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SHORTS 5: DANNY: MEMORIES

OctoberOct 05 2019 07:00pm

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DANNY: MEMORIES
Cinematheque, 100 Arthur Street, Saturday, October 5, @ 7PM

“I showed a friend one of my tapes today; I think he was kind of shaken.”

WNDX is thrilled to present the Manitoban premiere of Aaron Zeghers and Lewis Bennett’s new mid-length found footage documentary, DANNY. Thoughtfully assembled from a rediscovered trove of VHS tapes shot by the film’s eponymous character, the film is a diaristic portrait of a deeply ambivalent man grappling with the meaning of life in the face of terminal illness. With a proudly lo-fi aesthetic, DANNY oscillates between moments of profound introspection and mundane banality, resulting in a vital document of a complicated figure, and an exceptional piece of appropriative documentary filmmaking.

DANNY is preceded here by short films from Lisa Danker and Kandis Friesen, in which personal and familial archives are similarly employed to create abstract portraits exploring notions of diary, personal history, and lineage.

 


 

Foreclosed Home Movie, Lisa Danker
2018 | US | 8.5 | video

A memoir of losing a home in Miami, in 1930, becomes the sister tale to a foreclosure in 2013. Unable to accept the loss of her foreclosed home, the filmmaker’s mother recounts its rooms as she reminisces. Photographs and abstractly animated details of the house alternate with the 1930s memoir, echoing the cyclical qualities of both economic depressions and of trauma.

 


 

Dushanbe, Kandis Friesen
2018 | CA | 5 | video | Manitoban Premiere

My great aunt’s photographs are woven through light, across the glass plates of a flat-bed scanner and a back-lit animation stand. Threading through her own narratives of Soviet exile, displacement, and profound joy, the audiovisual track becomes the space on which to write the story of the first time we met, of my great aunt’s architectural attempts to connect the home landscapes of Tajikistan to her south German living room in Darmstadt.

 


 

DANNY, Aaron Zeghers & Lewis Bennett
2019 | CA | 50 | video | Manitoban Premiere

After being diagnosed with leukemia in 1993, Danny Ryder picks up a camcorder and begins to create a film, with himself as the central character. The lo-fi Vancouver cityscape reflects an alienated existence as Danny grapples with his personal demons, spurred on in the face of his own mortality.

Danny - as himself - is affable and accomplished. He is intelligent enough to have built an impressive sailboat, but also seemingly unable to fend off his neurosis, frustration, and regret. What comes forth is a sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartbreaking found footage film about disease, mental illness, manhood, and the meaning of life.

Co-director, Aaron Zeghers, is Danny’s nephew. Through his late Grandfather, he recently rediscovered the 14 VHS-C tapes, from which this film is comprised.

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