Early Monthly Segments presents the films of Mark LaPore

“Their courage [LaPore’s films] matches their beauty and their growing despair.” -Tom Gunning

Mark LaPore brought a deeply felt criticality to documentary film, particularly in relation to its more anthropological tendencies. A filmmaker and teacher based in Boston, his films stood out for their caustic take on what Mark McElhatten refers to as the “equivocal bad conscience of ethnography”, a brave position even in a town known for expanding the possibilities of documentary form. Today, almost ten years after his sudden death, his work seems even more apropos in relation to the pronounced ethnographic turn in recent experimental films.

A wanderer by nature, LaPore’s travels drove him to make films in the Sudan, India and Sri Lanka. Unlike many of his more traditional peers who attempted to salvage cultural purities before they disappeared, LaPore was early to realize and articulate the effect immigration, globalization and capitalism were having on the Western distinction of us and them. His films reflected that emerging cultural hybridity, particularly on how this decentred ideas of the West itself, by both questioning and reinforcing the distance between subject and searcher. The films in this program (including a brand new print of Five Bad Elements from the Academy Film Archive) are specific examples of this line of inquiry, amplified by a central concern of LaPore’s, the “trouble with representation as incomplete understanding.”


The Sleepers, Mark LaPore, 1989, USA, 16mm, 16 min

Five Bad Elements, Mark LaPore, 1997, USA, 16mm, 32 min.

The Glass System, Mark LaPore, 2000, USA, 16mm, 20 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West

Monday April 21, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

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Early Monthly Segments presents the films of Mark LaPore

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