Screenings for Canadian Values
April 19, 2017 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Today is National Canadian Film Day 150, a massive one-day celebration of Canadian cinema in honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial. To help you celebrate from your couch, the CBC is offering 7 Canadian feature films you can watch online for free.

CBC's selection:
• Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner)
• Away from Her
• Incendies
• Last Night
• Manufactured Landscapes
• Stories We Tell
• Sweet Hereafter

If that doesn't float your boat, or you are just annoyed by the commercials, here are some more free Canadian films being offered online today:
The National Film Board of Canada has a playlist of 13 animated and documentary films, starting with one in which actor Eric Peterson sets out on foot to personally thank every Canadian for supporting Canadian artists.

BIG GIRL, a charming short, free to watch until midnight April 20th, courtesy of the Canadian Film Centre.
Nine-year-old Josephine openly resents her mother for having a newfound love life. When her mother introduces her to a new boyfriend, Josephine gives him the cold shoulder. A bittersweet battle of wills erupts, both heartbreaking and hilarious.

Mia’ by Indigenous (Michif) filmmaker, media artist and stop-motion artist Amanda Strong.
Transformed into a salmon, an Indigenous street artist travels through decayed urban landscapes to the forests of long ago in this sublime animation. This story is a reverberation working in continuum with the Wuikinuxv oral story, Xa’Pkvas Wisem Mia’x’t - The Boy Who Turned into a Salmon, as told by the late Chief Simon Walkus Sr.
Which Canadian film is the best? REEL Canada offers up some candidates, with a list of 150 Canadian Films (not “the top 150” nor “in order” mind you – we don’t want to be rude after all).

For those wanting to delve deeper than just feature films, The Toronto International Film Festival presents Canada on Screen, with an online catalogue highlighting all manner of moving images: animations, commercials, documentaries, experimental film and video, features, moving-image installations, music videos, shorts, and television.

Bonus: Can’t decide between popcorn and poutine?
Why not try one of these Canadian-film-inspired recipes from noted Canadian chefs: Lamb of Green Gables, Bon Chop Bad Chop Salad, Trailer Park Pops, and more. [pdf]
posted by Kabanos (55 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
A really neat thing my colleagues at the UofT Media Commons are doing for the fourth (?) year in a row: tweet them your favourite non-Canadian film, get a Canadian film recommendation back!
posted by avocet at 1:06 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Oh wow! Thanks! A few of these I haven't seen despite understanding that they are very very good. (I love Sarah Polley and while it's not listed, I really loved Take This Waltz. If it's still on Canadian Netflix, you should watch it.)
posted by Kitteh at 1:15 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Last Night is great! If you want your world to end quietly and politely, you will love Last Night. David Cronenburg's role is especially ... Canadian.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:18 PM on April 19 [9 favorites]


It seems the celebration is for Canadians only: "This content is not available outside of Canada." Too bad, the films looked interesting.
posted by drnick at 1:23 PM on April 19


The 150 list is missing _Hard Core Logo_.

Not enough wtfs here.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:25 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]


It seems the celebration is for Canadians only: "This content is not available outside of Canada." Too bad, the films looked interesting.

And yet I am Canadian, just not residing in Canada. Now I'm homesick. :(
posted by Pazzovizza at 1:27 PM on April 19


Pazzovizza, I know how you feel. When I got geo-blocked I actually said "but..." out loud.
posted by tillermo at 1:30 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Yeah! LET'S INTRODUCE AND CELEBRATE CANADIAN FILM WITH... canadians only.

Also, the one Canadian I know lives in the U.S. now so he can't even reminisce.
posted by Samizdata at 1:36 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


The 150 list is missing _Hard Core Logo_.

I still remember Bruce McDonald saying he was going to spend his prize money for Roadkill on a big chunk of hash.

I'm probably just out of touch, but weren't there more (and better) Canadian movies out in the 80's and 90's? Then again, that's when I last went to indie movie theaters.

One of the best Canadian movies I've seen recently is Paul à Québec (this list doesn't seem to have many films from Quebec?)

It has a weepy ending but I loved the setting just outside of Quebec City.
posted by My Dad at 1:36 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Roger Ebert once recalled this discussion about Last Night:
On a talk show in Toronto, I was asked to define the difference between American and Canadian films, and said I could not. Another guest was Wayne Clarkson, the former director of the Toronto Film Festival. He said he could, and cited this film. "Sandra Oh goes into a grocery store to find a bottle of wine for dinner," he said. "The store has been looted, but she finds two bottles still on the shelf. She takes them down, evaluates them, chooses one, and puts the other one politely back on the shelf. That's how you know it's a Canadian film."
posted by ALongDecember at 1:38 PM on April 19 [18 favorites]


I've only seen 15 of those 150. I better get cracking before they revoke my citizenship.
posted by rocket88 at 1:45 PM on April 19


Hell yes for Canadian film.

SHAMELESS PROUD DAD links to 2 short films my son was in that went to the Toronto International Film Festival:
Boy, by Connor Jessup (American Crime, Falling Skies), TIFF 2015
Hidden Driveway, by Sarah Goodman (Army of One, Porch Stories), TIFF 2011.
posted by chococat at 1:49 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


We’re sorry, this content is not available outside of Canada. If you believe you have received this message in error please contact us.

What the eh?
posted by Going To Maine at 1:57 PM on April 19


Claude Jutra's work is still on that REEL Canada list, shamefully.

But otherwise, yay! Thank you!

Here's a personal favorite short by Norman McLaren: Le merle
posted by the letter at 2:01 PM on April 19


The Trotsky!
posted by chapps at 2:03 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I've heard the mermaids singing ... New Waterford Girl ... The Grand Seduction ... The Confessional ... Breakfast with Scot ... oh man, I may never re-emerge.

I haven't seen the Grey Fox. :(
posted by chapps at 2:08 PM on April 19


Oh wait... that's the list not stuff I can watch right now.
posted by chapps at 2:09 PM on April 19


I will forever be grateful to the "Canadian Content" requirement for SCTV's MacKensie Brothers.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:19 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


• Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner)
• Away from Her
• Incendies
• Last Night
• Manufactured Landscapes
• Stories We Tell
• Sweet Hereafter


Two directed by Sarah Polley, three featuring Sarah Polley. I endorse Sarah Polley just on general principle, but surely we have other artists in this country.


On a side note, I saw Last Night in its theatrical run with a friend. At one point, Patrick (Don McKellar's character) visits the apartment of Craig (played by Callum Keith Rennie) not long before the impending apocalypse. The walls of the apartment are covered with lists of names of women that Craig hopes to get horizontal with before the world ends. My companion Valeska, a Toronto actress, chortled loudly at the scene: most of the names on the walls were the names of women in the Toronto arts scene, and she knew a bunch of them personally.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:22 PM on April 19 [13 favorites]


I'm 66 miles from the border; can't you bend the rules a bit?
posted by epj at 2:23 PM on April 19


Does Cronenberg count as Canadian?

Besides him, the movies that have stuck with me the longest include Leolo, Jesus of Montreal and Clearcut.
posted by My Dad at 2:40 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


La face cachée de la lune is one of my personal favourites which doesn't seem to be on the list.

Also, I had no idea they remade La guerre des tuques.... but they changed the catchy English title from "The Dog Who Stopped the War" to "Snowtime!".
posted by tillermo at 2:46 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Sorry.
posted by parki at 2:52 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


The walls of the apartment are covered with lists of names of women that Craig hopes to get horizontal with before the world ends.

It's not all women. My name's on that wall.
posted by dobbs at 2:59 PM on April 19 [9 favorites]


This is awesome.

If you're looking for a lighthearted read on Canadian film, might I suggest Weird Sex and Snowshoes?
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:35 PM on April 19


No Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, no nothing.

Also their writeup for Last Night says "populous" when they mean "populace," as if any word with an "ou" is good
posted by Beardman at 3:39 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Watching the NFB shorts, Mobilize is great, and has a Tanya Tagaq track for its soundtrack. It is wonderful to see some amazing indigenous/aboriginal/First Nations work represented!
posted by the letter at 3:55 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Are these free for today only? There's not enough time!

"This content is not available outside of Canada."

I think some cultural outreach would be a fine thing, but the CBC is probably prevented from sharing by its govenment mandate or distribution agreements, or both.

The 150 list is missing _Hard Core Logo_

WTF? At least they got Pontypool. Seriously, watch Pontypool.
posted by rodlymight at 3:56 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


No Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, no nothing.

I really enjoyed Careful when I saw it in the theater way back when.

Most Canadian movies made outside of Quebec look very "Toronto" (mostly because of the lighting techniques, I think), but Guy Maddin's films always look very distinct, very un-Canadian.
posted by My Dad at 3:59 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


The 150list got My Winnipeg and Saddest Music In The World so I think they've covered the essential Guy Maddin.
posted by Sauce Trough at 4:03 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


The Five Senses isn't on there. :(
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:07 PM on April 19


Pontypool has a free showing in Calgary at the Globe tonight for CUFF. Starts at 6:45 I think.
posted by dr. moot at 4:14 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I am also deeply unimpressed by the omission of Hard Core Logo from the list. Seriously, what the hell?
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 4:28 PM on April 19 [4 favorites]


I took an early start yesterday I wen to see a movie that was quite interesting and...DEATH TO ViDEODROME LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH!
posted by SageLeVoid at 4:35 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Note that the site mentions many smaller places will be having free screenings of Canadian films today--I'll be attending one later this evening. Check this page to see if there's one near you.

(I also noted the Sarah Polley-heavy list and laughed.)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:47 PM on April 19


I hate to dump on all the people who worked hard on this initiative, but I wonder why are there so many films being show all on the same day in Victoria? It's not like there is a huge population of film geeks who are going to go to all of these movies at the same time in the middle of the week.

I wish I had heard about this sooner as well.
posted by My Dad at 5:24 PM on April 19


I watched Incendies for the first time a couple months back and it's pretty amazing, though really heavy/emotional and with one of the deeper WTF!? 'twists'. If you haven't seen it try watching the opening scene for a taste (and some excellent Radiohead usage!).

A quick top of the head top 3 all-time for Canadian cinema:

1. Hard Core Logo
2. Pontypool
3. Saddest Music In The World
posted by mannequito at 6:07 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


I'm always a bit torn about Canadian Film Day. On the one hand it is great to celebrate our rich cultural history in movie making (Mary Pickford was Canadian! One of Buster Keaton's last films was made in Canada!) especially in our 150th year. But as I've moaned about before on the Blue, the reason we have a Canadian Film Day is because we ignore our films. There's nothing wrong with that list of movies above its just that it is the same handful of people who get funding, who get the marketing, who hocked to the Academy. And as ricochet biscuit points above, we have more than just Sarah Polley making movies in this country. That's always the issue in Canada (especially English Canada). Check out this interview with Toronto filmmaking wunderkind Matt Johnson. As someone who's worked in the industry for much of his adult life (good grief), I assure you Matt Johnson isn't wrong in that interview... Canadians, not bureaucrats, need to support their culture otherwise we won't have one.

I could likely rant longer but I don't think I should. This about Canadian film and Canadian film is awesome and deserves our support. So pay to go see it. Tell your friends to go see Canadian film. If you're a teacher, show your class Canadian films. Supporting your local rep or Cinematheque, your local film cooperative, local film fest, the NFB or the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

I've out together some links that should flesh out Canadian cinema for the neophyte:

* To our American friends, I believe this Canadian film should work in the US Valley Below on MUBI.

* The ABCs of Canadian Film

* Some First Nations lists (includes non-Canadian films):
11 Essential Native American films available online
Journalist and former programmer for the imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival, Jesse Wente's list

* BFI has a nice list of Canadian LGBT films

* Canadian Genre film primer

* For some recent(ish) Quebec films - 1, 2, 3.

* The avant garde... I couldn't find anything comprehensive but I did find one of the greats on Youtube - Michael Snow's Wavelength

* Greatest unsung Canadian director? I have said it before here on the Blue many times... John Paizs. His Crime Wave is a masterwork of Canadian cinema. Watch it.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:27 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Where is Mon Oncle Antoine? Where are Les Invasions Barbares and Le Déclin de l'Empire Américain? Where is Jésus de Montréal? Where is Les Ordres? Etc etc etc

My Canada has more than one language, my Canadian films include films in French.
posted by seawallrunner at 6:38 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Mon Oncle Antoine's director, Claude Jutra was revealed to be a pedophile. While it is true, one can argue, that his films are great films his legacy as an abuser has tainted his artistic legacy.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:46 PM on April 19


If you're into gimmickry/experimentalism, Bruce McDonald's The Tracey Fragments (wikipedia, trailer) does some neat things with split screen.
posted by juv3nal at 7:05 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Also, I had no idea they remade La guerre des tuques.... but they changed the catchy English title from "The Dog Who Stopped the War" to "Snowtime!".

The 1984 Rock Demers version of La guerre des tuques (The Dog Who Stopped the War) is one of the most fascinating and under-rated films that I've ever seen. It's very cute, but with subtle undertones. A brief scene: La bataille.
posted by ovvl at 7:49 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


It's not all women. My name's on that wall.

Indeed. My (heteronormative) mistake. Congrats!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:21 PM on April 19


Wait, what... no Jesus of Montreal?!!
posted by chapps at 11:46 PM on April 19


WTF? At least they got Pontypool. Seriously, watch Pontypool.

SO seriously. In fact, why are you still here reading this comment?

GO ALREADY!
posted by Samizdata at 12:20 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


At least the CBC was Canadian enough to open their "You don't get to watch this" screen with an apology.
posted by hippybear at 2:31 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Guy Maddin or GTFO.

Archangel is one of my favorite movies ever.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:38 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


A couple of my favorite Canadian films:

The Changeling
(Also one of my favorite horror movies. )

and

Leolo
(Unfortunately, no subtitles. In French.)
posted by hoodrich at 3:31 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Oh god the temptation of rewatching The Sweet Hereafter has me pre-emptively curled up into a ball.
posted by Theta States at 7:23 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Two directed by Sarah Polley, three featuring Sarah Polley. I endorse Sarah Polley just on general principle, but surely we have other artists in this country.

I never knew she was Canadian and now I know. So there's that.
posted by octothorpe at 7:30 AM on April 20


My Canadian faves:
Pontypool
The Hanging Garden
Kissed
Last Night
Crash (the good one, the Canadian one)
Monsieur Lazhar
Videodrome
The Sweet Hereafter
Vinyl

Some qualified recommendations:
Cube if you love claustrophic scifi and liked Saw.
Manufactured Landscapes is a must if you aren't familiar with Edward Burtynsky
The Rasberry Reich if you're in to arty gay porn
Ginger Snaps is one of the best werewolf / puberty films ever
waydowntown if you are ok with something rough and indie but totally quirky ala early Kevin Smith
posted by Theta States at 7:36 AM on April 20


Redone with trailers linked...

My Canadian faves:
Pontypool
The Hanging Garden
Kissed
Last Night
Crash (the good one, the Canadian one)
Monsieur Lazhar
Videodrome
The Sweet Hereafter
Vinyl

Some qualified recommendations:
Cube if you love claustrophic scifi and liked Saw.
Manufactured Landscapes is a must if you aren't familiar with Edward Burtynsky
The Rasberry Reich if you're in to arty gay porn
Ginger Snaps is one of the best werewolf / puberty films ever
waydowntown if you are ok with something rough and indie but totally quirky ala early Kevin Smith


Please watch the trailers and hunt down the films that intrigue you!
posted by Theta States at 7:45 AM on April 20 [2 favorites]


For the long list, I could suggest some interesting Canadian 70's TV movies (or seen on TV):
'Skip Tracer',
'Drying Up The Streets',
'Dreamspeaker',
'The Squamish Five'
(Paul Donovan did a lot of pretty cool stuff, like 'Defcon 4' and 'Paint Cans');

also, probably not seen on TV: 'The Rubber Gun';
and later than the 70's: 'The Reflecting Skin' (~creepy)
and mentioned in comments above: 'Crime Wave' (definitely worth a look!)
I've liked everything that Guy Madden has done, but 'Tales from Gimli Hospital' is my favourite.
posted by ovvl at 7:47 AM on April 20


Your Reflecting Skin recommendation took me aback for a moment. I like the film but I don't think of it as Canadian (director is British, many of the stars are non-Canadian) but it is filmed in Canada with Telefilm money so it does count as Canadian. I have deeply fond memories of watching Defcon 4 with my older cousins...
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:48 AM on April 20


Oh yeeaaah, The Reflecting Skin. Just saw it last fall at the Royal. The frog scene holds up.

How about Lilies?
posted by Beardman at 9:39 AM on April 21


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