It’s Not Finished Yet (Some Notes on Toronto Filmmaking)

 

by Blaine Allan (in Toronto: A Play of History, Power Plant, 1987)

“…Possession of voice and word, and their relation to ancestors become central questions in Judith Doyle’s Private Property/Public History and the first two films in Mike Cartmell’s ‘Egypt’ series… Prologue: Infinite Obscure and In the form of the letter ‘X’ proceed from a conceit: the shared syllable in the filmmaker’s name and that of Herman Melville, whose novel Moby-Dick Cartmell reads in a negative grey image against a white background, as an act of geneology and in an archaeological search for ancestry. While Doyle’s films trace a matrilinear heritage, Cartmell’s films hinge on the patrilinear line, the quest for name having as its goal the name of the father…”