Joyce Wieland's 'The Far Shore'

Joyce Wieland's 'The Far Shore'

JOHANNE SLOAN
Series: Canadian Cinema
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442686786
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  • Book Info
    Joyce Wieland's 'The Far Shore'
    Book Description:

    Wieland specialist Johanne Sloan offers a fascinating new perspective onThe Far Shore, making it more accessible by discussing Wieland's utopian fusion of art and politics, the importance of landscape within Canadian culture, and the on-going struggle over the meaning of the natural environment.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8678-6
    Subjects: Film Studies, Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-22)

    Joyce Wieland’s feature-length filmThe Far Shore(1976) tells a story built around the historical personage of Tom Thomson, the Canadian painter who drowned in Canoe Lake in 1917. There is indeed a surrogate Thomson figure in the film, named Tom, and yet he is not the central character:The Far Shoreintroduces an entirely fictional protagonist, a woman from Quebec called Eulalie, who comes to Toronto as the wife of a wealthy engineer/entrepreneur and falls in love with Tom. It is because the film adopts her point of view, because we perceive the artist as the object of her...

  5. 1 Becoming Cinematic
    (pp. 23-50)

    By the time Joyce Wieland decided to make a feature film, she had achieved renown as an experimental filmmaker, and her films were screened and discussed primarily within that specialized context. It is important to recognize, however, that her filmmaking was one component of an art practice that actively forged connections between multiple materials and visual media, including film. In the body of work she created up toThe Far Shore, it is possible to discern a protracted process of ‘becoming cinematic,’ through a range of art objects, beyond the actual making of films. Wieland’s paintings, collages, sculptural objects, and...

  6. 2 Landscape and Narrative (Tom)
    (pp. 51-84)

    Eighty minutes or so intoThe Far Shore, the viewer is finally rewarded with an image of Tom perched on the bank of a lake, painting a small picture (fig. 2.1). This scene provides a moment of historical verisimilitude, because the real Tom Thomson is best known for the 300 or so oil sketches – most of them 8 by 10 inches or even smaller – he made while working and travelling in the vicinity of Algonquin Park, using a portable sketching box. Tom is first shown in profile, looking out at the lake and opposite shore as he paints, and then...

  7. 3 Genre and Gender (Eulalie)
    (pp. 85-110)

    The Far Shoreis a profound engagement with the artistic genre of landscape, I have been arguing; envisioning and representing the land is crucial to the film’s emplotment, narrative momentum, and character development. Yet, as mentioned, the story does not contrive to move its cast of characters into the natural environment until well over an hour into the film. The story begins with scenes of rural Quebec and ends in Ontario’s ‘north country,’ but between is an urban milieu and, more specifically, a series of Toronto interiors: the Rosedale mansion, Ross’s office, a restaurant, Tom’s shack. It is the mansion-home...

  8. Conclusion: Melodramatic Landscape
    (pp. 111-118)

    In dictionaries and overviews of Canadian film it is sometimes implied thatThe Far Shorewas deemed a fiasco from the moment of its release in 1976,¹ but this perception is inaccurate. It really does seem that the circumstances of the film’s reception have been forgotten or misunderstood: after a study of the accumulated critical responses to the film that appeared in journals and newspapers, it is nonetheless clear that Wieland’s film was taken seriously at the time of its release, and that it garnered many thoughtful and appreciative reviews. When the American weekly entertainment trade newspaperVarietypredicted that...

  9. Production Credits
    (pp. 119-122)
  10. Further Viewing
    (pp. 123-124)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 125-132)
  12. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 133-134)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 135-135)