From: amanda christie (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jan 04 2007 - 21:16:42 PST
Helen was one of the first people to befriend me when
I moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
She was the first person to show me experimental
films. She invited me to the "scrappy film festival"
that took place in a parking lot in the North End
(known as the 'bad' part of town in halifax)... before
the screening, attendees were given 16mm clear leader
and sharpies... then all the hand made films were
spliced together and screened before a longer
screening of experimental animation from the national
film board and beyond.
Helen was friendly, and vivacious, and kind, and
I was the receptionist at the Nova Scotia Arts
Council, and I had never made a film or even seen
experimental films before... even so, she invited me
to be a part of the "Ladies Film Bee".... she taught
me to shoot super 8, and helped me to process my first
two films in her bathtub in the North End.... I
remember having tea in her kitchen and playing with
her pet pig while the film washed in the bathtub, then
walking home with a a tangle of super 8 film in a
sobeys grocery bag.
A week later, she gathered twelve local women in Lulu
Keating's kitchen for a "Ladie's film Bee"... and we
had tea, cucumber sandwhiches, chit chat, and film
animation... on the table next to the sandwhiches,
there were sharpies, nailpolish, knives, letraset, and
bleach... in the living room, there were baths of
tints, tones, and a projector... she then took the
films with her to the splice this! festival in
She was so exuberant, and vivacious, that her energy
betrayed her age... I remember being shocked at her
30th birthday party, because I thought she was only 20
at the oldest.... She taught experimental film
animation at the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative in
Halifax.... she began a revival of experimental work
in Halifax... she was an inspiration to many of us....
without her, I would never have made film at all...
and I may never have seen experimental film of any
sort.... i know of many other experimental filmmakers
in halifax as well who were insipired, taught,
trained, and/or introduced to experimental animation
and/or film by her....
I remember how gracious and grateful she was... when I
worked at the N.S. arts council, she would bring
hand-made thank you cards any time she got a grant....
she was so genuine, and she saw the good, and the
potential and the possibility in everyone....
and i'm crying now, and i can't see clearly to
i guess... for those of you who never met her....
i just want you to know that she was a wonderful
that the world is terribly unfair.
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