When the deck is stacked, how do you deal?
YESNO is a playful view of a planet on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Humphrey Bogart meets Werner Herzog in the heart of darkness.
A conjurer shuffles bison, emu and orca in a game of extinction.
Leonard Cohen voices a last tango over a flood of images that mix live action and
animation, poetry and music, calligraphy and DNA.
lords of the rigamort tango
maestros of entropy glide:
we’re pushing it
to with an amazon shimmy, hoofing it
fro with a greenhouse fandango; little bit
closer with canopy kissoffs, little bit
farther with coral abrasions –
Stepping lightly, cortex courageous,
high-hats macabre: keep keep keep
pumping that critterly whiteout, goosing it
faster in biophobe boogie;
doing the gainful extinctions con carny, towing them
bones in the geospazz conga
– from ‘Tango’ a poem from Dennis Lee’s Yesno
Based on the 2006 book Yesno, by eminent Canadian poet
DENNIS LEE, this seven-minute film takes an new approach to transforming
poetry into cinema. Dennis Lee’s words are voiced by a pantheon of Canadian
poets, including LEONARD COHEN, MICHAEL ONDAATJE, MARGARET
ATWOOD, D’BI YOUNG, KAREN SOLIE, and Lee himself. Jiving between
hope and despair, and between dark comedy and tender pathos, an apocalyptic
suite takes us from the folds of the cerebral cortex to the jungles of Fitzcarraldo
and The African Queen. Sleight-of-hand by conjurer DAVID BEN forms the
connective tissue. The original score/soundscape comes from award-winning
composer OWEN BELTON, who has created music for the National Ballet of
Canada (Emergence). The director of photography is NICHOLAS DE PENCIER
(Act of God). The animation director is NICK FOX-GIEG, who won the award for
best animated short (The Orange) at the 2010 SXSW film festival. Yesno was
produced, directed and edited by Brian D. Johnson, veteran film critic at
Maclean’s magazine. It was executive-produced by RON MANN (Grass) and
LOUISE GARFIELD (The Hanging Garden).
Yesno is a seven-minute English-language short, shot on HDCAM, and
produced in Canada in 2010 with the financial assistance of Bravo!FACT, and
under the guidance of Bravo!FACT Executive Director JUDY GLADSTONE. It
was completed in May 2010. The soundtrack is mixed in Dolby 5.1.
Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, Yesno played the Atlantic Film Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival, the Vancouver Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM), the Whistler Film Festival, the Victoria Film Festival and the inaugural San Francisco Green Festival.