Critical Writing Index

Practical Dreamers: Conversations with Movie Artists

by Mike Hoolboom

Coach House Books, 2008

ISBN 1 55245 200 X

Mike Hoolboom interviews video maker Richard Fung. Using Fung's personal narrative of growing up in Trinidad and immigrating to Canada as a backdrop for their entire discussion, the two artists discuss the relationship between pictures and memory and how the former can act as an archive of the past. Fung narrates the origin and history of his relationship to cinema and to the camera, and how he understands his dual role as maker and writer: the criticality and distinct experiential qualities of film and text.

Hoolboom questions Fung about specific strategies the latter uses in tackling the topics of personal narrative, post-colonialism, and race that prevail in his videos.

Fung discusses his relationship to documentary and fiction, especially as it allows him to construct truth and evoke emotions in his work, focusing on the process of making Dirty Laundry. Fung also discusses how the topics of homosexuality and racism are historicized in this work and the ways in which discourse on these topics is shifting today, especially in the context of Canada.

ITEM 2008.196 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Sea in the BloodRichard Fung

Dirty LaundryRichard Fung

My Mother's PlaceRichard Fung

Orientations: Lesbian and Gay AsiansRichard Fung

Chinese CharactersRichard Fung

The Way to my Father's VillageRichard Fung

IslandsRichard Fung

Fighting ChanceRichard Fung

Steam CleanRichard Fung

Uncomfortable: The Art of Christopher CozierRichard Fung