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A Heavy Diet of Art Films Causes Mental Indigestion


Art films should be served up like hors d'oeuvers, a small dish which whets the appetite. Its a trifle hard to consume a mamoth serving dished out almost steadly for nearly five hours.

For the uninitated, such a diet can cause mental indegestion. Art films, of course +are hardly everyone's favorite, as the vast movie going public largely eschews them in favor of commercial hollywood fare.

But the newly formed Intermedia Film Co-operative managed to come up with a varied menu of locally-produced art films at the Art Gallery Wednesday night.

One with only a passing acquaintance with this still largely occult cult, some of the films were bright and original.

A few however, would have taken second place to Aunt Mathilda's home movies.


The main problem was the surfeit of films — more than 50 were shown.

Before one could try to savor the meaning of one film, another would be served up. Then another.

However this did not seem to bother the art film buffs as a crowd of almost 400 attended the marathon showing. Many stuck it out to the end.

To Intermedia director Werner Aellen, a former National Film Board producer, the evening was an over-all success.

"It's the greatest art film festival so far in Vancouver." He said.

"It shows that not only Hollywood's multi-million dollar productions can attract audiences, but also serious attempts by local people.


"The films shown to night indicate that they have a lot of talent and originality."

Works which won some of the audience reaction included "Sircus Show Rider" by Al Razitus, "Square Inch Field" by Dave Rimmer, "Nitobe" by Tom Shandel, and Process by Terry Loychuk.

Other filmmakers who showed some of their work included Bill Fix, Arnold Saba, Al Sens, Gorden Fidler, Morrie Rubinsky, poet Gerry Gilbert and artist filmmaker Gary Lee-Nova.


Also included in the marathon showing were films produced by the Simon Fraser University Workshop and the Vancouver School of Art Workshop.

Aellen said one of the purposes of Intermedia is to develop a method of distributing locally produced art films throughout North America.

In turn Intermedia plans to bring in experimental art films produced elsewhere for showing in Vancouver to a growing audience.


"One of the greatest markets for these films is on the university campuses," said Aellen.

"But we often seem to neglect the fact that these are not only for the young, but also older audiences.

"I think that this showing has pointed out that not-so-young- and even elderly people are vitally interested in this form of expression."

Aellen noted that most art films have no plot.

"The size of the audience here tonight seems to destroy one of the dictums that only story films can attract and hold an audience."


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