This animated short tells the story of a dapper young remittance man, sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching in 1909. However, his affection for [polo and] badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. A film about the beauty of the prairie, the pangs of homesickness and the folly of living dangerously out of context. [SLYT Canada NFB] [more inside]
In 1984, the Canadian branch of the United Auto Workers, represented by Bob White, and General Motors Canada, represented by Rod Andrew, sat down to negotiate a new wage agreement. GM had gotten the American UAW to agree to profit sharing and was dead-set on doing the same in the North; the Canadians were bitterly opposed to the idea. By the end of the negotiation, workers had struck, negotiators had been stabbed in the back, White and his allies had split from the UAW to form the CAW, and a compromise was reached that left everyone a bit unhappy - but the workers less so than their managers. Filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson used his unprecedented access to both teams of negotiators to craft Final Offer, "the best collective bargaining film ever made." You can stream the movie in its entirety at the National Film Board's website.
This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed. A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny
Imagine your hometown never changed. That no one ever grew old or moved on. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map. [Autoplaying music/film in links] [more inside]
The National Film Board of Canada's 5th annual online short film competition "Internet votes will decide the best film, and the winner will be announced at Cannes on May 21." NFB previously. [via Drawn!]
Mentioned here earlier in its beta form, Canada's National Film Board has released the bulk of its films online, for free, in the NFB Screening Room. With hundreds of films from the 1920s onwards, including groundbreaking work by animator Norman McLaren, documentaries, dramas, bizarre anti-smoking (or pro-smoking?) screeds and much, much more, it's a breathtaking trove of amazing film to be discovered from north of the 49th. [more inside]