Trains, peanut butter and jelly and stop motion came together at the Riverside Park Bandshell in the latest show of talent by TRU’s newest visual arts class.
The event, part of the Kamloops Art Gallery’s Luminocity series, featured short films made by TRU’s video production class.
The second-year visual arts course is the first of its kind at TRU. According to Doug Buis, the faculty member running the course, the section was filled to capacity and has generated even more interest on campus.
“I was really excited by having [a film course]. It’s overbooked and it seems to be working out quite well,” Buis said.
The videos showcased were created as part of two assignments given by Buis.
Anton Shilka, a fourth-year business student who is also working on his visual arts certificate, went above and beyond the scope of the assignments, producing a 15-minute short film in black and white with a distinct Russian style of filmmaking.
Titled “Amba,” the bleak film follows a jobless young man that is marginalized by society. He began work on the film eight months ago in a previous visual arts class and continued progress on it in Buis’s Video Production class.
Shilka describes his work as a political video exploring notions of anti-industrialism and nihilism, which looks at life as meaningless and not guided by religious and moral principles. While it was not based on any particular style, he was inspired by Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, French New Wave style and urban settings.
If he had to change his work, Shilka would keep the film dreamy and abstract, but would make the character more human and easier to relate to.
“You always want to change your work,” Shilka said, adding that artists have to beat the anxiety of perfecting their pieces.
Later in the film, the main character snaps and destroys everything in his room, including a coffee maker, a lamp, and even throws a brick through a TV.
“[The film] needed a catharsis, a resolution of sorts,” Shilka said, adding that smashing is a good way to channel emotions.
“It’s a pretty long dragging movie. I think it needed some sort of action.”
Shilka said that he learned a lot from Buis and the most important lesson he takes away from the class is to be more fearless in what an artist wants to do.
Buis hopes that the success of the inaugural program will allow for more classes and to expand into other genres such as documentary filmmaking.
Plans are getting underway to host a film festival on campus at the end of the semester to present all of the students’ work.