The Poetics of Space: Spotlight on the Super 8 Films of Steph Gray

The Poetics of Space: Spotlight on the Super 8 Films of Steph Gray

Curated by Milada Kováčová

Let’s rock it. The Poetics of Space: Spotlight on the Super 8 Films by Steph Gray grabs us with her Poetry in Motion. Repetition rules. Steph Gray engages the spirit of queer punk DIY aesthetic pairing perfectly with celluloid. Small-gauge is the ultimate vehicle to convey her daily dealings with her surroundings and the loss of landmarks. Start here with what Steph knows and plays with the juxtaposition of image and sound and NOT. Language reigns.

Steph’s movies’ DIY spirit takes me back to the excitement of the 2000s when Will Munro and company were rocking the Toronto. DIY is at its finest. Steph makes me lament what no longer is but what is so important to experience. —Milada Kováčová

Artist bio: Steph Gray's Super 8 films have screened internationally, and in Canada, Gray has shown at Antimatter, Inside Out, CSIF $100 Film Fest, Cinemuerte and performed live at the8fest and Splice This! Usually edited-in-camera and sometimes hand-processed, Gray’s films are accompanied by live reading or experimental sound, while exploring the city symphonically or digging in the depths of pop culture and contemplating “what you thought you knew / what you knew you thought”. Gray’s last two poetry publications are on Ottawa-based above/ground press, including Words Are What You Get / You Do It For Real.

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This is the bike ride to work

10:41 / USA / 2002 / Super 8 / Sound

The bike ride to work is swiftly and slowly, dreamily documented with stories of real life scenes along the way as the bike ride heroine is thinking them.

Going Against the Grain

3:30 / USA / 2000 / Super 8 / Sound

Grain elevators, recipes for cooking grain, demo-listens, rabid audiences mix yet again in this fine city.

Storefronts B4 other storefronts

6:30 / USA / 2008 / Super 8 / Sound

before this storefront was another & another & another…

Magic Couldn’t Save Magic Shoes

6:30 / USA / 2010 / Super 8

Magic Shoes closed in 2008 after being in biz since 1979. When I finally had extra money to buy more Converse, which is mostly all I wear, thinking they’d still be around, even after I filmed it, it was gone.

Who Do You Think You Are?

3:30 / USA / 2000 / Super 8 / Sound

Zoom to 1986, a revisiting an 8th grader’s Fuck X-mas Day, an eloquent study in Metallica appreciation as fellow family members retaliate.

Satanic Bible on Interlibrary Loan

9:00 / USA / 2011 / Super 8

The title is a true situation that occurred when the filmmaker was 14 or 15 and who was (is?) an ardent metal head as a teenager.

Also Known As

3:00 / USA / 2011 / Super 8

AKA is also known as many things in the depths of the super familiar, even the teddy bear you see in this film.

Seeing Thru Buffalos

12:00 / USA / 2010 / Super 8 / Sound

seeing through this city like the buffalo we used to see, like a dream…

Gertel’s galore lore ore

6:30 / USA / 2007 / Super 8

One the last real Jewish bakeries on the Lower East Side succumbs to the unfriendly real estate market in NYC. This film was shot on its next to last day.

I luved this city

3:30 / USA / 2000 / Super 8 / Sound

A crush on a hard to get city. A Valentine to its buildings melting in snow. Frozen hands trying to focus. Soggy wet sneakers and socks persist through the rough terrain of this luved city.

dear joan

3:30 / USA / 1999 / Super 8 / Sound

A film letter to the heroine joan of arc, as our bike riding heroine laments both the state of buffalo’s downtown & lack of public knowledge of joan’s real identity, ending in a hissyfit at the library.