Join 3,425 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Re-Surfacing
April 27, 2013 12:51 AM   Subscribe

In the archives of Cinema Canada (1962-1989), articles about the relationship of Canadian cinema to American genre films, the Canadianization of popular comedy, and "what is 'Canadian film'?" stand out as typical--even commonplace, given their context. They also happen to suggest an interesting mix of obscure and popular films to watch.

A few examples, presented in the order in which they are mentioned or alluded to in the articles: See also the many films available for download at the web site of the National Film Board of Canada mentioned previously.
posted by Monsieur Caution (23 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
The correct previously link.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:56 AM on April 27, 2013


Fantastic! I have much to watch now.

Bart Beaty has a wonderful book on Cronenberg's A History of Violence that advocates that it is a quintessentially Canadian film despite being entirely about America. It's well worth reading.
posted by sixohsix at 5:03 AM on April 27, 2013


The Changeling (1980) - a quiet but effective ghost story

It's also probably where M. Night Shyamalan got a lot of ideas for the Sixth Sense. I do highly recommend it.
posted by jonp72 at 6:45 AM on April 27, 2013


By the way, if you're looking for another great Canadian horror film that's not directed by David Cronenberg, how can you forget Black Christmas?
posted by jonp72 at 6:48 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Goin' Down the Road (1970) - a film directed by Donald Shebib and "generally regarded as one of the best and most influential Canadian films of all time."

That assessment is hilarious. I'm Canadian, and the only reason I even know anything about that movie is because of the SCTV parody.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:05 AM on April 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


just finished watching the delightful Slings and Arrows, a TV with 3 short seasons, and enjoyed how Canadian it feels (as well as it being a smart, funny and moving show all around).
posted by sineater at 7:40 AM on April 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mon oncle Antoine may be the "greatest" Canadian film of all time, but if you click on that link the still displayed before you start the video is an accurate representation of its effect on audiences.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:46 AM on April 27, 2013


Goin' Down the Road (1970) - a film directed by Donald Shebib and "generally regarded as one of the best and most influential Canadian films of all time."

That assessment is hilarious. I'm Canadian, and the only reason I even know anything about that movie is because of the SCTV parody.


I'm no film connoisseur, but I've seen it and it's great. And very, very Canadian Maritimer.
posted by jb at 8:46 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


In fact, Goin' Down the Road is the only film of all of these that I have seen. I think it's the most well known and most seen of those listed.
posted by jb at 8:47 AM on April 27, 2013


No mention for Strange Brew?
posted by arcticseal at 8:59 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is a really interesting and brutal film called Clearcut which is particularly Canadian. It features Graham Greene and Michael Hogan in a film about logging, native rights and ecological violence that was particularly of its time. When it was released in 1991, it was on the heels of a controversy at Temagami over logging road construction and the previous year had seen the Oka crisis in Quebec and other Aboriginal rights protests and millitant actions. Furthermore, it captures somehow the zeitgeist of the time, in which "the environment" became a mainstream issue, but mainstream society hadn't quite connected all of these pieces.
posted by salishsea at 9:19 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was also considering mentioning Clearcut. It's a very powerful film, but it speaks to me as a powerful film about the limits and dangers of revenge. It's left a lasting impression on me, that's for sure.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:37 AM on April 27, 2013


Yeah...I think Clearcut might be somehow a foreshadowing of a dystopian future in which indigenous rights and resource exploitation are not reconciled. And in that it might be even more prescient than I had remembered it.

It's a hard to find movie, and I'm not sure I could stomach seeing it again, but I might try to track the MT Kelly story upon which it is based.
posted by salishsea at 9:58 AM on April 27, 2013


In fact, Goin' Down the Road is the only film of all of these that I have seen. I think it's the most well known and most seen of those listed.

It's a toss-up, but I'd say there's more evidence for Mon oncle Antoine.

Claude Jutra is basically the father of Québécois cinema--to the point that their Oscars-equivalent is named after him--and Mon oncle Antoine is generally regarded to be his best work. It even got the full Criterion treatment.

That said, I pretty much agree with The Card Cheat that it's kind of a snoozefest.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:36 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also quite liked Pontypool (which came out 20 years after the list ends), a well done psychological thriller.
posted by sineater at 11:21 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came for the Trailer Park Boys references, left disappointed.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 11:58 AM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


a body horror film by David Cronenberg.
"Body horror" is David Cronenberg's entire oeuvre, isn't it?
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 12:15 PM on April 27, 2013


The moose hunting documentary is so good. Half way in and nothing really happens. Which is part of the reason it is so good.
posted by sixohsix at 12:33 PM on April 27, 2013


I need to watch Goin' Down The Road. It came up in several reviews of Fubar 2, which is also about travelling to find work (and incidentally might be better than the first Fubar)
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:58 PM on April 27, 2013


What I want to know is why Canadian Netflix has so few Canadian movies. If you're going to severely limit the library, at least give me some good CanCon!
posted by asnider at 3:49 PM on April 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also: Athabasca University did this? Cool. I am sitting in their Edmonton office right now!
posted by asnider at 3:50 PM on April 27, 2013


the only reason I even know anything about that movie is because of the SCTV yt parody yt .

Really? I seem to recall that it was on CBC twice a year for a substantial part of my early teens. I'm older than you though, and we had nothing else to watch back then. (Goes off to watch GDtR again...)

asnider: I am with you on the excellent Netflix question. They have more Hindi movies on Canadian Netflix than Canadian English movies. (I'm not sure that's 100% fersure true, but I can assure you that it's undeniably 99% true.) And there aren't even all that many Canadian French movies on Netflix either, although there are some good Quebecois TV shows, which makes up for it.
posted by sneebler at 6:14 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Claude Jutra did some pretty fascinating work. 'Dreamspeaker' traumatized me in a profound way. 'By Design' and 'Pour le meilleur et pour le pire' were also really interesting...

Also, if anyone is curious about French Canadian Science Fiction circa 1989, then please let me know where we can find a copy of 'Dans le ventre du dragon'...
posted by ovvl at 5:57 PM on April 30, 2013


« Older San Francisco band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club rec...  |  Life worries as expressed by G... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments