TIFF15 REVIEW: Mobilize [2015]

Score: 6/10 | ★ ★ ½

Rating: NR | Runtime: 4 minutes | Release Date: 2015 (Canada)
Studio: National Film Board of Canada
Director(s): Caroline Monnet

One piece of a quartet entitled Souvenir—an anthology by Indigenous artists in Canada addressing Aboriginal identity and representation—ITWE Collective member Caroline Monnet‘s Mobilize proves an invigorating sort of time lapse look at the propulsion of life from hand-made disciplines in nature to the steel behemoths of modern cities set to Tanya Tagaq‘s “Uja”. Composed entirely of outtakes from the National Film Board of Canada’s archives of over 700 films, the staccato sounds resemble breathe heaving forward sharp and focused as snowshoes are strung before being used to walk in the woods for lumber which is cut and bent for canoes that bring humanity to civilization. It’s almost a music video playing on the tempo with an evolution of Aboriginals from forest to pavement.

The cuts are extremely fast to work in tandem with the song’s beats and the innocuous is mixed with the exciting in the process. For every quick glimpse of axes chopping into tree trunks comes wonderfully composed footage of a canoe driver moving towards us with camera positioned at the foot of his craft. Scenes of steel workers moving girders cross against a fashionable woman walking below—a city sprung from the snow and swamplands that come previously. It’s a story of two halves everyone can relate to and a look at Canada through the eyes of a filmmaker twice removed from the visuals’ original intent. The idea of the Souvenir project is a captivating one and Monnet’s quarter a nicely conceived curio of socially charged nostalgia.

courtesy of TIFF

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