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Imitations of Life
dir. Mike Hoolboom / Canada 2003 / 75’
subtitles: Polish and English
Cinema of Canada


Bill Evans, Janieta Eyre, Jack Daniels Fuller, Ken Thompson, Kika Thorne

Film description

What is this thing called cinema? What is the nature of our relationship to that infinite stream of moving images that bathe us from cradle to grave? Are they merely imitations of life, or, perhaps, a form a life itself? Hoolboom's astonishing Imitations of Life (part of a trilogy of found-footage films) ponders these and other philosophical questions by re-contextualizing familiar cinematic moments from the Lumière Brothers to Luc Besson to Andrei Tarkovsky. Constructed in ten parts, this work explores not only how we understand and interpret moving images, but also how those very processes of interpretation are fraught with epistemological danger. An often breathtakingly edited journey to the heart of the mystery of cinematic experience, this original and searching film is a simultaneous celebration and interrogation of 'the movies'. Hoolboom's work boldly asks an age of copyright obsession: who owns the cinema? When its images pass through our eyes do we not take possession of them in some way, or do they take possession of us?

Tom McSorley

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Night and the City by Jules Dassin was specifically selected for the ENH festival by Almodóvar. This film inspired the Spanish master during his work on Broken Embraces (Los abrazos rotos).

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