Jack Chambers Brett Kashmere May 2002 Great Directors Issue 20 Issue 20 John Chambers b. March 25, 1931, London, Canada. d. April 13, 1978, London, Canada. This essay includes excerpts from “Making the Anonymous Familiar: A Reconsideration of Jack Chambers’ Circle,” in The Films of Jack Chambers, ed. Kathryn Elder, Cinémathèque Ontario, September 2002. Distributed in Canada by Wilfrid Laurier University Press and elsewhere by Indiana University Press. filmography bibliography web resources Chambers: Life and Work Celebrated Canadian artist and arts organiser Jack Chambers is perhaps best known as one of Canada’s foremost modern painters. Born March 25, 1931 in London, Ontario, Chambers initially received art instruction at London’s Beck Collegiate in 1944. Following secondary studies at the H.B. Beal Technical School (1946-49), he spent six months touring Mexico. Upon returning home to London in 1950, he worked construction, learned the trade of grinding optical lenses, and juggled various odd jobs before enrolling in a general arts program at the University of Western Ontario. In 1953, after less than a year at UWO, he withdrew from classes and left for Europe, travelling through Italy, Austria, France and Spain. While in Valauris, France, he sought out Pablo Picasso, who advised Chambers to continue his art studies in Spain. From 1953 to 1959 he trained at the San Fernando Academia de Bellas Artes in Madrid, receiving a diploma in Fine Arts. After two years living and painting in Chinchon, Spain, then Madrid, he returned to London in 1961 upon learning that his mother was dying of cancer. Back in London, Chambers discovered a vibrant regional art scene was just beginning to flourish. Forgoing his planned return to Spain, he remained in London to realise, alongside artists such as Greg Curnoe and Tony Urquhart, one of the most significant episodes in the history of Canadian art. Perhaps motivated by his colleagues’ talent, ambition, and sense of camaraderie, and perhaps having reconciled his own conflicting attitudes toward London, (1) Chambers’ painting matured rapidly throughout the 1960s, progressing from Surrealist-inspired dreamscapes and figurative landscapes to complex mixed media compositions to precise photo-realism. As David Burnett observes, “It was not Chambers’ way to work through incremental progress; the changes that occur in his work are decisive and clearly marked.” (2) By the end of the decade Chambers had become one of Canada’s most recognised and best selling painters. (3) However, two mid-decade developments indicate Chambers’ dissatisfaction with the conditions of popular acceptance he had, somewhat unintentionally, achieved through his more colourful figurative painting. A series of monochrome “silver paintings,” completed between 1966 and 1967 using aluminum paint, require the viewer to move across the canvas in order to perceive the image’s transition from positive to negative and vice versa (depending on the angle of light). These paintings were clearly informed by his increasing interest in filmmaking: during the mid-to-late ’60s Chambers crafted a small but influential body of films that trace the beginnings of Canada’s experimental tradition. His films, including Circle (1969), an intimate portrait of Chambers’ home and community, and the feature-length epic, The Hart of London (1970), extend his concerns with light, time and perception. Moreover, these films, which combine ordinary subject matter, amateur aesthetics, and minimal, contrapuntal soundtracks, reflect a conscious movement away from professional (read: commercial) styles and modes of production. Circle is a 30-minute film, structured in three parts. Appropriately described by Gene Youngblood as an “extended haiku,” the film weaves elusive meaning out of simple form. Two slender black-and-white sequences – a prologue shot in Chambers’ own living room, and an epilogue crafted from archival footage of London (Ontario) – parenthesise the film’s austere centre. This middle section, photographed in stark colour with fixed aperture and framing, records the same square of Chambers’ backyard one day at a time over the course of a year. In four-second clips, taken at approximately ten o’clock each morning, the flow of nature is grafted like a transparency onto urban space, offering us something that we can both see (in ephemeral flux) and see through (to the stability of a familiar scene). By giving form to the complex interplay of experience (the in-gathering of “wow” moments, such as the sight of a first snowfall) and automatic “sensory perception,” Circle fulfils the central tenet of “Perceptual Realism,” (4) Chambers’ aesthetic credo written almost in tandem with the film’s production. While the prominent middle section is at once a text of Canadian weather, a Romantic rendering of the human ambition to contain and order nature and a symbolic treatment of landscape, Circle‘s introduction and conclusion also offer intimate (albeit brief) portraits of the private and public layers of Chambers’ London environment. These sequences magnify the film’s perplexing character: modest in ambition and design, and straightforward in its representation of place, Circle remains rich in personal mystery. Like Circle, The Hart of London combines archival newsreels with original footage while adding an undercurrent of simmering violence to the mix. Superimposing found images of a deer being trapped and killed in downtown London with antiquated images of the city in industrial transition (trolleys and automobiles share the street with horse-drawn carriages), Chambers re-creates an urban history that is original, expansive, and severe. As a parallel to the thematic motif of the persecuted deer, Chambers introduces chilling colour footage of lambs being slaughtered (photographed on a return visit to Spain) at the film’s midway point. Chambers writes, “In the second part of the film [these slaughterhouse] images become symbolic of the pursuit and death of the deer. This theme is repeated again and again in the real images of everyday life.” (5) These “real images” include several staged, mechanical spectacles (a teenager diving into an icy river, crowds gathering to observe a brush fire), as well as repetitive, banal daily activities (a man trimming his hedges, Chambers cutting his lawn). The consistent tension generated and sustained over the course of its demanding length, without the aid of musical cues or voice-over exposition, demonstrates why The Hart of London is considered Chambers’ greatest cinematic achievement. Fred Camper, for instance, identifies The Hart of London as “one of those rare films that succeeds precisely because of its sprawl.” (6) Stan Brakhage, meanwhile, has described The Hart of London as one of “the few GREAT films of all cinema – ‘great’ in the meaning of the word which suggests the breadth and depth it contains within the length it supports.” (7) Until 1990, Chambers’ first three films, Mosaic (1965), a lyrical treatment of the life-death-life cycle, Hybrid (1966), a protest film against the napalming of Vietnamese children, and R-34 (1967), a film portrait of Greg Curnoe, were long out of circulation (I suspect since the time of Chambers’ death in 1978). While he was alive, Chambers handled the distribution of his films himself, under the name London Film Co-op, a one-man “company” that he operated out of his own home. All of his completed films are now available through Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Centre (Toronto). However, a sixth film, C.C.C.I. (c. 1970), remains out of circulation completely; its current whereabouts are a mystery. Thought to be unfinished, C.C.C.I. was screened in public on several occasions during Chambers’ lifetime, including the 1977 World Film Festival in Montreal. (8) Two other films, Life Still (c. 1970), also considered incomplete, and Little Red Riding Hood (1967), a collaboration between Chambers, Curnoe, and the London poet James Reaney, round out Chambers’ filmography. Following a ten-year battle with leukemia Chambers died on April 13, 1978 at the age of 47 in London, Ontario. Critical Reception In a letter dated 16 September 1977, Stan Brakhage writes, “Jack Chambers is one of Canada’s most famous AND greatest living painters.” So why, he asks, “have his film been neglected.?” (9) Brakhage’s comments were made less than a year before Chambers’ death, bringing into focus several interesting starting points for an analysis of the early critical reception and subsequent response to Chambers’ film oeuvre since the 1960s. For one thing, there have been significant renewals of interest in his films over the last 25 years, culminating in the late 1980s with two major events, (10) and continuing into the current millennium with a conference dedicated exclusively to Chambers’ work in the film medium. (11) These additions to the discourse surrounding Chambers’ films have yet to be addressed adequately in the literature, and the assumption persists that Chambers was, and remains, a neglected filmmaker. Brakhage’s statements also underline a critical problem regarding Jack Chambers, namely that he has traditionally been considered a painter/filmmaker (rather than “interdisciplinary” artist) and this doubling or artistic split personality may have influenced the comparatively sparse treatment of his films over the years. (12) Finally, Brakhage’s comments raise questions around the issue of who dictates (cinematic) taste in the cultural domain; the presumed neglect of Chambers’ films has, at least since 1977, been attributed to a lack of critical interest. The paltry critical recognition afforded Jack Chambers’ films in the ’60s and ’70s by Canada’s film intelligentsia is typical of the avant-garde’s marginalised status during its formative period. (13) It should not be surprising, therefore, that most of the criticism of Chambers’ film work of that time was published in visual art periodicals such as Canadian Art, artscanada and Artmagazine, and usually integrated with commentary on painting. Barry Lord, writing in artscanada, suggests that Chambers’ films have “begun to recapitulate the development of his paintings.” (14) Gene Youngblood, also in artscanada, states that “Chambers, in my estimation one of the most important painters at work today, manages to invest his films with that special quality of ‘cosmic fantasy’ that characterizes his paintings.” (15) Mario Amaya, in a review of Chambers’ paintings published in Art in America, observes that Circle “approximates the analysis of changing light on a particular subject that so obsessed Monet.” (16) The expansion of Chambers’ formal and thematic concerns from painting into filmmaking is also the theoretical underpinning of Bruce Elder’s detailed analysis of Circle. His essay “From Painting into Cinema” is the most thorough and convincing example of this approach so far. (17) By expounding on Chambers’s period of silver paintings (1966/67) as a key transitional passage in the development of his cinematic interests, Elder cogently traces the artist’s preoccupation with light and time as manifested in Circle, and investigates the Romantic character of Chambers’ ideas about art, nature and perception, as set out in his artistic manifesto “Perceptual Realism,” showing how these ideas, too, find a precise articulation in Circle. The appearance of Elder’s article in 1981 marked the beginning of a period of renewed interest in Chambers’ films that would continue into the 1980s. During this decade Elder continued to publish intermittently on Chambers, prompting other critics, filmmakers and film programmers to engage with Chambers’ film ouvre (although none would approach it with similar rigour until Bart Testa did so at the end of the decade). A documentary detailing the artist’s life and work, Chambers: Tracks and Gestures, produced by Christopher Lowry and John Walker, was released in 1982 to enthusiastic reviews. In 1984, under the guidance of Tom Graff, an entire issue of The Capilano Review, a Vancouver-based arts journal, was devoted to Jack Chambers’ films. This issue was intended as an accompanying catalogue for a retrospective of Chambers films that was to be presented by Pacific Cinémathèque in Vancouver. However, legal issues contributed to the retrospective’s delay and the exhibition was postponed until 1989, when a screening of newly restored prints of the five completed films opened the first and only International Experimental Film Congress. Following directly on the heels of the Spirit in the Landscape exhibition, the Congress tribute attempted to further clarify Chambers’ importance within the early period of Canadian experimental film to an international audience of filmmakers, cinéastes, and scholars. Chambers in Context Jack Chambers’ position in the Canadian avant-garde cinema of the 1960s can be assessed by reference to the changing contours of Canadian cultural policy around the time of Expo 67 (held in Montreal). Other factors, such as the Canada Council’s financial commitment to experimental film beginning in 1967, the emergence of the campus underground as a viable alternative exhibition network, the establishment of Canadian Artists’ Representation (CAR), (18) also in 1967, and the development of independent film distribution cooperatives in Toronto, London, Montreal and Vancouver late in the ’60s, all helped to determine the practical conditions necessary for a sustainable Canadian avant-garde cinema. In 1957, following recommendations made in 1951 by the Royal Commission on the National Development of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (the Massey Report), the Canada Council was formed as an arm’s-length arts council with full responsibility for its programs and grant decisions. However, Council funding was not available to filmmakers until the late ’60s, when Chambers received a grant to finish R-34. By trading on his status as an “already subsidized [sic] painter” Chambers was able to frame his request in terms that gave the impression his filmmaking and painting were synchronised practices, in effect interdependent and interchangeable. The fact that the highly visible Canadian painters Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland (then living in New York City) were also establishing themselves as filmmakers at this time surely helped expedite the Council’s acceptance of film as a credible artistic medium. The initial commitment to experimental film on the part of the Canada Council combined with the cultural excitement that was rising around Expo 67 provided an economic base for the avant-garde cinema’s growth in Canada. The scale of Expo alone prompted huge increases in cultural funding, not to mention the creation of several new arts initiatives. Furthermore, the success of the multi-screen experiments of Expo 67 such as Labyrinth (Colin Low and Roman Kroitor, 1967), and other artistic films that were screened during Expo, such as Chambers’ R-34 and Hybrid, helped increase the audience demand for non-conventional films towards the end of the decade. Canadian film scholar Seth Feldman identifies the success of the Expo 67 films as a major stimulus (along with mid ’60s McLuhanism and the birth of the Canadian Film Development Corporation in 1967) for the increased demand for university film courses in the ’60s and ’70s. (19) Since the avant-garde cinema was proposing a new kind of film, a new kind of viewing environment was also necessary. The 16mm projection equipment that had been integrated into schools and universities during the 1950s helped to provide an exhibition and distribution network for the Canadian avant-garde in the 1960s: college campuses essentially began to function as a ready-made parallel theatre chain. Chambers’ primary motivation for forming the London Film Co-op in 1968 was to get his films distributed. In the 1960s, thanks in part to the New American Cinema’s breakthrough success (not to mention Andy Warhol’s international celebrity), screenings of avant-garde films on Canadian university campuses became quite common. Through these screenings, Canadian film experimentalists such as Chambers had an opportunity to network with and gain knowledge from their American opposite numbers. Chambers was especially influenced by Stan Brakhage’s work; Brakhage’s Window Water Baby Moving (1959) has been cited as a primary inspiration for Chambers’ first film, Mosaic. Brakhage was also instrumental in getting Chambers’ films some distribution in the United States, initiating Chambers’ first American screening, held on November 15, 1977 at Pacific Film Archive. However, because Chambers was unable to travel due to his deteriorating health and myriad artistic commitments, his films were, even then, seldom noticed beyond the occasional passing references in film festival or visual art overviews. (20) The contrast between Brakhage’s ubiquitous presence and Chambers’ near absence (except close to home) on the late ’60s university circuit helps explain why Chambers’ films were not more widely seen and, therefore, written about. The emergence of the campus underground, coupled with the establishment of film co-operatives like Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, London Film Co-op, the Intermedia Film Co-op (Vancouver), and the Independent Film Makers Co-op (Montreal), allowed an effective system of distribution to develop; this network of parallel co-ops also helped to establish lines of communication between filmmakers in different parts of the country who would otherwise not have had means of contact. Jack Chambers’ pioneering involvement with CAR, a national arts service organisation founded on Chambers belief in “fair exchange: payment for services,” assured that filmmakers would eventually be compensated for the exhibition and reproduction of their work. It was within this cultural-historical milieu that Chambers worked to unite the various aspects of what remains Canada’s experimental film apparatus. His most decisive contribution to the development of a sustained, alternative Canadian cinema, however, was in the films he made, expanding on his own artistic strategies and concerns. As an early predecessor of subjective autobiography, Chambers’ work anticipates the first-person, diary strain that surfaced in Canadian avant-garde film during the 1960s and ’70s, emerging simultaneously in films such as Chambers’ Mosaic and Circle, Watersark (Joyce Wieland, 1965), and personal documentaries made by the NFB experimentalist Derek May. (21) The traces of this impressionistic diary mode can be located in a wide range of later films including House Movie (Rick Hancox, 1972), The Art of Worldly Wisdom (Bruce Elder, 1979), The Road Ended at the Beach (Phillip Hoffman, 1983), Was (Mike Hoolboom, 1989), and You Take Care Now (Ann Marie Fleming, 1989). And the integration of quotidian subject matter and amateur tactics into film texts and formal repertoire, by, respectively, Chambers and Wieland, effaced the boundary between avant-garde film and “home movie.” Films such as Nursing History (Marian McMahon, 1989), Girl from Mouch (Gariné Torossian, 1993), Zyklon Portrait (Elida Schogt, 1999), and What these ashes wanted (Phillip Hoffman, 2001) testify to the enduring influence of Chambers and Wieland on the fusion of art and life in Canadian first-person cinema. Filmography Films directed by Chambers: Mosaic (1964-65, b&w., so., 9 min.) Hybrid (1966, col., sil., 15 min.) Little Red Riding Hood (in collaboration with Greg Curnoe and James Reaney) (1967, col., so., 25 min.) R-34 (1967, col., so., 30 min.) Circle (1968-69, col./b&w., so., 28 min.) The Hart of London (1968-70, col./b&w., so., 79 min.) C.C.C.I. (work-in-progress) c.1970 Life Still (work-in-progress) c.1970 Films about Chambers: Chambers (Fraser Boa, 1969, col., so., 41 min.) Life Force (Peter Mellen, 1974, col., so., 26 min.) Chambers: Tracks and Gestures (Christopher Lowry and John Walker, 1982, col., so., 57 min.) Select Bibliography Chambers, John (Jack), “Perceptual Realism.” Artscanada 26, no. 136-137 (Oct. 1969): 7-13. _____, “Perceptualism, Painting and Cinema.” Art and Artists 7, no. 9 (Dec. 1972): 28-33. Elder, R. Bruce, “Forms of Cinema, Models of Self: Jack Chambers’ The Hart of London.” Feldman, Seth, ed. Take Two. Toronto: Irwin, 1984. 264-74. _____, “From Painting into Cinema: A Study of Jack Chambers’ Circle.” Journal of Canadian Studies 16, no. 1 (Spring 1981): 60-81. _____, Image and Identity: Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 1989. _____, “The Persistence of Vision: On Jack Chambers’ Paintings and Films.” Descant 34-35-36 (Winter 1981-82): 227-243. Feldman, Seth, “The Hart of London.” Film Quarterly 29, no. 4 (Summer 1976): 54-57. Graff, Tom, “Foreword.” Graff, Tom, ed. Jack Chambers Films. The Capilano Review 33 (1984): 4-6. _____, “Tribute to Jack Chambers.” International Experimental Film Congress. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 28 May-4 June, 1989. 13-17. _____, ed., “Notebook and Ideas.” Graff, Tom, ed. Jack Chambers Films. The Capilano Review 33 (1984): 12-46. Levine, Richard M., “Jack Chambers’ Hart of London.” Millennium Film Journal 10-11 (Fall-Winter 1981-1982): 181-85. Rosenberg, Avis Lang, “The Hart of London: A Film by Jack Chambers.” Criteria 1, no.1 (June 1974): 3-4. Testa, Bart, “A Movement Through Landscape.” Spirit in the Landscape. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1989. 19-32. Woodman, Ross G, “Artists as Filmmakers.” Artscanada 25, no. 118-19 (June 1968): 35. _____, Chambers: John Chambers Interviewed by Ross G. Woodman. Toronto: Couch House Press, 1967. _____, “Jack Chambers as Film-Maker.” O’Brien, Paddy, ed. Jack Chambers: The Last Decade. London: London Regional Art Gallery, 15 Nov. 1980-11 Jan. 1981. 17-25. Youngblood, Gene, “The New Canadian Cinema: Images From the Age of Paradox,” Artscanada 27, no. 142-143 (April 1970): 7-12. Note: A complete annotated guide to the Chambers film literature will be published in the forthcoming book, The Films of Jack Chambers, ed. Kathryn Elder (Toronto: Cinematheque Ontario, 2002). Web Resources Compiled by the author The Canadian Encyclopedia This wide-ranging site includes a concise biography of Jack Chambers, focusing on his development as a painter, as well as other relevant entries on a number of related topics (such as experimental film, modern painting and cultural policy). Despite the site’s overall accuracy and usefulness the Chambers profile nonetheless contains one piece of conflicting information. The biography maintains Chambers completed eight films between 1964 and 1970 even though two of his films, C.C.C.I. and Life Still, are presumed to be incomplete, while a third, Little Red Riding Hood, was a collaborative project. Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre CFMDC is the leading distributor of experimental film in Canada. Their website also contains a short biography of Chambers, as well as a select bibliography and synopses of five Chambers films (all in distribution). Note: Both the biography and bibliography contain significant errors and/or omissions. The biography, for instance, incorrectly claims that Chambers founded London Film Co-op in England. The bibliography meanwhile is poorly organised and the information it provides is incomplete. The Hart of London, a film by Jack Chambers Review essay of this film, written by Fred Camper. Endnotes In a 1967 interview, Chambers revealed his initial impetus to leave London, stating “The part of Canada I knew was utilitarian, puritanical, indifferent to anything that was not a ‘safe job’ and a ‘proper living.'” Quoted in Ross Woodman, Chambers: John Chambers Interviewed by Ross G. Woodman (Toronto: Coach House Press, 1967), p. 3. David Burnett, Jack Chambers Retrospective (London, ON: London Regional Art Gallery, 1988), p.14. For more on Chambers’ financial success, see Alan Walker, “What Makes Jack Chambers Canada’s Top-Priced Painter?” Canadian Magazine [The Toronto Daily Star] (6 Feb. 1971): pp. 18-21. See also Ross Woodman, “Canada’s Finest Painter,” Business Quarterly 27, no. 4 (Winter 1972): pp. 72-76. Jack Chambers, “Perceptual Realism,” artscanada 26, no. 136/37 (Oct. 1969): 7-13. Jack Chambers, “Hart of London,” London Film Co-op, distribution catalogue. Fred Camper, “The Hart of London, a film by Jack Chambers,” link below. Stan Brakhage, from a letter reprinted in Tom Graff, ed., “Notebooks and Ideas,” Jack Chambers’ Films, ed. Tom Graff, The Capilano Review 33 (1984): p. 43. (His emphasis). For a brief description of C.C.C.I., see Jack Chambers, “Perceptualism, Painting and Cinema,” Art and Artists 9 (Decemeber 1972): p. 33. A listing for C.C.C.I. in the London Film Co-op distribution catalogue indicates the film would be available for rent as of January 1972. Brakhage, “Notebooks and Ideas,” p. 43. The letter was originally addressed to Edith Kramer, a film programmer at Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, California). Spirit in the Landscape, a survey exhibition of Canadian avant-garde cinema conceived and curated by filmmaker Richard Kerr, was held from March 28 to April 24, 1989 at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). Circle was one of the films included in this five-part series. The International Experimental Film Congress, which opened with a retrospective tribute to Jack Chambers, was held from May 28 to June 4, 1989, also at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Both events produced accompanying catalogues that are in general circulation. The Jack Chambers Film Project was held at Museum London (London, Ontario), March 9-10, 2002. The conference included screenings of films by and about Chambers, panel discussions and a lecture by Stan Brakhage on The Hart of London. Brakhage subsequently answers his own question as follows: “I feel that it is because his films do NOT arise as an adjunct to his painting (as is true in the case of most other painter film-makers) but that, rather, Jack Chambers has realized the almost opposed aesthetics of paint and film and has created a body of moving pictures so crucially unique as to fright paint buffery” (43). Comments by Bart Testa at The Jack Chambers Film Project further reinforce this point. During his panel presentation Testa stated that Chambers’ filmmaking “projected the sense of a complete artist in a wholly new medium. It was as if there were two Jack Chambers, one who made films and one who painted, joined you might say with the person of Chambers.” Thanks to Christopher Doty for videotapes of the panel. The only reference I have discovered regarding avant-garde activity in the Canadian film literature of the 1960s is a column written by Marshall Delaney (a.k.a. Robert Fulford) in August 1967, describing Cinethon, a 45-hour festival of (mostly American) underground films held at Cinecity (Toronto). In one characteristic passage Fulford writes “I’ve seen fourteen films at the Cinethon, and only three or four have actually engaged my imagination. I find myself examining the others with an almost clinical detachment. They are not interesting in themselves; what is interesting is that someone has gone to the trouble of making them,” (19). The only Canadian filmmaker mentioned is Joyce Wieland. Although he snidely criticises Wieland’s mixed media presentation, Fulford does allow that Wieland is “an impressively talented painter” (17). See Fulford, “The Canadian Scene,” Marshall Delaney at the Movies: The Contemporary World as Seen on Film (Toronto: Peter Martin Associates, 1974): 15-23. Barry Lord, “Let There Be Darkness,” artscanada 25, no. 124/27 (Dec. 1968): 27. Gene Youngblood, “The New Canadian Cinema: Images from the Age of Paradox,” artscanada 27, no. 142/43 (April 1970): 9. Mario Amaya, “Canada: Jack Chambers,” Art in America 58, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1970): 121. Bruce Elder, “From Painting into Cinema: A Study of Jack Chambers’ Circle,” Journal of Canadian Studies 16, no. 1 (Spring 1981): 60-81. Sometime in 1974 CAR added the French translation “Le Front des artistes canadiens” to its official title and became CAR/FAC, which it remains today. Seth Feldman, “Film Education,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, link below. Feldman’s 1976 review of The Hart of London, the first critical study of Chambers’ work published in a film periodical, was something of a turning point in terms of where, how and by whom Chambers films were written about. J. Hoberman, the film critic for The Village Voice, bridges the divide between Feldman’s article and the later commentary with two complimentary short reviews printed at the end of the seventies. See Hoberman, “A Bunch from Ann Arbor,” Village Voice (11 Dec. 1978): p. 61; “The Best of the Apples and Pears,” Village Voice (1 Jan. 1979): p. 41. . First person subjectivity was unique within Canadian cinema of the 1960s, as it established an important break from the overly didactic, institutional form of the National Film Board’s more widely circulated productions during this period. See, for example, Fields of Sacrifice (Donald Brittain, 1964), Memorandum (Donald Brittain, 1965), and Helicopter Canada (Eugene Boyko, 1966).