In the spring of 1998, Christ Church - Saint James, an historic black church in Toronto's Little Italy, was destroyed by arson. All that remained were walls and a pit, and over subsequent years, the site was overtaken with graffiti. This film has taken on the layered form of the site itself, the space and its surfaces becoming tangled and multiple, the grid of a stone-filled window giving geometric form to simultaneously occurring images of concrete, nature, waste, paint, and sky. Music by John Butcher.
An accompanying statement, written on the sixteenth anniversary of the fire: stephenbroomer.tumblr.com/post/82928527255/the-chance-of-resurrection
This film was processed at Niagara Custom Lab in Toronto. The optical soundtrack was made by Ray Cook and Dean Allen at Skylight Studios Ltd. Post-production was completed at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. Telecine was done at Frame Discreet. Thanks to Karl Reinsalu, Gareth Jasper, Ben Donoghue, Sebastjan Henrickson, Lianna Hillerup, Adam Jackson, and Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof.
"[Broomer] uses the gorgeous grain of vibrant 16mm projections, layered to near-abstraction, to suggest the entropic creep of time in observing the beauty of destroyed buildings and hinting at other kinds of transcendence that might have taken place in the wreckage of a burned-down church." Joe Strutt, Mechanical Forest Sound
"Broomer layers and filters images of the church’s ruins, trying to bring to the screen the feel of the intricate graffiti that now adorns its walls and the rubble strewn about. “Christ Church - St. James” is in the mode of many avant-garde films that work as a weird kind of travelogue, conveying not just what a place looks like, but how it feels to visit." Noel Murray, The Dissolve
Christ Church - Saint James is distributed in North America by the Canadian Filmmakers' Distribution Centre (cfmdc.org/node/16062) and in Europe by Light Cone (lightcone.org/en/film-8158-christ-church-saint-james.html).
04/17/14 - Balagan Film Series, Brattle Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
01/30/14 - Sight Unseen, EMP Collective, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
01/14/14 - Open City Cinema, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
10/26/13 - LaunchPad Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, USA
08/26/13 - Portland Underground Film Festival, Portland, Oregon, USA
07/12/13 - 07/27/13 - Light & Time: 15 Years of the Loop Collective, exhibition, The Factory Media Arts Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
06/01/13 - 06/22/13 - Modern Edinburgh Film School Videotheque, MAKE SHIFT Exhibition, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
05/06/13 - Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany
04/23/13 - Cinéma Action Christine, Paris, France
04/13/13 - Images Festival, Jackman Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
02/01/13 - Kunstwerke, Köln, Germany
01/17/13 - IMA Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
09/27/12 - WNDX Festival of the Moving Image, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
09/14/12 - LightCone Scratch Expanded/Preview Show, Paris, France
07/20/12 - Imagem-Contato Festival, CineSESC, São Paulo, Brazil
05/31/12 - Chicago Underground Film Festival, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, lllinois, USA
04/18/12 - Athens International Film + Video Festival, Athena Cinema, Athens, Ohio, USA
11/30/11 - “The Loop Collective,” TIFF Cinematheque, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
09/28/10 - EXIS Film Festival, Diagonal Film Archive, Seoul, South Korea (rough cut screening)
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