The Jack Chambers Film Project
A documentary by Chris Doty (2005)
The documentary borrows its title from The Jack Chambers Film Project a conference held at Museum London (London, Ontario), March 9-10, 2002. The conference included screenings of films by and about Chambers, panel discussions and a lecture by Stan Brakhage on The Hart of London.
Using archival home videos, old news reels and clips from Chambers' films, along side video from the proceedings of the conference, Chris Doty explores the legacy of his fellow Londoner.
"Jack Chambers is one of Canada's most famous and greatest living painters. Why then have his films been as neglected as they have been? I feel that it is because his films do not arise as an adjunct to his painting (as is true in the case of most other painter film-makers) but that, rather, Jack Chambers has realized the almost opposed aesthetics of paint and film and has created a body of moving pictures so crucially unique as to fright paint buffery: thus his films have inherited a social position kin to that of the films of Joseph Cornell in this country. The fact is that four films of Jack Chambers have changed the whole history of film, despite their neglect, in a way that isn't possible within the field of painting. There are no 'masters' of film in any significant sense whatsoever. There are only 'makers' of film in the original, or at least medieval, sense of the word. Jack Chambers is a true 'maker' of films. He needs no stance, or standing, for he dances attendance upon the coming-into-being of something recognizably new: (and as all is new, always, one must question the veracity of all works, whatever medium, which beseem everything but that truth)." —-Stan Brakhage
Format: AVI | Size 707MB
Note! Included in the torrent is the documentary and short excerpts from Chambers' film works from 1964 to 1970: "Mosaic", "Hybrid", "R43″, "Circle", and "The Hart of London".
The Hart of London
Jack Chambers (1970)
With its raw nervous energy, its juxtaposition of color with black and white, and its peculiar array of imagery (the birth of a baby, the slaughter of sheep, the filmmaker mowing his lawn, a field being plowed, dense superimpositions of images that sometimes bleach to near white), The Hart of London recalls an earlier oddball masterpiece, Christopher Maclaine's The End (1953). Chambers's film begins with news footage that shows a hart prancing through backyards in London, Ontario, in 1954; its pursuers capture and kill it, and that disturbing scene echoes throughout. In the first half, poetic superimpositions of London create an odd mix of seduction and rebuff, and in the second, Chambers mixes his own footage with news cinematography, suggesting that we've reduced both ourselves and nature to images not unlike store-window displays. Chambers, who was diagnosed with leukemia the same year he began the project, once said that the film was about "generation," and the cycles of life and death are ever present. (Capsule by Fred Camper)