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As a medium, film has often been likened to death – it is a moment frozen in time as the great French film theorist André Bazin put it – it is time mummified. Vulture Aesthetics, relates both to my own work as a filmmaker and teacher, but also the work developed through the Independent Imaging Retreat (aka Film Farm), a hand processing film workshop in Southern Ontario, nearly 25 years in the works. Such practices help to release film from its once and for all death grip on time – to bring film emulsion into the life-world by connecting it to human bodies and the cycles of the earth. The emphasis on community and process (Process Cinema), at the Film Farm Retreat encourages artists to embrace the unexpected and environmental temporalities through film, plunging into celluloid through different chemical and biological (and `green’) processes. The film works made at the Film Farm Retreat are counter-archival, playful and no doubt utopian in their drive for both collective making and singular undertakings.
Born in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Philip Hoffman first became intrigued by questions of reality in photography and later in cinema. He has been honored with more than a dozen retrospectives of his work. In 2001 the publication "Landscape with Shipwreck: First Person Cinema and the Films of Philip Hoffman", was released comprising some 25 essays. He has received numerous awards including the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award and the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Gus Van Sant Award. Hoffman currently teaches at York University, in the Department of Cinema and Media Arts, and since 1994, has been the Artistic Director of the Independent Imaging Retreat (Film Farm). In 2016 Hoffman received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
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