Font Magica

A memory trace of a unique moment near Montjuïc in Barcelona rendered palpable.

  • Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof
  • Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof
  • Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof
  • Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 20, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam “Process in Progress” program
    January 12, 2016
    European Premiere
Distribution Information
  • Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
    Country: Canada
Director Biography - Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof

Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof is a Toronto-based experimental filmmaker, scholar and Associate Professor at the School of Image Arts, Ryerson University. She is a graduate of Media Arts at Ryerson University (BAA) and Communication and Culture at York University (MA) and (PhD). Her doctoral research concentrated on feminine aesthetics in avant-garde cinema and body art, and drew on Julia Kristeva’s theories on vanguard poetry and Luce Irigaray’s philosophy of ethics. Izabella’s writings on cinema, art, dance, technology and culture, have appeared in Parol, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, and in Ultimate Reality and Meaning Journal (Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Philosophy of Understanding), and in anthologies on media arts and on screen dance, including a chapter in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Screendance. Izabella’s film and video projects have screened in numerous group programs at international film festivals, cinematheques, galleries and art centres in Canada and abroad. Solo screenings of her works have been presented at the Diagonal Film Archive in Seoul, South Korea (2008), at the 10th Festival des Cinéma Différent de Paris in France (2008), and at Canadian Film Institute: CAFÉ eX in Ottawa (2007). Izabella’s projects received many awards from film festivals, as well as grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, NFB, LIFT, and Ryerson University. Her films are included in collections at several universities and in video anthologies, including: Made by Hand, Contre L’Oeil, and Loop Collective. She is the co-founder and an active member of the successful Toronto-based experimental film collective, the Loop Collective ( Her work as an artist and scholar is interdisciplinary and often explores connections between art, bodies, and technology.

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Director Statement

Font Màgica continues my ongoing interest in the protocinematic performances and light technologies used by artists at the turn of the 20th century. The footage for this film was shot in the Fall of 2004, when I was in the midst of my film fugitive l(i)ght (2005), which explored the electric light performances of Loïe Fuller from the same period. Font Màgica means magic fountain in Catalan language. It was designed by Carles Buïgas and completed in 1929 for the International Exhibition in Barcelona. Light fountains (also sometimes called musical fountains) were popular at the turn of last century and were often built in conjunction with major international exhibitions, for example Křižík's Fountain in Prague completed in 1891 for the World Exhibition and the fountains for the 1889, 1900 and the 1931 International Expositions in Paris. Just as the World Fairs attracted masses of people to its international pavilions, so too did the choreographed electric light and music spectacles of the musical fountains at these international exhibitions, and till this day. In many ways, these musical fountains anticipated the visual music films of experimental filmmakers like Viking Eggling, Hans Richter, Oskar Fischinger, and many others who continue in this tradition today.

Music for Font Màgica was composed by Colin Clark, Toronto-based composer and software developer, with the original piano composition by Fryderyk Chopin, Prelude Op. 28, No. 15 “Raindrop,” and sounds courtesy of Stanford Solar Center (Sun sounds) and of NASA, Cassini-Huygens mission (radio emissions from Saturn).