NIGHT\SHIFT artist chat \\ Torin Langen

We’re excited to lead up to Night\Shift 2017 on November 2-4 with a series of artist chats. Go behind the scenes!

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Torin LangenTORIN LANGEN KNOWS FEAR. The filmmaker spends his time invoking skin-crawling terror in music videos and movies as the mind behind the lens. A Kitchener-Waterloo native, Torin’s first full length film 3 Dead Trick or Treaters is currently enjoying screenings on the film festival circuit, with upcoming shows at Toronto Indie Horror Fest and Freakshow Film Festival in Florida. We sent Torin some questions while he was on the road (at a film festival, obviously) to find out what drives him, about the local creative scene and to give viewers a glimpse of his Night\Shift video installation, Offerings.

 

Hi Torin! Thanks for agreeing to do this. Firstly, how is it being a filmmaker in Kitchener Waterloo (KW)?

My experience of filmmaking in KW has been very freeing. I tend to work with a tight-knit group of creatives, and am endlessly inspired by regional artists of various disciplines. Our film scene is small, but a powerhouse of creativity, and I’m incredibly motivated by fellow filmmakers I’m proud to consider friends.
As someone whose work places strong emphasis on atmosphere, I’m also grateful to have made several close friends and collaborators through our robust music community. The Offerings project places strong emphasis on both filmmaking and its soundtrack, and I hope it serves as a representation of strong artistic collaborations in our community.

What does your piece offer Night\Shift festival-goers?Offerings1

Offerings is very different from previous work I’ve seen presented at Night\Shift, and is something I have yet to come across in the realm of experimental filmmaking. I’m a huge fan of folk horror, and have explored this visual theme in the past through narrative music videos.
 
However, I’ve now taken it upon myself to assemble as highly-textured a work as possible; a gritty, earthy look at invented black magic rituals and their costumed creators. This, paired with a live noise soundtrack, should prove a hypnotic, haunting experience for festival goers.

Why do you do what you do?

I find film a particularly exciting medium, as it combines many realms of personal artistic interest. With Offerings in particular, I’m free to explore costume design, cinematography, animation, art direction, graphic design, experimental sound design, along with elements of abstract painting.
 
Ultimately, my goal with any project is to create a strong sense of atmosphere. Now, exploring the realm of installation art, I’ve removed the narrative aspect of my filmmaking, in exchange for fetishizing ambiance and texture. I’ve designed this project as a distillation of everything I find exciting as a creator, and am incredibly excited to share it with the Night\Shift community.

And you’ve mentioned a tight-knit community of creatives, but where else do you find inspiration to create?

The work of Jan Svankmajer, given his practice of emphasizing textures and non-dialogue storytelling. While I’m not terribly familiar with his filmography, John Waters is a constant source inspiration for his DIY methods of film production and distribution, especially near the start of his career. As of late I’ve been very enamoured with the art direction that a number of bands have adopted, such as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees, Wand. These bands place great emphasis on their discography’s accompanying artwork, music videos and stage projections, often pulling double duty as both songwriters and filmmakers.

All my inspiration comes from creatives of various disciplines who aren’t afraid to pursue offbeat, singular visions — something I aim to stay true to throughout my career.

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Torin Langen’s full body of work can be found over at Candle Flame Productions and his NIGHT\SHIFT installation can be found the evening of Saturday November 4th at a TBA downtown Kitchener location. Check out all the artist contributions to #NightShift17 on this events listing.

Offerings 

OFFERINGS presents three simultaneously looping experimental black-and-white horror visuals, all of them fragments from Langen’s 3 Dead Trick Or Treaters anthology. The films depict heavily costumed characters performing mysterious rituals in caves, forests and dilapidated structures, their strange movements accentuated by a live instrumental noise soundtrack that hinges on tribal drums, distortion and reverb. More >>

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