Hoffman III: Experimental Processes

torn formations / The Films of Philip Hoffman

The Philip Hoffman “introretrospective” is made up of five screenings that include both Hoffman’s own films and the works of his Finnish collegues. The programme has been curated by Philip Hoffman and the Finnish film maker Sami van Ingen.

The limits of cinematic expression have changed and expanded, and also our historical awareness has developed. Canadian experimental filmmaker Philip Hoffman has deep and solid roots in Finland. He has worked twice as a teacher in the University of Art and Design Helsinki during the 1990s , and his influence is prominent in the work of several filmmakers who started their careers back then. Highly personal subject matter and experimentation are the key concepts of Philip Hoffman’s work, which, on the other hand, is also a visual body of memory and emotions.

Perttu Rastas
Senior Planning Officer, Finnish National Gallery

Experimental Processes

The program is inspired by the relationship Hoffman had with Finnish film and video artists in the early 1990’s, which assisted in the establishment and development of the first Finnish experimental film cooperative, Elokuvapaja. With funding assistance from AVEK, workshops and screenings were held for and with Finnish film and media artists, and this activity heavily influenced Hoffman’s own work in hand processing and image manipulation. It was a fertile time of beginnings. These collaborations influenced Hoffman in the creation of the Independent Imaging Retreat or ‘Film Farm’ in Mount Forest, Canada, which has just had its 20th Anniversary. Over the years several Finnish filmmakers visited the ‘Film Farm’. As well, Hoffman curated programs of new Finnish work, at Pleasure Dome in Toronto, and at The Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film in Durham Ontario in Canada.

Films in the screening:

Vapautemme Hinta
Finland / 1990 / 10 min / 16 mm, mute
Director: Seppo Renvall
Production:Helsingin elokuvapaja
Distribution: National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI)

Finland / 1992 / 4 min / digital
Director: Juha van Ingen
Distribution: AV-arkki

Kalvo XI (Membrane XI)

Someone is taking pictures behind a plane of glass. One by one the pictures are placed on the glass and slowly develop before our eyes to reveal the subject of the picture taking.

Finland / 1990 / 7 min / digital
Director: Marjatta Oja
Distribution: AV-arkki

Pyhä Yksinkertaisuus (Holy Simplicity)

This Lettrist film is a dazzling blend of text from Das Mondschaft, a poem by the German author Christian Morgenstern, shot from a computer screen, with a relentless looping soundtrack.

Finland / 1991 / 4 min / 16 mm
Directors: Mikko Maasalo, Denise Ziegler
Distribution: National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI)


Childhood angst is rekindled in this dark meditation on obsession and loss.

Finland / 1991 / 10 min / digital, mute
Director: Sami van Ingen
Distribution: Sami van Ingen


Shot in Helsinki, Leningrad, London, Cairo, Sydney and Uluru, during a time of tremendous change (1989–92), Chimera makes use of the single-frame zoom that builds a ‘splayed reality’, blends and bonds peoples, places and spaces.

Canada / 1995 / 15 min / 16 mm
Director: Philip Hoffman
Editing: Philip Hoffman, Vesa Lehko
Music: Tucker Zimmerman
Sound: Philip Hoffman, Vesa Lehko
Production: Chimera Imaging
Distribution: Philip Hoffman

P(l)ain Truth

Internal, psychological space is boldly reflected in P(l)ain Truth. Through an expressive musical score, and with frenetic and kinetic optical printing techniques, changes in mind and body during trans-gendering processes are revealed.

Finland / 1993 / 15 min / 35 mm
Director: Ilppo Pohjola
Editing: Arto Salo
Music: Glenn Branga
Production: Ilppo Pohjola / Crystal Eye
Distribution: Elokuvakontakti

By The Time We Got To Expo

Re-visiting a significant moment in Canadian history, the film uses found footage imagery taken from documentaries, and re-works them using tints and photochemical techniques to create a vibrant collision of colors, textures and forms in a display of beauty and decay.

Canada / 2015 / 9 min, digital
Director: Philip Hoffman, Eva Kolcze
Script: Philip Hoffman, Eva Kolcze
Editing: Philip Hoffman, Eva Kolcze
Sound: Joshua Bonnetta
Production: Chimera Imaging
Distribution: Philip Hoffman

Duration of the screening is 69 min.


  • Age limit: S


  • Orion: Thursday 28.1. at 17:00