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A data-driven, web-based story generator, Seances pays tribute to loss in cinema and ephemerality in contemporary digital culture.

2016 Alicia Smith,Dana Dansereau,David Christensen,Evan Johnson,Galen Johnson,Guy Maddin,Loc Dao
EN Visit the project

“It is estimated that over 80% of films made in the silent era are lost forever. It’s easy to equate the lost works with ghosts, for they exist forensically only in the form of a few production stills and some old Variety reviews, as artifacts that haunt us. Cinema history is thronged with their likes, tormenting us with their promise of a return, of their warm refulgent brilliance restored to us, as in a Lazarus miracle.”
Guy Maddin, Author

Seances is an homage to lost films of early cinema and ephemeral culture of the internet age. The web-based interactive platform generates a unique, cinematic montage from a pool of clips for each user. The narrative in every clip is loosely based on a lost silent era film, and the visual style appropriates early cinema aesthetics. Once the film is generated, the user is not allowed to pause, fast forward or share this cut s/he is presented. When the story is over, it vanishes for good.

Created by the renown filmmaker Guy Maddin and his collaborators Evan and Gale Johnson, Seances can also be experienced as an installation, and a pre-rendered version can be seen in the form of a feature film: The Forbidden Room.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : Canada
Year : 2016
Author : Alicia Smith,Dana Dansereau,David Christensen,Evan Johnson,Galen Johnson,Guy Maddin,Loc Dao
Producer : National Film Board of Canada
Team : Alida Horsley,Irene Wang,Jennifer Moss,John Gurdebeke
Developers : Nickel Media
Designers : Aubyn Freybe-Smith
Topics : Arts and Culture,Memory
Technologies : Imposium,Proprietary software,Video
Techniques : Archival,Database Storytelling,generative media,Installation,Remix
Exhibition Venues : International Film Festival Message to Ma,International Film Festival Rotterdam,PHI Centre Virtual Reality Garden,Toronto International Film Festival,Tribeca
Funders AND Incubators : Buffalo Gal Pictures,Manitoba Film and Music,National Film Board of Canada,Phi Films,SODEC,Telefilm Canada
Url :
Trailer :

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