"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Monday, April 25, 2011

EB Projected: Short Films + Videos about Elizabeth Bishop -- launch screening

To mark Elizabeth Bishop’s centenary, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia (EBSNS) join forces with interdisciplinary artist Linda Rae Dornan and Bishop scholar Sandra Barry to present new and old short films about Elizabeth Bishop. Dipping into the CBC and CBS archives, tapping the creative minds of Maritime, American and British filmmakers, collecting the best videos of the YouTube explosion, this screening and discussion will give a wide-ranging view and interpretation of this beloved poet, who was herself fascinated by film and cinema.

New short films by Suzie Hannah (UK), Elli Heartz (NB), Joy Laking/Laurie Gunn (NS), Linda Rae Dornan (NB), John Scott (NS/USA), and Angela Thibodeau (NB).

Better than the wedding of Will and Kate!!

Screening will take place on Friday, 29 April 2011, 7:00 p.m.
The Music Room, 6181 Lady Hammond Road, Halifax, N.S.
Free. Everyone Welcome!


First Take: Bishop and Cinema – Background

Elizabeth Bishop had a life-long interest in cinema. From her early encounters with the silent films of Buster Keaton in the 1920s to her strong opinions on the iconic Brazilian film “Black Orpheus” of 1959, Bishop was fascinated by this medium as expression and art form. So convinced was she of Keaton as consummate artist that she wrote a poem in praise: “I was made at right angles to the world / and I see it so. I can only see it so.”

Elizabeth Bishop has been herself the subject of film. The first documentary about her was done by PBS in 1988-1989 in its “Voices and Visions” series. Two short features were done by CBS (1994) and CBC (2002), and a short film by Nexus Media (2005). With the exponential growth of YouTube in the past few years, dozens of videos have appeared, most connected to her poems: countless readers around the world recording themselves reading her work.

The Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia has set up its own Bishop YouTube channel:
(http://www.youtube.com/user/ElizabethBishop100#p/a) --
or click on the link at the top of the page.

With Bishop’s interest in film and cinema and the film activity around her over the years, a film project is an important addition to her centenary celebrations. A call was issued to filmmakers to create new short films in honour of Bishop’s 100th birthday. Curated by Linda Rae Dornan, the screening offers some of these new films with some old works about Bishop and inspired by her art.

Linda Rae Dornan is an interdisciplinary artist creating performance, video and audio art about interior spaces and processes of bring, using language, memory, sound and body. She lives in Sackville, N.B., and has had her work shown across Canada and the United States, and in South American and Europe. She has an audio art radio show every week on CHMA 100.9FM, the campus/community voice of the Tantramar marshes (11 p.m. AST, available online) – http://www.lrdornan.ca

Sandra Barry is a poet and independent scholar. She has researched and written about the life and work of Elizabeth Bishop for over twenty years. She is a co-founder, past president and current secretary of the EBSNS. She is a co-owner and administrator of the Elizabeth Bishop House in Great Village, N.S. Her book Elizabeth Bishop: An Archival Guide to Her Life in Nova Scotia was published by the EBSNS in 1996. She co-edited with Gwen Davies and Peter Sanger Divisions of the Heart: Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Memory and Place, published by Gaspereau Press in 2002. Her book Elizabeth Bishop: Nova Scotia’s “Home-Made” Poet is forthcoming from Nimbus Publishing in May 2011. She is co-host of the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary blog.

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