Cineinfinito #33: Martha Davis (II)

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Martha Davis was born in London, Ontario in 1959. She recieved her Honours B.A. in Filmand Drama from the University of Toronto and began her career as a still photographer. She has made over twelve films and served on the boards of Directors of the Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Centre and The Funnel.

Her films have been screened in North America and RBTL was nominated for a Genie award in 1990. Davis is a newly retired teacher and an award winning children's author. She created 16 videos with her elementary students over her teaching career.

- Reading Between the Lines (1989), 16mm,  sound, color, 36minReading the replies to a personal ad she has placed, a woman imagines herself in relationships with three different men. The film uses both layering and fragmentation to weave a web of associations and create a dynamic and fast- moving flow of images and events. Quick flashbacks, like momentary thoughts, accumulate. The reading voice is the constant, a soft steady interior voice around which the images dance and leap. The most dramatic moments of a given scenario are played out in a realistic fashion, and some scenarios. differently imagined, are repeated with each of the men: the restaurant, the dance, the bath, the bed. Each letter conjures up a very different man. The first is young, domestic and likable, the second rich, exciting and arrogant, and the third older, exuberant, and vulnerable. The film runs the gamut of human emotions,from exuberance to melancholy, in its exploration of the thinking process.

"The film is as much about the futility of modern relationships as it is about the thinking process." –Gillian Morton , CFMDC

"(The film) sports the breezy lack of affectation characteristic of Davis' best work." –Cameron Bailey, NOW magazine

"(Davis) has a sure comic touch and an absolute passion for the nitty gritty detail that makes our lives so interesting." –Peter Goddard, Toronto Star

- PATH (1987), Super-8, sound, color, 104:00min
Employing a simple three-part structure, “PATH” is about personal experience and the interpretation of that experience. Both humorous and serious, the film is a cross-Toronto exploration, expansively taking in a wide variety of people, events and situations. In creating a dynamic web of associations, “PATH” invites participation in the act of perception.

The film’s structure works like this: Davis is filmed connecting dots on a street map; next she walks that distance on the street, filming as she goes; then she recalls and interprets what she has seen in memory sequences. The street sequences have a variety of different rhythms and are filled with surprises. She films a marathon race and a disarmament rally, walks along the route of the Santa Claus parade, witnesses a skirmish in which the police intervene, chases a little girl through a greenhouse, attends a scarecrow festival and runs through a cemetery, to mention but a few.

The memory sequences in “PATH” starts out being rather representational, but as the film unfolds become looser and more abstract: crude miniature drawings with magic marker give way to Davis’ performance of gestures later on. “PATH” makes itself up as it goes along, so is very much about the process of making art. “PATH” is diaristic in nature, shot chronologically over a two-year period through the changing seasons, and deals with personal history and experience through memory and association. Sound by Bill Grovel.

*All the screenings will be ntroduced by Martha Davis.

Screening format: HD (New digital transfers supervised by the filmmaker for this screening)


Thursday October 26th, 19:30h. 
Círculo de Bellas Arte. Calle Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid.

Carte Blanche: Friday October 27th, 10h. 
Master LAV. Calle Bustamante, 23, 28045 Madrid.

Saturday October 28, 21h. 
Zumzeig Cinema. Carrer de Béjar, 53, 08014 Barcelona.

Image Gallery: 

Reading Between the Line (Martha Davis, 1989)
Reading Between the Line (Martha Davis, 1989)


Círculo de Bellas Artes - Madrid, España


Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 19:30



Thursday, October 26, 2017 - 19:30
  • Calle Alcalá, 42
    28014   Madrid
    40° 25' 6.312" N, 3° 41' 47.9004" W