It’s Canada Day! YAY!
And to celebrate, I thought I’d post about some of my favorite Canadian movies, we all know that Canadian television right now is amazing – Lost Girl, Bomb Girls, Continuum, Flashpoint and oh so many more, as Sue and I have constantly and consistently raved about.
So here’s a few of my favorite Canadian Films, all of them are fairly well known, so I don’t think that there will be any surprises, but have a look, and share your thougts.
First off, all hail the new flesh with David Cronenberg’s cult classic, Videodrome. Released in 1983, it still creeps me out, is still wicked to watch, and Deborah Harry is so hot in this film! James Woods plays a bit of sleaze and TV programmer, always looking for something to push the limits of his channel. And he hears about a program called, videodrome, which features sadism, sexuality, and murder. But reality and television, body and media all blur as his life spirals out of control. I also love seeing Toronto of the 80s, I see places and streets I recognize and ones I’ve never seen, as they are no longer there. Cronenberg is a master and has made some brilliant films, but this one will be my fave of his work.
Sarah Polley, herself a Canadian icon, growing up on Canadian television on the show Road To Avonlea, slipped into toe director’s chair to bring us the lovely Away From her. Based on the short story The Bear Came Over The Mountain by Alice Munro, Polley directs two screen icons masterfully. Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie star as a couple who go through an amazing trial when Christie’s character is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Heartbreaking, lovely, and an all round gorgeous film, this one is a weeper. And Sarah directs the film masterfully, eliciting fantastic performances from her stars.
Things are rotten in the brewery in this updated take on the Bard’s classic Hamlet. Strange Brew is Bob and Doug McKenzie in the big screen. Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas are goofy, lovable, and stereotypical Canadians. And yes, if you actually pay attention to the story it is blatantly Hamlet, right down to the ghost of a slain father, and the name Elsinore, in this case a brewery where Bob and Doug end up employed. While I was a teen in Bermuda, I couldn’t see this movie enough. All the “eh’s?”, the shots of the CN Tower, before the dome, the stubbie beer bottles, hockey, doughnuts, and just the goofy, harmless humor of it all. Takeoff eh?
Rock Paper Scissors: The Way of the Tosser. The first film of our dear friends Tim Doiron and April Mullen. Shot in a documentary style, it’s oddball, goofy, and one could easily dismiss it, if it weren’t for the big heart that it wears on its sleeve, that makes it endearing. April and Tim put it all out there, and you can’t help but love them for it. With Dead Before Dawn 3D on the horizon, I like to go back every now and again, and revisit Holly and Gary Brewer.
The movie is just fun, and yes, there actually is a yearly RPS competition that happens here in Toronto.
The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard. This film will always be inextricably tied to The Mind Reels, and it also introduced me to some wonderful people I now count as my friends, Jeremy Lalonde, Mary Krohnert, Anthony Grani and Christine Horne. It’s a sharp, witty romantic comedy, shot in a documentary style that shows off some of the amazing talent Canada has to offer in front of and behind the cameras. And like Rock Paper Scissors, this is only the beginning for Jeremy and those lucky enough to work with him.
If you haven’t seen any of these, check them out!
Celebrate Canada Day!