Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When A Canadian Movie Is Wrapped...As A Gift

Denis McGrath put up a long post today that's a definite must-read...go NOW. It's an overview of the CRTC's (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) mandate, followed by the big guy questioning whether Vice Chair Michel Arpin has our best interests in mind when he publicly states in an interview that he's "...not that interested in televised fiction or even feature films. I would prefer to read a novel."


But always the helpful one, Denis goes on to suggest we send him copies of quality Canadian TV shows and movies we like with a plan to forward one of each per month to Mr. Arpin's office with the hope of educating the commissioner about what we make, so to speak.

I'm pretty sure we'll have the TV shows and series covered pretty well, but what about Canadian feature films? When I was starting out in this biz, Un Zoo la Nuit (Night Zoo), I've Heard The Mermaids Singing, and Jesus of Montreal were the movies held up high as the bar to strive for. Personally, I enjoyed "Night Zoo" the most.

So what are the feature films held up high today?

For a long time, I didn't pay a lot of attention to our indigenous theatrical releases because...well, not very many peaked my interest, and I was working in TV. But over the past year or so, as I've been more involved in the development of long form drama, I've made best effort to see more Canadian features...so as to be conversant, you know. Here's some of the ones I've screened:

Bon Cop Bad Cop
The Tracy Fragments
Emotional Arithmetic
Away From Her
Beowulf and Grendel
Monkey Warfare
Trailer Park Boys: The Movie
Eastern Promises
The Rocket

*It's All Gone Pete Tong

Sadly, very few of these I actually saw in a cinema and had to catch them on Super Channel or Movie Central. And of the list above, C.R.A.Z.Y. was easily the film I enjoyed the most... entertaining well-made Canadian English language flicks have always seemed fewer and farther between. Those darn French...they make better films and have a different word for everything.

At any rate, you can discuss or suggest HERE at InkCanada or chime away in the comments, but sticking to more recent Canadian feature films, what titles would you recommend sending to CRTC Vice Chair Michel Arpin?

(Here are two compilations on Wikipedia...Cinema of Canada...and...Canadian Films of the 2000's... but I acknowledge that neither is a complete list)

* added after post written


Justin James said...

"It's All Gone Pete Tong" directed by Michael Dowse is the best Canadian features I have seen in recent years. One of my favorite movies (Canadian or otherwise)of 2005.

Same director did "FUBAR" which was also quite fun and original.

wcdixon said...

Thanks Justin...I'd forgotten about Pete Tong and only saw it in past year and a half. Adding to list.

jimhenshaw said...

How about "Juno"? That's more Canadian than a lot of Canadian films.

Does that make the list?

wcdixon said...

Jim Jim Jim....that would be a big "no". Otherwise, why would the new head of Telefilm's English language feature fund state that she feels 'we' can make a 'Little Miss Sunshine' or 'Juno'? As discussed way back when.

jimhenshaw said...


So how far are we from making a "Dark Knight" or "Iron Man"? -- Too much to hope for?

Justin James said...

I don't know when a film as big as The Dark Knight will come out of Canada. Hell I would settle for a Hellboy or even The Crow.

Troy Nixey and Neil Blomkamp are two Vancouver filmmakers that look like they may break out soon.