A native of London, Ontario, Jack Chambers (1931-1978) was already renowned as a painter before he ventured into filmmaking. He completed six films; the last was his masterpiece, The Hart of London, begun the year he was diagnosed with leukemia. This feature-length experiment in “perceptual realism” combines newsreels, found photography, and original footage. “It's a film of startling juxtapositions that seems to be speaking to elemental issues of life and death, yet it also manages to interweave five or six grand themes and let the viewer feel that they are logically interrelated” (Fred Camper, Chicago Reader). Chief among them is our alienation from nature, evoked in the opening footage of the capture and killing of a deer that has wandered into London, and reprised in every major scene thereafter as one of the costs of civilization.
“One of the few GREAT films of all cinema.” Stan Brakhage
The Hart of London | Canada, 1970. Dir: Jack Chambers. 79 min. 16mm
Programmed by Michèle Smith
Print courtesy of CFMDC