May 12, 2011
Martin Lavut, Canada, 2006, 89 min 54 s
In this feature length documentary, filmmaker Arthur Lipsett’s close friend Martin Lavut documents the influence of the eccentric Oscar-nominated film genius. The world of cinema tragically lost Lipsett in 1986 when the Montreal-born artist committed suicide 2 weeks before his 50th birthday. This feature documentary celebrates the life and legacy of one of Canada’s greatest creative minds, who began his filmmaking career at the NFB.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Arthur Lipsett, Canada, 1965, 12 min 40 s
From Arthur Lipsett (Very Nice, Very Nice and 21-87), another incisive short film that looks at human might, majesty and mayhem. Compiled from some peculiar newsreel items of the last 50 years, the filmmaker calls this a time capsule yet his arrangement of pictures makes it almost explosive. There are hundreds of items, once front-page stuff, but all wryly grotesque when seen in this reshuffle of the past.
Very Nice, Very Nice
Arthur Lipsett, Canada, 1961, 6 min 59 s
Arthur Lipsett’s first film is an avant-garde blend of photography and sound. It looks behind the business-as-usual face we put on life and shows anxieties we want to forget. It is made of dozens of pictures that seem familiar, with fragments of speech heard in passing and, between times, a voice saying, “Very nice, very nice.” It was was critically acclaimed and plays frequently in festivals and film schools around the world.