Underground Film Journal

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Short Experimental Film: I Dream Of Driftwood

By Mike Everleth ⋅ January 6, 2014

The Underground Film Journal has long had a fancy for apartment buildings with names, so Matthew Rankin‘s I Dream of Driftwood scratches a most perfect itch for us. This short experimental film is a hectic tour around Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, focusing on buildings such as The Regency Arms, The Moorgate and, our favorite, Gary Manor.

Perhaps it’s by the choice of buildings that Rankin decided to focus on, but the film makes it appear that the more industrial and blocky the architecture, then the fancier the name gets to be. Check out the Van Gogh just after the film’s minute mark. Is there anything artistic about this building named after one of history’s greatest painters?

Brick apartment building with the words Driftwood Apts hanging on the outside

Luckily, Rankin’s presentation of these buildings is a lot better looking than the structures themselves. Shot in gorgeous Super-8 color reversal, the film mixes up several film styles, such as a rapid-fire semi-single-frame photography, slow-motion zooms, fast-motion static camera set-ups and an occasional editing structure where two shots moving in two directions appear as one course-correction take.

I Dream of Driftwood takes what could be dull subject matter — come on, just look at these buildings — and transforms it into zippy, playful fun.