Over lunch today I was having a really interesting random discussion that led from my misunderstanding of Mayan culture to solar flares to HAARP to strange bird deaths in 2011 and 2012 then on to Canadian Film. Probably this apocalyptic theme is what led me to bring up "Last Night" with Sandra Oh and Don McKellar.
Canadian Film is one of my favourite topics because it reveals a darker side of our culture that often goes unnoticed by the rest of the world. As you may know already a typical depiction of a Canadian persona is polite, generous, easily offended and even boring. Perhaps this is why there is a thread of darkness woven into the fabric of our arts and culture. Canadian Film is not widely acclaimed and even many Canadians haven't seen some of our master pieces of cinema. These films have a subtle dark, dry, morbidity or melancholic flavour that is only rivaled by Swedish films ("Let the Right One In") in my humble opinion. It does seem that Sweden and Canada have a few things in common such as being northern, dark and cold.
One of my lunch companions @bigredalex described it well... and this is not even close to an exact quote... "there is a quality to the editing where there are long pauses left in where other films would cut that leaves an awkwardness or sense of foreboding in a usually banal conversation". An American film that reminds me of this same sensibility is "Happiness". I admit that a bit of what I am talking about was a part of the 90's zeitgeist but is also a part of a Canadian persona that many people don't see. I believe it stems from the dry humour of Canadian's colonial British history but flavoured with angst of diaspora of everyone who lives here (Canadian aboriginals have diaspora for being displaced in their own land, everyone else is either foreign or born to a foreigner... very few Canadians have been here for several generations).
So what are my top Canadian flicks? I will list them below. There are three on my mind but so many more great ones out there – feel free to send me your suggestions as well!
Director: Don McKellar Writer: Don McKellar
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
Love That Boy
Director: Andrea DorfmanWriters: Andrea Dorfman, Jennifer Deyell;
Rotten Tomatoes Score: unrated
Director:Jean-Marc Vallée Writers: Jean-Marc Vallée, François Boulay;
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
And remember to check out the National Film Board of Canada... an amazing library of Canadian films you can watch for free!