The Horizontalist Manifesto /
les horizontalistes: manifeste

By L'Atelier national du Manitoba


WE call ourselves l’Atelier-National du Manitoba–to distinguish ourselves from the ‘Canadian filmmakers’–this horde of rag-pickers which makes good business out of its old rags.

WE declare the new films, the ‘Hollywood-North’ ones, the banal ones and others of this kind–are leprous.
            --don’t go too near them!
            --turn your eyes from them!
            --they are deadly!
            --danger of infection!

WE maintain the future of the art of Manitoba film lies in the disregard of these fabrications.  The death of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding-Cinema’ is necessary for the survival of true Manitoba film art.

WE appeal to hasten its death.

NOUS croyons que Pierre Falardeau est le seul cinéaste qui a correctement représenté la culture anglophone du Canada.  Pierre Falardeau est invité à rendre une visite officielle à l’Atelier à n’importe quel moment convenable.

WE educate the New Manitoba Man.  The New Man, freed of his hoop-jumping and Morley-Walker-sychophance, in the role of Cultural Officer will be an artistic génie unto-hisself.  The New Man, in scholarship upon the banks of the Assiniboine, will engage the Good Cinema–in creation, appreciation, and harvest.

WE reject the cool malice of hand-held camera images.  In staunch defiance, WE wish to resurrect the leering, high-speed zoom-in from the lonesome grave where it still festers, somewhere in late 1960s.

WE compose ciné-poems about our civic prison of misery.

WE believe in the narrative perfection that lies within the abstracted limelight underneath the scratch films of Stan Brakhage, the single frame savagery of Bruce Conner, the absurdist stuttering of Martin Arnold, the obsessive Super-8 of Robert Morin and the meticulous geometries of Norman McLaren.  WE wish to infect our dramatic plots with the formalist energies of these disfigured children of cinema.

WE feel cheated and unsatisfied when movies attempt to ingratiate themselves with punch lines and surprise endings–in the age of irony, there are no punch lines.

WE are inspired by the Wagonwheel and aurora borealis.

WE believe that every frame of film and every whisper of sound must be dehumanized beyond belief through the use of hand processing, Super-8 to 16mm blow-ups, Xerox photocopiers, desynchornized shutter speeds and optical printing.  The use of video is encouraged provided that it is recorded on low-fi VHS cassette cameras characteristic of the early 1980s and then transferred and re-transferred ad infinitum from one VHS tape to another and back again.  Digital technology (that scourge of Dogme!) is hateful, but Betamax may win amnesty on the condition that it too is subject to generational decomposition.  Only in this way can cinema achieve the depth of self-loathing and self-destruction worthy of its new homeland in Winnipeg.

WE dazzle the snowflakes with our projectors.

WE recognize the masters and their contributions. Monty Hall! Fred Penner! Burton Cummings! Bill Mosienko! Doug Henning! Bill Norrie! Nick Hill! These, the pariahs of phosphorescent Winnipeg stardom–agitate the permafrost and witness its lambent glow!

NOUS proposons de vivre dans un Manitoba possible, un Manitoba qui s’est fait perdu quelque part dans les nuages du passé; un Manitoba qui aurait pu été (un Manitoba qui aurait dû été!) s’il n’a pas ratté son rendez-vous avec histoire à la fin du 19e siècle.  NOUS avons décidé d’habiter dans ce Manitoba-là et nous rêvons du jour où la langue anglaise s’éffondra une fois pour toutes.  It is our sincere hope that Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s bilingualism policy secretly aimed to destroy the English language, for we believe this is a resolutely good thing.


WE demand:
            --away
from the formal bouquet-throwing of the empty ‘contemporary Canadian’ film; from the claws of imitative, careerist cinematic hucksters; from the sweet hugs of opportunistic critics and proclaimed authorities of movie.
            --away
into the field of cultural introspection and civic self-loathing; toward the construction of film community worth its weight in Nips; closer to the Filmic Eucharist.

Notre lutte est une lutte de liberté et de l’indépendence.  Notre pays, la vraie patrie de notre Manitoba, c’est le Québec, pas le Canada.  Nous avons confiance, qu’un jour, il y aura un rendez-vous normal avec histoire que le Québec tiendra, et nous avons confiance que le Manitoba sera là avec lui, ensemble, pour y assister.


M. Rankin
W. Forsberg

 

 


Written Janvier 2005.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

L'ATELIER NATIONAL DU MANITOBA IS AN ART CLUB AND FILMMAKING COLLECTIVE BASED IN WINNIPEG.


 


INCITE Journal of Experimental Media
Issue Number One (Fall 2008-Spring 2009)


 

 

 

 

 


 

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