heidi was inspired by Toronto super 8 filmmaker John Porter's 'Cinefuge' films where he swings the camera around himself. "In 'Spin' I attempted to do the opposite by fastening the camera on myself and spinning my little actors around me. This resulted in intervalometer mayhem showing images ranging from spinning smiles to impatient waiting for the next go around."
  • Isolating Landscapes (2007, 5:00 min.)
    Includes found footage of landscapes, sailboats, and people washing in water. Thematically, the work seeks to describe detachment and loneliness.
  • Direction (2005, 10:30 min.)
    Direction is an experimental documentary that explores the parallel between physical and spiritual directions. Both film and video are used to reach the desired visual effect. Video projections are shown through glass and water which is then refracted onto a screen where it is shot using 16mm film. The result is both captivating and restful as the light creates many different shapes which are then mixed with the grain of film. Descriptions of physical directions and tellings of experiences with God are spoken from many different characters throughout the piece. Thematically Direction deals with a personal desire to feel at home, whether it is on the physical or metaphysical level.
  • Discovering Composition in Art (2008, 2:00 min.)
    Discovering Composition in Art uses found footage as source material for various darkroom experiments. These failed attempts to capture “good composition” race before the viewers’ eyes like flashing lights. “By using some of these guides we can create exciting art from the world around us.”
  • Revival (2009, 8:00 min.)
    A short 16mm experimental film about isolation, risk and rescue, the film is derived from super 8 films I found while thrift store shopping in Montreal. “Watching them I was most drawn to the images of helicopters and the barren landscapes. I reprinted the imagery using various darkroom techniques and hand processed the results. Throughout the process I found myself surprised with the results time and time again, which motivated me to experiment even further.
  • The Last Harvest (2010, 6:00 min.)
    An experimental drama in which a man rustles about a vacant farmhouse in search an object once treasured. As he explores his surroundings he is confronted with the memories that linger on.
  • Skydive (2011, 5:00 min.)
    A metaphoric reflection on risk and the faith that it demands, using found archival footage to create a story of jumpers who contemplate whether God will be their parachute. Artfully scored and edited, the film creates a thoughtful space, suggesting a move towards the unknown.

Influenced by the likes of Peter Tscherkassky and Janet Cardiff, Heidi Phillips’ art practice straddles experimental film and installation art. A practicing filmmaker and curator, Phillips has been involved with a variety of projects including the recent multimedia installation Residual, which uses experimental darkroom techniques to manipulate footage of abandoned farms, shacks and churches. She completed her MFA from Transart Institute in Austria in August of 2008. Visit her website at www.heidiphillips.ca.