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Saul’s cinematic works featured in film professor’s retrospective

By Costa Maragos Posted: July 11, 2016 6:00 a.m.

A retrospective of the work of Gerald Saul, associate professor in the department of film, is on display at the Art Gallery of Regina until August 27.
A retrospective of the work of Gerald Saul, associate professor in the department of film, is on display at the Art Gallery of Regina until August 27. Photo by Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography

Gerald Saul loves films. There’s no mistaking that the moment you walk into his office in the Education Building.

His bookshelves are jam-packed with film canisters, books about films, movie props and even a Super 8 film camera. His walls are covered with movie posters while other office areas feature multi-media related paraphernalia. Behind his desk you see assembled and disassembled puppets and sets for puppet shows.  

It’s just the kind of eclectic collection of all things cinema that you might expect from a long time film professor.

“I have a love/hate relationship with my office. I should clean it up,” says Saul.

That will have to wait.

Right now, Saul is preparing for a retrospective of his 30-year career, taking place at the Art Gallery of Regina.

Anecdotal Evidence: The World of Gerald Saul is on display at the Gallery with the opening reception, Wednesday July 13 at 7 p.m.

“I’m very nervous. I don’t get stage fright anymore. I don’t get nervous by showing films anymore. But this is something new. And new is frightening. But that means it’s positive. It’s good to be scared once in awhile,” he says.

Saul is a prolific Saskatchewan filmmaker. His film genres include animation, dramatic, and experimental productions shown in film, digital video and photography.

His works drift dreamily between fiction and fact, imagination and conviction, anecdote and evidence. His resume includes being the co-director (with the Department of Film’s Brian Stockton) of Saskatchewan’s first locally-produced feature film Wheat Soup. He’s the creator of the post-modern drama - Life is Like Lint. He’s produced comical animated films, highly abstract and personal experimental films  - Toxic, Modern and Grain.

“The show will feature some of my traditional work. Projections and photography – fragments of my Super 8 films presented in large images,” says Saul. “What do you do with a retrospective? Looking back, what did I regret doing? If I was to do that again what would I do? I started internally thinking of my own work. What opportunity did I miss? When I made a film in ’87 or ’99, what did I do that I’m proud of or things that I wanted to do? This show allows me to take advantage of looking at my own history.”

Saul received his BFA from the U of R and his MFA at York University in Toronto. He returned to Regina in the mid-1990’s and worked in the field, producing films and finding an appreciation for Super 8 films. He’s been teaching fulltime at the U of R since 1999.

”I want my students to love movies and become my colleagues. I want to collaborate with them. Some of these students are so great,” says Saul.

One of his cherished collaborations was with his former student Dennis Jackson, the creator of the critically acclaimed TV series Wapos Bay. Jackson brought Saul onboard to be the director of photography of “Christmas at Wapos Bay,” the movie that spawned the TV series.

It was a huge success.

“We had a lot of fun working together on that project. He really encouraged me to explore filmmaking. We still stay in touch,” recalled Jackson.

Says Saul: “There’s no sure thing, especially in film. So if you are going to go into it then you are doing it because you love doing it. If you have a day off that’s what you do. With your time you go and make another film.“

Event:     Anecdotal Evidence: The Work of Gerald Saul
Location: Art Gallery of Regina - 2440 Elphinstone Street
Dates:     July 7 – August 27
Opening reception – July 13 – 7 pm

Anecdotal Evidence: The Work of Gerald Saul is Station 6 on the larger durational project Meet in the Middle: Stations of Migration and Memory Between Art and Film (Regina, 2014-2017).   

MITM is a curatorial collaboration between Christine Ramsay (University of Regina), Elizabeth Matheson (Strandline Curatorial Collective), Timothy Long (MacKenzie Art Gallery) and Rachelle Viader Knowles (Coventry University), with Jennifer Matotek (Dunlop Art Gallery/RPL Film Theatre).

Funders include: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Canada Council; Saskatchewan Arts Board; Art Gallery of Regina; Strandline Curatorial Collective; MacKenzie Art Gallery; Dunlop Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative; and the University of Regina (Faculty of Media-Art-Performance; Humanities Research Institute; VP Research; Campion College).

Check out some of Saul's cinematic works below.