SCREENING ROOM + CINEMA LOUNGE
in the Show Room Gallery at NAC
After the pandemic forced some scheduling changes, NAC was left with a gap in our fall program.
NAC’s Programming Committee decided to put our Show Room Gallery to use as a Screening Room for media art during daytime gallery hours and a Cinema Lounge for film screenings in the evenings.
The room will be pretty funky, we’ve cobbled together some comfortable recliners and sofas from kijiji, marketplace, and by donation. We’ll be able to accommodate 28 people at capacity, so it’s very intimate. We’ve got radiant heat, so no air will be moving around. You can think of it as a clubhouse for enthusiasts of the moving image. Films of all kinds will be shown, they’ll entertain, maybe even astonish, but they’ll all appeal to the intellect in some way.
THE SCREENING ROOM
Free admission + on view during gallery hours
Wed-Fri 12NN-5PM + Sat 12NN-4PM
Media works will be curated by NAC’s Programming Committee in partnership with VTAPE, an artist-run centre in Toronto that is Canada’s largest distributor of video art as well as the world’s largest distributor of Indigenous and First People’s film and video.
We’re kicking off the Screening Room with Parade by Oliver Husain. Husain deploys condominium sales fly-throughs (CGI promotional videos designed to seduce potential buyers by illustrating dreamy and uncluttered domestic and social scenarios), projecting and re-shooting the images on fluttering fabric to suggest pristine lives lived in elegant and austere boxes in the sky. At times the video is populated by alternately beautiful and creepy computer-enhanced urbanites, composite characters who go from work to shopping to working out to groomed perfection to ground-floor lounge drinks with compatriots, without stepping outside – though they may gaze longingly at the moon through a window or briefly traverse a manicured courtyard. At other times, the video clips resemble an unpeopled video or computer game – Myst, for example – in which the viewer wanders/drives/skates through architectures and landscapes designed for people but devoid of life. These scenes are at once dystopian and deeply alluring.
– Kathleen Smith
Still from Oliver Hussain's Parade, on display in NAC's Show Room Gallery until 28 October
THE CINEMA LOUNGE
Ticketed evening films screen Wednesday to Fridays
with occasional Saturday screening special events
Doors open at 7:30PM, screenings at 8:00PM
Limited seating. Tickets $10 +HST
The film program will embrace the esoteric and the things we typically don’t get opportunities to see in Niagara. They will be selected by NAC’s film program committee, the same team that once programmed the Film House and includes film scholars Barry Grant and Joan Nicks, longtime film programmers of the Brock University Film Series (BUFS).
Evening film screenings kick-off with Fanny: The Right To Rock, a documentary about an all-girl band that was among David Bowie’s favourite acts. Upcoming special events include a Gary Robbins night, St. Catharines’ own “Gentle Giant” and former mayoral candidate who had dastardly roles in a slew of horror films, as well as a screening of strange, astonishing, hilarious, and curious treasures from the world’s moving image archives, a cinematic cabinet of wonders that’s part of a North American-wide celebration of archival film on 18 November.
The film program will blend repertory titles—even some nights where we project 16mm film—as well as first-run features and documentaries.We’ll be bringing in guests to talk about the screenings and run a concession stand with homegrown, locally sourced fare.