A Summer Day With Mr. Saul and His Family

super-8 film, 3.5 minutes, 2005

This was the first of the Mr. Saul's Utopia series, created for the One Take Super-8 Event, which is hosted by Alex Rogolski. The joke William tells was real, and Jerry-Ann Siwek really is an artist who lives across the street from me.


Hello. My name is Mr. Saul. I was asked by Mr. Rogolski to say a few words about my film that … oh, it seems to have already started. That’s okay, we’ll go back and watch it again if we missed anything, we have all evening.
First off, I should introduce my family. Of course most of you know Margaret. The boy running around in the superhero costume is my son William. In this film he is not quite four years old. As I recall, we had taken him out to Regina Beach to attend the opening of a show by Gerri Ann Siwek, our neighbour from across the street with the three story house and the porch that’s always filled with interesting and bizarre things. Since we moved in nine years ago, we have been Halloween rivals, competing to decorate our houses creatively. But don’t worry, there is no wagering. Anyway, Ms. Siwek had invited so we came. She has a cottage out there so it was nice to kick back at the little due she held. Lots of people came. There was Mr. Kowalchuk, growing his hair out so no one will recognise him from the SIAST ads. You may also have noticed the fellow who buildisn those delightful sculptures out of keys.
During the party I spent most of my time doing was re-enacting scenes from this cartoon super hero movie with William. Oh! One funny thing I recall, William started telling this joke, it goes “Knock Knock” to which we answer “Who’s there?”, naturally. William says “Mr. Armist”. Now if there happens to be any Mr. Armistss here today, I apologise, it isn’t personal. So than we say “Mr. Armist who?” and he replies “Mr. Armist going to the day care”.
Well, then of course he laughs and so do his friends, and then he tells it again.
We hope that next year he will be making a film of his own. I made my first super-8 film in 1975 but unfortunately I did not have experience with cinematic devices such as the pan and the zoom, such as I have now mastery. As well, I did not have the responsibility to document what was really happening, a responsibility I am happily saddled with.
Ahhh! I’d forgotten about this part…. All I recall is that we were going to finally move the shed to the other side of the yard that weekend. I usually keep notes about my reels of film but to tell you the truth, I believe I left those notes in my other jacket. Anyways, projectionist, would you mind rewinding this and running it again. Hello? Anyone back there? Hello?