BOOKSEl Niño, Orphan Love and The Cinematic Footprint
Spanning the late 1970s to the late 1980s, Nadia Bozak’s thirteen stories are narrated from the perspective of Shell, the only child of bohemian artisans determined to live off their handicrafts and uphold a left-wing lifestyle. At the age of five, Shell’s world is transformed when the family moves into a new house, where she grows up. Over time, she gradually trades her unconventional upbringing for junk food, rock music, and boys. All the while, Shell quietly watches her parents’ loveless marriage fall apart and learns to survive divorce, weight gain, heartache, and first love.
Inspired by J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace, El Niño tracks the survival of one woman and a young, undocumented migrant as they journey through the no-man’s-land of a remote southwestern desert. Honey hasn’t seen her mother, Marianne, in more than two years. She drives deep into the once-prosperous border region of the Oro Desert for a surprise visit, only to discover that Marianne has vanished.
Winter is giving way to spring in Black Dew Seat, a rugged outpost buried in the backwoods of northern Ontario. The year is 1989, and Bozak is on the run, fleeing a buried body and an unthinkable betrayal.
She stumbles into Dave, a Native rocker with a dark past, a beat-up canoe, and an escape route to the Hudson River and New york City. But their journey to the new world becomes a dangerous game of the hunter and the hunted when Daves past catches up with him, and Bozaks thirst for revenge is quenched.
The Cinematic Footprint: Lights, Camera, Natural Resources
Film is often been used to represent the natural landscape and to communicate environmentalist messages. Yet behind even the “green” images shown on screens are ecologically unsustainable production and distribution processes. Noting that celluloid is often composed of petroleum byproducts, The Cinematic Footprint traces the history of how the “hydrocarbon imagination” has been central to the development of film as a medium.