Showtime: Thursday, September 14 at 3pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Peter Mettler and Andreas Züst’s attempt to capture the aurora borealis on film became a meditation on nature and technology, and on the very act of image-making itself.
An exquisite exploration of civilization in extremis, the limits of cinematic apprehension, and the idea of north, Picture of Light marked a turning point in the singular career of Peter Mettler, forming a bridge between his more psychology-driven early films and his peripatetic magnum opus, Gambling, Gods and LSD.
"I met a man who loves to watch the sky." Prompted by a challenge posed by Swiss polymath Andreas Züst — who would become both Picture of Light's executive producer and one of its enigmatic characters — this pre-digital expedition to capture the aurora borealis on celluloid follows Mettler and his cohort from their Toronto headquarters to Churchill, Manitoba, where forbidding weather yields downtime, which in turn yields fascinating encounters with local eccentrics, feats of mock bravado, and queries into technology, primal urges, and wonderment.
"Picture of Light confronts the ontological status of film," Peter Urquhart declared in Reverse Shot, "brandishing profundity, humour and many extraordinarily beautiful images." Buoyed by the musical squalls of avant-rock savant Jim O'Rourke, visions of the sought-after meteorological phenomena arrive first in fleeting glimpses and, eventually, in sustained surveys roiling with supernatural dazzle. But Mettler's voiceover and finely sculpted odyssey-narrative, favouring questions over answers, ever cognizant of the distance dividing lived experience from film-as-beguiling-surrogate, leave us with a lingering sense that some crucial element in all this remains tantalizingly elusive. - José Teodoro, TIFF 2017 Programme Guide
To commemorate Canada 150, this film was digitally restored by TIFF, Library and Archives Canada, The Cinémathèque québécoise, and The Cinematheque in Vancouver. This work was made possible by Presenting Partners The Government of Canada, The Royal Bank of Canada and The Government of Ontario, and by Supporting Partner Telefilm Canada. Restoration work carried out at Technicolor, Toronto and Montreal, with soundtrack restoration by Lou Solakofski of Tattersall Sound and Picture, and Peter Bräker sound design, Switzerland, under the supervision of Director Peter Mettler.
August 29th - October 29th / Venice, Italy
Imago Mundi Art is the collection of works commissioned by Luciano Benetton. The 10x12 cm canvas aims to unite the diversities of our world in the name of common artistic experience.
The exhibit is on display at the Palazzo Loredan in Venice, Italy, curated by Francesca Valente with Peter Mettler participating among 216 diverse Canadian artists.
July 26 - 30
Gimli Film Festival will be screening Picture of Light. Read the programmers picks: http://gimlifilm.com/films/programmers-picks/
On July 21, Open Air Summer Cinema will be showing Picture of Light at Centrum Nauki Kopernik in Warsaw, Poland. For more information please contact: https://goo.gl/NUgD9W
Silvie plays the piano and Bryan the cello. Together the Ottawa siblings make up Cheng² Duo and together they are touring the world. On June 23 (ticketed they’ll present a specially developed performance of music that they have commissioned that will speak to the five regions of Canada. Performance at the National Gallery of Canada, visuals by award-winning Canadian painters, photographers, and filmmakers, including Edward Burtynsky, Mercury Films Inc. , Artless Collective / Aerials North, Peter Mettler & Parks Canada
The Star reports on TIFF's analog inheritance.
The festival is the beneficiary of a substantial collection of 16mm and 35mm prints including eleven Alfred Hitchcock classics. Other notable titles include The Big Lebowski (1998), Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931) and John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), along with Peter Mettler films.
Later in the month Peter will unite with musician Franz Treichler (Vocalist of The Young Gods) and anthropologist Jeremy Narby (Author of The Cosmic Serpent) for three live performances of Yoshtoyoshto in Lausanne and Geneva. This 3-way mix of hypnotic technologies with oral tradition, transforms and re-contextualizes self-made and collected materials. In so doing, it engages in a kind of divination of the mediated world’s ‘unconscious’.
Happy holidays! If you're in Toronto, check out the wabi holiday jam, featuring live image mixing by Peter Mettler alongside VJs Farbraumlenkungsaktiv and Kuro, and featuring DJs nitsuji, ozawa, task and otaku. At Burdock Brewery, 1184 Bloor St W, Toronto, Ontario M6H 1N2. December 30, 2015, doors at 9pm.
Peter Mettler performs a live film mix as part of THE WHOLE SHEBANG: TAKEN BY NIGHT 2015, November 26, 27 & 28th, 2015 - 918 Bathurst St. Toronto, presented by Dreamwalker Dance Company.
The Whole Shebang 2015 invites audiences into an enchanted, mysterious, multi-sensory, interdisciplinary performance experience as they journey through the hours of night.
Created by Andrea Nann and Helen Yung featuring artists: Sarah Chase, Brendan Wyatt, Kate Holden, Tom Kuo, Elysha Poirier, Clea Minaker, Lauren Gilles, Michael Ondaatje, Jenn E. Norton, Peter Mettler, Marie-Josee Chartier, Oh Susanna, Veronica Tennant, John Gzowski, Anne Bourne, Andy Maize, Joshua Van Tassel and Simon Rossiter.
GAMBLING, GODS AND LSD and THE END OF TIME will be presented at Cinema Spoutnik, Geneva, at 8:30pm on November 3rd, 2015 & 9:30pm on November 4th, 2015. GAMBLING, GODS AND LSD will be shown from a brand-new DCP print, premiering for the very first time in Europe. This event is part of GVA Sessions, organized by dance company Gilles Jobin, with Peter Mettler in person.
Peter Mettler will participate as a jury member of Imagine Science Film Festival NYC, Oct 16 - 24th, 2015.
Peter Mettler will participate in Quantum: Seminar & Research Workshop for Artists & Scientists -- GVA Sessions 2015 Made in Meyrin: "Choreography in the Quantum Space" taking place in CERN Laboratories, in Geneva, Switzerland, October 31st - November 6th, 2015. Guests and speakers: Gilles Jobin, Choreographer (CH), Nicholas Chanon, CERN physicist and CNRS researcher (FR), Monica Bello Head of Arts@Cern (ES), Carla Scaletti Composer and softwaredesigner @symbolicsound (USA), Minerva Muños Physicist and choreographer (MX), Peter Mettler Movie director (CAN), Sara Camnasio, astronomer (USA) + more TBC. Open to artists and scientists!
Peter Mettler debuted a new live audio-visual performance at VideoEx (Zürich) on May 30th, featuring acclaimed author and anthropologist Jeremy Narby and musician Franz Treichler (The Young Gods). Here is the trailer for YOSHTOYOSHTO, from the World Premiere at VideoEx in May 2015:
Upcoming screenings and events:
Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands at The Power Plant Gallery, Toronto, as part of "Extraction Empire," curated by Charles Stankievech.
Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands in Bristol, UK, as part of the exhibition "Soil Culture."
A discussion curated by Yelling Five between filmmakers Philip Groning and Peter Mettler as they meet for the first time on stage.
Peter Mettler will be at RIDM - Montreal International Documentary Festival , from November 15-17th, participating in the 2014 Talent Lab and a conference about Social Impact Through Documentary.
Doc Institute presents: Master Class with Peter Mettler
Moderated by José Teodoro
Camera Bar (1028 Queen St W., Toronto)
Thursday, November 20, 2014
6:30pm – 8:30pm
This intimate professional development series focuses on the craft and art of documentary media. Celebrated documentary filmmakers and other acclaimed pros (including editors, cinematographers and sound design) share their expertise and experiences. Incorporating elements of narrative and experimental cinema, traditional documentary and essay, the films of Peter Mettler are bold and mesmerizing. Reflecting on his 30-year career, Mettler will speak to the art of improvisation in documentary filmmaking. Mettler will discuss his strategies for preparing for the unexpected and how he’s developed his instincts in the editing suite. Alternating between clips, conversation and practical advice, this master class will provide participants with insights into the working methods and philosophy of this truly singular filmmaker.
Peter Mettler will be an official jury member at Florence Festival Dei Popoli Documentary Festival, November 28th to December 5th, 2014. Read the festival jury statement here.
Peter Mettler will be performing live cinema at ROUND Venue (152A Augusta Ave. Toronto) as part of Archi-Textures on November 6th, 2014 with DJs Tom Kuo and Mike Lambert. Doors at 10pm.
The new film BROKEN LAND, by Stéphanie Barbey & Luc Peter (2014, 75 minutes, Switzerland) will receive its World Premiere at Locarno Film Festival's Semaine de la Critique on August 14th & 15th, 2014. Peter Mettler worked on BROKEN LAND as cinematographer and creative consultant and will be present at this premiere. http://www.brokenland.ch/
THE END OF TIME received the top prize for Best Photography at Ecofest – International Festival of Ecology Films – Romania 2014. Christian Williams also published an article on the film in Utne Reader.
Join our Peter Mettler Facebook Page! Like and share with friends to receive updates, contests and exclusive content in the months to come.
The films of Peter Mettler will be featured at June's Festival Internacional Documentales Santiago Chile. BALIFILM, EASTERN AVENUE, GAMBLING, GODS & LSD, PICTURE OF LIGHT and THE END OF TIME will screen June 27-29, 2014. Full details and schedule here
WATCH Mettler’s online retrospective from April 21 to May 4 at DAFilms.com for FREE! Featuring BALIFILM, PICTURE OF LIGHT, SCISSERE, EASTERN AVENUE, GAMBLING GODS AND LSD, PETROPOLIS, AWAY and THE END OF TIME.
Peter Mettler will be participating in Winnipeg's Gimme Some Truth Documentary Festival March 20-23:
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 7pm @ Cinematheque – screening of Picture of Light & Petropolis
Friday, March 21, 2014, 9pm @ Cinematheque – screening of End of Time
Saturday, March 22, 2014, 2:30pm @ UofW Convocation Hall – Personal & Political Filmmaking panel
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 11am @ Cinematheque – Master class
PETROPOLIS accompanies Neil Young Honor the Treaties Tour, a four concert tour that aims to raise environmental awareness and money for First Nations people affected by the rapidly expanding Alberta oilsands development. "It is the most devastating thing you will ever see." - Neil Young
Watch Honor the Treaties: Neil Young's 'Mother Earth' Video Exclusive on The Huffington Post.
Watch the condensed 15 minute version of Petropolis that accompanies the tour below.
POV Magazine published a career-spanning interview by Marc Glassman in conjunction with the release of PETROPOLIS (2009).
PETROPOLIS: Interview with Peter Mettler
Time Out New York Review: THE END OF TIME,
Film Comment recently published Nothing But Time, an article about the films of Peter Mettler.
THE END OF TIME screened in Detroit January 10/11/12 & 16th, 2014.
*Unfortunately, Mettler was unable to attend the Detroit screening due to poor weather conditions but has plans to return in Spring 2014.