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:
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.
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.




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issue #1: manifest
issue #2: counter-archive
issue #3: new ages
issue #4: exhibition guide
issue #5: blockbuster
issue #∞: forever
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back and forth
michael robinson
takahiko iimura
anders weberg
jim finn
jacqueline goss
benj gerdes and jennifer hayashida
sam green
oliver laric
thorsten fleisch
jennifer montgomery
stephen connolly
deborah stratman
bill brown
jon rafman
jennifer bolande
evan meaney
sabrina ratté

john lurie
stephen broomer
vanessa renwick

jake barningham

mike stoltz
molly surno
gwen trutnau
pablo marin
margaret rorison
jodie mack
leslie supnet
jesse mclean
kelly gallagher
jenni olson
taravat khalili
nazlı dinçel
mary helena clark
jim hubbard
margaret honda
alee peoples
jesse malmed
paul clipson
stephanie barber
sonya stefan
arnait video productions