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Complete Works of Joyce Wieland, The: Vol. 1 Shorts 1963-66

by CFMDC Special Edition & Wieland, Joyce
Canada / 2011 / sound

A multi-disciplinary artist who produced work in a wide variety of media, Wieland's intelligent and irreverent explorations of female sexuality, domestic life, ecology and Canadian nationalism put her at the forefront of feminist practice. Wieland made her mark in the film underground in New York in the 1960s, where she was associated with structural filmmakers such as Michael Snow and Hollis Frampton. While here films employ materialist formal strategies, the irony and socio-political content of her work sets her apart from her structuralist compatriots, as does her exploration of narrative.

The collection is accompanied by critical texts by scholars Kristy Holmes, Anne Low, Allyson Mitchell, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, Johanne Sloan and Leila Sujir. It will be of vital interest to film- and art-lovers alike, as well as those involved in the fields of film studies and production, visual arts, art history and women's studies.

Volume 1: Shorts 1963-66

Larry's Recent Behaviour
1963, 16.35 min

One of Joyce Wieland's earliest works, shot in 8mm and finally blown-up to 16mm, “Larry’s Recent Behaviour” has been described by Simon Field as an "irreverent and wilfully juvenile examination" of a nasty habit that Larry has recently acquired

Patriotism I
1964, 4 min

Wieland's kinetic romp casts David Shackman as an overexposed sleeper dogged by a patriotic march of tube steaks that finally refigures him as our most familiar icon of freedom. This pixillated short about hot dogs is the latest of Wieland's early film works to be restored to circulation.

Patriotism Part II
1965, 3.45 min

In a way a portrait of Dave Shackman with the American flag. The ending is a stop-motion animation of a set table with food moving and swirling and finally gathering together in a ball. Looking back at the film, the animation sequence seems to foreshadow Dave Shackman’s early death. He died shortly after the film was made.

Barbara's Blindness
1965, 16.15 min

"There is no one named Barbara to be found; a pair of mysterious blind-person's hands (looking suspiciously like Wieland's) make only one cameo appearance to 'read' us the title; yet these seemingly incongruous elements provide the perfect introduction to the ironic humour of the film itself. The main source of the film seems to be an old grade-school morality-movie on the appreciation of eyesight, starring golden-haired Mary, who finds herself temporarily blind, and a leaden-voiced narrator, who finds himself our unwitting straight-man. The filmmakers re-edited this curiosity and intercut it with other stock footage of disasters, agricultural techniques, and monster movies, to create a very different object lesson on the nature of vision." - B. Ruby Rich

Peggy's Blue Skylight
1964, 12.15 min

Filmed in Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow's loft in New York, the film covers a day of friends visiting, writing and drawing from noon of one day to dawn the next day. The soundtrack was done by Paul Blay. The 16mm film is a blow-up of grainy 8mm stock.

Water Sark
1965, 13.30 min

"I decided to make a film at my kitchen table, there is nothing like knowing my table. The high art of the housewife. You take prisms, glass, lights and myself to it. “The Housewife is High.” “Water Sark” is a film sculpture, being made while you wait." - Joyce Wieland

Volume 1 Study Guide by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof


  • art and artists
  • work by/about women

Exhibition Formats



  • experimental
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