Sunday, March 27, 2022

An Experimental Film Short from The Funnel, Unways


In February of 2017, I wrote a piece on my experiences with Toronto's experimental film collective, "The Funnel" (1977 - 1989). My involvement with the group was from sitting in front of a screen during late 1984 and early 1985. Those twice-weekly screenings were more than worth my time, but for some reason, probably because I was in my first year of film school at that time, I did not become a member or get to know any of the gang.

One such (filmmaker) gang member was Paul McGowan.

While looking up "the funnel toronto" on YouTube last year, I stumbled upon the above short, Unways. Immediately I spent fifteen minutes sitting in front of my monitor screen soaking up the filmmaker's early-1980s Super-8 effort.

It was time well spent, as I became immersed in Mr McGowan's film; losing myself in its hypnotic flashes, its fixed stare looking down the length of a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway train car. In some ways, Unways reminded me of Jonas Mekas' hypnotic 12-minute flickerama, Notes On the Circus (1966).

Paul McGowan enlisted the help of Funnel stalwart John Porter in execution of the time-lapse photographics, and for the fine audio track build, he worked with T. Michael Cluer. 

I wish more Funnel shorts were on YouTube.

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