ON THE POND
16mm | 9 min. | 1978
Hoffman’s first completed student film, On The Pond is a diaristic excursion into experimental autobiography. A self-reflexive study of family and the construction of memory in images.
16mm | 9 min. | 1979
Hoffman’s second student film, after On The Pond, Freeze Up explores themes that are taken up and expanded upon in his later work. The film stages an encounter between mass media images and sounds (television, radio, popular music) and the seeming simplicity of a man skating on a frozen pond.
THE ROAD ENDED AT THE BEACH
16mm | 33 min. | 1983
Film images, stills and sound collected for over six years coalesce in The Road Ended at the Beach. Hoffman interrogates both the journey, involving famed American photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank, and the process of its documentation as/in film.
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN JALOSTOTITLAN AND ENCARNACION
16mm | 6 min. | 1984
A cinematic travelogue that traverses Mexico, Toronto and Colorado. The absent centre of the film is the image of a young Mexican boy’s death; the filmmaker questions the ethics of capturing such an image.
?O, ZOO! (THE MAKING OF A FICTION FILM)
16mm | 23 min. | 1986
Ostensibly a film about the making of Peter Greenaway’s A Zed and Two Noughts, ?O, Zoo! is a subversive engagement with documentary conven- tion and first-person filmmaking.
PASSING THROUGH/TORN FORMATIONS
16mm | 43 min. | 1988
A kaleidoscopic and labyrinthine study of a family’s migration from Czechoslovakia to Canada. Images and sounds are layered upon one an- other in a highly allusive and suggestive fashion that generates multiple interpretations of tragedy, loss and the potential of the image to document and transform reality.
16mm | 15 min. | 1979/89
River is a meditation on the interrelationship of nature and technology, stasis and flux. Shot and constructed over a ten-year period, the film returns to the same river only to find that, of course, it is not the same river.
16mm | 34 min. | 1990
A portrait of two cities divided by geography and language but united in repressed history and the question of home. Kitchener-Berlin is divided into two movements, combining archival film, television footage, home movies, and documentary material to sculpt a multi-layered cinematic experience.
OPENING SERIES 1
16mm | 10 min. | 1992
Opening Series consists of twelve segments, each segment in its own hand-painted film canister. Using the visual references on the canisters, the audience, prior to each screening, makes an arrangement of pictured canisters, which orders the flow of the film.
Described by Hoffman as a film about “looking and listening to light,” Opening Series 1 is composed of silent, static, long takes shot at home and in travel, structured in a 3-shot rhythm.
OPENING SERIES 2
16mm | 7 min. | 1993
A free-associational work involving chance encounters and ephemeral instants.
16mm | 30 min. | 1994
A diary of the gulf war composed of images culled from the television and manipulated by the VCR. A study of war, representation and image saturation.
OPENING SERIES 3
16mm | 7 min. | 1995 (co maker, Gerry Shikatani)
Featuring the poet Gerry Shikatani, Opening Series 3 explores the relationship between language, sound and image, set to the backdrop of a gravel pit. The film would later become Kokoro is for Heart.
16mm | 30 min. | 1995 (co maker Sami van Ingen)
A travelogue that explores both the history of the ‘founding father ’ of documentary, Robert Flaherty, in Fort George, and Hoffman’s familial roots in Kapuskasing. The film reveals an interconnection between the history of documentary film and the filmmakers’ family memories.
16mm | 15 min. | 1996
Composed of disparate shots taken from around the world – London, Helsinki, Egypt, Leningrad, Uluru, and Sydney – Chimera is an impressionistic experimental travelogue about people and places bound together by and in images.
16mm | 32 min. | 1998 (co maker Wayne Salazar)
A narrator confronted by his own mortality explores the interwoven tapestry of past and present, illness and oppression that is the human condition. A work of intimacy and time.
KOKORO IS FOR HEART
16mm | 7 min. | 1999
Poet Gerry Shikatani narrates as various images and motifs, among them a gravel pit, merge into an associational meditation on how images affect reality. The film asks the question: “What is nature?”
OPENING SERIES 4
16mm | 10 min. | 2000
Hoffman describes the film as “Plain and simple... a reflection of grieving.”
WHAT THESE ASHES WANTED
16mm | 55 min. | 2001
Bridging the divide between the personal and the public, What these ashes wanted is a document of grief and loss, centering on the death of the filmmaker’s partner, Marian McMahon. Composed of fragments of telephone conversations, video diaries, and hand-processed film, the film-essay probes the point at which death and cinema coincide.
EVER PRESENT GOING PAST
DV | 7 min. | 2007
Again featuring the poetry of Gerry Shikatani, ever present going past is composed of impressionistic takes from an ephemeral reality, combining to form a visually poetic ode to the quotidian. “There is a catch after all, in every story, ever present going past.”
ALL FALL DOWN
ca. 80 min. | 2008