CRASHING SKIES
2012/5:27/High definition/stereo
Original format: 16mm
No dialogue

An ordinary rural landscape is transformed into an enigmatic dreamscape. A farmhouse stands in a copper field of scratched emulsion as solarized flares illuminate the sky. Split toned horses amble dreamlike across the frame into inky underexposed blackness. Copper thistles sway in the wind, looming and strangely monumental. The hand-processed 16mm imagery creates an elliptical inner world of memory and dreams.

Filmed at the Independent Imaging Retreat in Mount Forest, Ontario. Atmospheric sound design by Edmund Eagan. Funded through a grant from the City of Ottawa Arts Funding program.

Penny’s approach to image-making employs a range of formats and gauges: digital and Hi 8 video, Super 8 and 16mm film, and more recently, hand-processed techniques. Crashing Skies is her second hand-processed film to be created at the Independent Imaging Retreat (aka. the Film Farm) in Mount Forest, Ontario. The brainchild of experimental filmmaker Philip Hoffman, the Film Farm is a rare combination of artists’ summer camp, hands-on film training, and critical exchange for filmmakers at all stages of their careers. Penny attended the Film Farm in 2008 and 2010, and through this opportunity, expanded her vocabulary to include deeply resonant hand-processed 16mm imagery. Her first Film Farm work, Lot 22, Concession 5, was completed in 2009 and has screened at festivals around the world.

McCann’s experimental work often takes the form of a kind of indefinite journey, where landscapes of memory and dream track across the frame in flashes of light and colour. The horizon is a central visual and conceptual trope, suggesting at once the projection of a sublime destination and an impossible experience of time and memory fulfilled. - Scott Birdwise, Canadian Film Institute

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