R. Bruce Elder: A Man Whose Life was Full of Woe has been Surprised by Joy


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A Man Whose Life Was Full of Woe Has Been Surprised By Joy is about transformationsabout transformations of imagery through collage and montage, about history as transformation, about eros as a transformative power, and, most of all, about the transformations of the self. It rejects modernity's inhumane technological order and seeks to reconnect the body and the self.

Filmmaker R. Bruce Elder is one of Canada's most celebrated experimental filmmakers and critics. His films have assumed the form of the epic, after Pound. They reflect an exhaustive tour of history, philosophy and vision, qualities that led Jonas Mekas to call him "the most important North American avant-garde filmmaker to emerge during the 1980s."

First pressing, limited edition of 1000.

1997 / 96 minutes / colour / stereo / 1.37:1AR


  • Newly restored digital master from the film’s elements, approved by director R. Bruce Elder
  • Commentary by R. Bruce Elder and film historian Stephen Broomer
  • Whence Comes a Vision, a new interview with R. Bruce Elder
  • From Glass into Flesh, a new video essay by Broomer
  • Liner notes by intellectual historian Christian Roy


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35 CAD


Publishing date: 

Friday, November 3, 2023


96 min