Burning Down the Suburbs

Programmed by Clint Enns and Scott Birdwise. Presented by Land|Slide: Possible Futures in Markham, Ontario on September 28, 2013.

Studies continue to demonstrate that, while many Canadians work in the major cities, the majority of them live in suburban areas and depend on cars for transportation. From one angle, the suburbs represent an idea of home connected to notions of safety, comfort, and community; from the other, however, the realities of the suburbs and urban sprawl often contradict these sometimes utopian fantasies. The realities and imaginaries, facts and mythologies of the suburbs are the inspiration for this program. While they have often been the setting if not the explicit subject matter of commercial cinema from at least since the explosion of economic expansion after WWII, the suburbs have also been an important part of alternative, documentary, and experimental film. This program approaches the concepts of home, suburbia, family, and community from a variety of angles, taking them up as sites of critical reflection and as spaces of experimentation. If the suburbs have are sites of the past and present that have a future, this program suggests, it may lie in recognizing how they are also shared spaces.


Neighbours | Norman McLaren |1952 | 8 min. | 16mm
Burning Down the Suburbs | Clive Holden | 2004 | 2 min. | DV
Losing Ground | Isabelle Heyeur | 2009 | 13 min. | DV
Block B | Chris Chan Fui Chong | 2008 | 20 min. | DV
Akin | Chase Joynt | 2012 | 9 min. | DV
If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now | Diane Bonder | 2001 | 15 min. | 16mm