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Magnetic Reconnection (screens with Vanishing Point)

This screening took place on
Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 4:30pm
Yukon Arts Centre

Magnetic Reconnection is a short documentary film contrasting the Northern Lights with decaying manmade debris surrounding the Arctic Canadian town of Churchill, Manitoba. The film touches on the regenerative power of nature and the futility of mankind’s struggle against natural processes of decay. The film features an original score by Jim O’Rourke, a voice-over by Will Oldham and likely some of the best footage of the aurora borealis ever captured.

In March of 2012 Canadian filmmaker Kyle Armstrong travelled to Churchill Manitoba to capture images of the northern lights. Using a one of a kind purpose built digital IMAX resolution camera Armstrong captured astonishingly detailed images of the aurora on nine of ten possible nights. The camera utilizes two precisely calibrated fast wide angle prime lenses allowing for a field of view of nearly 90° at a 4:3 aspect ratio captured at over 6K resolution, and a very large and highly sensitive digital sensor capable of ultrahigh ISO settings allowing for frame rates previously impossible.

During the day, Armstrong and co-cinematographer and auroral scientist Dr Trond Trondsen explored the landscape surrounding the town of Churchill. They went to great lengths in arctic conditions to shoot super8, 16mm and DSLR time-lapse footage of Miss Piggy, a C46 aircraft which crashed just short of the airport in 1979, the Ithaca IV, a Greek steamship trapped on the shores of Hudson Bay since the 1950s, and Fort Churchill, the American-operated rocket range active during the 1960s.

Magnetic Reconnection features an original score by the Grammy Award winning experimental composer/artist/producer Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth, Gastr Del Sol, Wilco, Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man) and with a voice-over provided by singer/songwriter/actor Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Old Joy, Matewan).

The film received its premiere at AFI Fest 2012 and has since been selected for SXSW 2013, the 51st Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival, True/False Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, received a Jury’s Citation Award from the touring Black Maria Film Festival, was selected for the Art Galley of Alberta’s 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art and opened the 2013 Nordlys Film Festival.

  • Directed by Kyle Armstrong
  • 2013, Alberta
  • 13 minutes
    Magnetic Reconnection (screens with Vanishing Point)

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