I couldn't imagine a better way to kick off my two days at a festival of rock and roll debauchery than by taking my Mom to watch a short film about a cat eating cat food. No joshing. So that is what I did.
Right after rolling into town on the train on Friday, Mom and I headed over to the CBC Radio Room where Heather Harkins (a local animation guru and AFCOOP aficionado, among many other fine attributes) was set to present an evening of Super 8 films. Heather was joined by The Here and Now, also known as Lisa Marr (remember her from cub?) and partner Paolo Davanzo. Just being in the same room with these three independent/diy filmmakers is enough to make anyone feel that yes, they too can make their own beautiful little movies.
Lisa and Paolo travel around the world, making nifty little Super 8 films along the way. They then project them for their audiences while playing live music (Friday's performance featured Lisa on ukulele and Paolo drumming on an overturned box). Before that portion of the evening, however, they shared a dozen or so Super 8 films from around the world, including the aforementioned cat food adventure. And, and, and....there was BINGO! A handful of lucky people (including Heather, The Chronicle Herald's Stephen Cooke, The Coast's own Sue Carter Flinn and my Mom) took home nifty prizes. Films, music, games, prizes, ukuleles...it was like an eight-year-old's dream birthday party. And there were loot bags, too, in the form of free pins from the Echo Park Film Centre (a centre similar to AFCOOP in Los Angeles, where Lisa and Paolo are based).
Also, for you Billy Childish fans out there, Lisa and Paolo screened "Smoking and Yoga," a great little film featuring Billy demonstrating his amazing knack for yoga positions that enhance your smoking experience (e.g., the gasping lotus). It tied in well with another film that extolled the joys of bicycling, which included the Piggy tune "My Pink Bike." Remember when Piggy protested the cigarette company sponsoring the Pop Explosion way back when?
(And speaking of Piggy...no screening of Super 8 films at the Halifax Pop Explosion could possibly take place without a little talk about the late Helen Hill, a friend to so many in the room that night.)
I liked this event. I like that the Halifax Pop Explosion is about more than catching the latest "about to break" buzz bands from away. I like that this festival includes visual as well as aural stimulus. I like that there are opportunities to take in films and art and food and crafts and books and zines. The festival is always growing and evolving. I hope in future years it continues to include events like the Super 8 Showcase.