Arthur Lipsett

Arthur Lipsett (1936-1986) was a Canadian avant-garde director of short experimental films.

In the 1960s he was employed as an animator by the National Film Board of Canada. Lipsett’s particular passion was sound. He would collect pieces of sound and fit them together to create an interesting auditory sensation. After playing one of these creations to friends, they suggested that Lipsett put images to it. He did what his friends suggested, and the result became the 7 minute long film Very Nice, Very Nice which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects in 1962.

Lipsett’s success allowed him some freedom, but as his films became more bizarre, this freedom quickly disappeared. He suffered from psychological problems, and was diagnosed with Manic Depression. He didn’t get support for new films, and quit National Film Board of Canada. His girlfriend left him, his friends abandoned him, and left without any financial or moral support, instead of his aunt, where he lived in the last days of his life. Lipsett committed suicide in 1986, two weeks shy of his 50th birthday. He hanged himself in Jewish Hospital on the early morning of 31 April.

Lipsett Diaries explores his descent into depression and madness through a series of images as well as sounds taken from Lipsett’s own work.

Born in 1968 in Kyustendil, Bulgaria, Theodore Ushev is a graduate of the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. He first made a name as a poster artist in his native country before settling in Montreal, Canada, in 1999.  He works for the National Film Board of Canada.