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Mike Hoolboom, film-maker, writer, Canada


"Rain is a slow motion reverie which voices the hopes and regrets of adults who have grown into the pictures which awaited them as children." - Esma Moukhtar, Montevideo Catalogue


Man 1: In the first half of my life I moved towards all that gave me pleasure. But after the accident, the accident of growing older, I became cautious, preferring the same roads to work, a familiar breakfast, marriage. Because my memory is a limited resource, like gold or uranium, I go back over my life slowly, running fingers over the moments until I can taste them again. Remembering is like running backwards, an art I practiced with a friend from childhood, Oscar, who says there are just two tragedies in life. Not getting what you want. And getting it.

Text on screen: Sixteen years earlier

Woman 1: No, not at first. The way my father moved like he was trying to get away from something - from me, the children.

Man 2: Once I had a dream too, but when Marcia got pregnant I stopped having my life because I had theirs, the twins.

Woman 2: Everything slowed down, until each moment seemed to last a lifetime.

Woman 1: At first I liked being alone, but after awhile even that wasn't enough because there was still the voice inside, pushing and pulling at me.

Boy: I never saw my father after I was ten, but in a way I didn't have to. I could still hear him inside saying, "You're not normal, you're slow, an idiot, and everything you touch you break."

Woman 1: Conscience is a flood which never ends.

Man 1: Maybe today it'll be different. I want to love them, my mother and father, without saying the word 'but'."

Man 2: Yes.

Boy: I'm alone.

Man 1: And it's OK.

Man 2: It's love isn't it?

Woman 1: It's starting again.

Boy: But this time.

Man 1: This time I'm going through it.

Woman 1: I'm going through.

Mike Hoolboom on the project

This little movie used to be the closing note of my compilation feature Imitations of Life (2003), but in a fit of housekeeping I carved it away and let it have its own life, which was mostly through a ZDF TV rip that appeared, much to my surprise, on YouTube, in a hazy, hardly-there version that softened the gloss of the original thefts. Recently returned to it and restored the shine and posted on Vimeo, where it's available to anyone who might like to see it. Another attempt to rescue pictures that have been too well made, and lay stranded in a commercial wasteland, awaiting rescue and recycling.

Mike Hoolboom
Mike Hoolboom


Mike Hoolboom. Born: Korean War, the pill, hydrogen bomb, playboy mansion. 1980s: Film emulsion fetish and diary salvos. Schooling at the Funnel: collective avant-geek cine utopia. 1990s: failed features, transgressive psychodramas, questions of nationalism. 2000s: Seroconversion cyborg (life after death), video conversion: feature-length, found footage bios. Fringe media archaeologist: author of 7 books, editor/co-editor 12 books. Curator: 30 programs. Copyleft yes. Occasional employments: artistic director Images Fest, fringe distribution Canadian Filmmakers. 80 film/vids, most redacted. 9 features. 30 awards, 12 international retrospectives. 2 lifetime achievement awards. 24 books, 15 mags, 40 interviews, 100+ essays, 40 sound clips. mikehoolboom.com
For their contributions, advice and assistance, thanks to:
Alison Pridham, Aljaž Koprivnikar, Ari Raijas, Bill Mousoulis, Brendan Bonsack, Brian Short, Bronwen Manger, Caroline Rumley, Charles Olsen, Chris Luscri, Chris Windmill, Claudia Larose-Bell, Darko Duilo, Dave Bonta, David Quiles Guilló, Eduardo Yagüe, Fiona Tinwei Lam, Francesca Guiliani, Gemma Grist, Helen Dewbery, Ian Gibbins, Ivana Bojanić, Jackson, Jane Glennie, Jim Robson, Karen Dawson, Kathryn Darnell, James Meetze, Lino Mocerino, Liran Shachar, Lois P. Jones, Lori Ersolmaz, Lucia Sellars, Lucy English, Luigi Starace, Maria Vella, Marc Neys, Martin Kelly, Matt Hetherington, Matt Mullins, Mike Hoolboom, Nigel Wells, Pam Falkenberg, Paul Casey, R.W. Perkins, Sissy Doutsiou, Sylvia Toy St Louis, Vicky Mousoulis, the film-makers, writers and their collaborators.