\"Philip Hoffman is a precious resource, one of the few contemporary filmmakers whose work provides a bridge to the classical themes of death, diaspora, memory, and, finally, transcendence. As Landscape With Shipwreck makes clear, Hoffman explores these most Canadian of themes without grandiosity; instead they emerge from stories held close to the ground, the family, and personal experience, whether at home or in very unfamiliar places indeed. And he does so through a constant renovation of method that enriches the viewers' ability to grasp how film form contains and conditions meaning. This is just the sort of human voice articulated through film that we desperately need amidst the thunder of corporate media in all forms.\"
"Philip Hoffman has long been recognized as Canada's pre-eminent diary filmmaker. For over twenty years he has been straining history through personal fictions, using the material of his life to deconstruct the Griersonian legacy of documentary practice. As an artist working directly upon the material of film, Hoffman is keenly attuned to the shape of seeing, foregrounding the image and its creation as well as the manufacture of point of view. Hoffman's films are deeply troubled in their remembrances; he dusts off the family archive to examine how estrangement fuels a fascination with the familiar surroundings of home.
Mortality forms the absent centre of Philip Hoffman's oeuvre, a body of films that seems to foreshadow a penultimate loss that will take the maker to the outer and inner reaches of grief. Through the repeating figure of death—whether a boy lying on a Mexican roadside in Somewhere Between..., the death of an elephant at the Rotterdam Zoo, in ?O,Zoo!, or his uncle's legacy of insanity and death in passing through/torn formations-Hoffman approaches the limits of representation and the ethical burdens of vision and reproduction."
(Karyn Sandlos, Toronto Images Festival, 2001)
Works by Philip Hoffman /