Canadians get early Christmas presence from NFB
Brief: Canadian Film
The National Film Board of Canada wants you to unwrap your present of Canadian presence, offering 20 award-winning movies on-line for free, starting today
By Katherine Monk
(December 7, 2017) -- Naughty? Nice? No matter. The National Film Board is giving everyone a gift by posting 20 award-winning movies on-line — for free. Starting today, Canadian film fans can take in an assortment of documentaries and animated films, including Sarah Polley’s The Stories We Tell, a timeless portrait of her own family and its secrets, as well as Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, a documentary about racial tensions at Concordia and the scars that linger decades later. Perhaps best suited to the Christmas season is Payback, Jennifer Baichwal’s big screen take on Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture outlining the unspoken balance sheet that exists between humans. “We all have these scales of acknowledged or unacknowledged balances in our heads. Some are family things. ...
Gord Downie’s Courage
Tribute: Gord Downie
Gord Downie Tragically Dead at 53, but the Hip's tune Courage will endure through The Sweet Hereafter, as will the frontman's legacy for compassion
By Katherine Monk
(October 18, 2017) — The song is stuck in my head. No doubt, there are others stuck in a similar loop of Gord Downie lyrics as they process the loss of the Tragically Hip’s iconic frontman today. According to the band’s website, Downie passed away last night surrounded by friends and family. He was 53. Downie succumbed to the brain cancer we learned about last year, after his oncologist held a news conference releasing the terminal diagnosis. Ever since, we’ve been waiting to hear the worst. And ever since, the words to the song Courage have been churning through my head. Yet, it’s not Downie’s voice I hear — though his gut-clenching vocals are familiar enough to be conjured at will. I hear the whisper of Sarah Polley’s soft soprano from The Sweet Hereafter. Mychael ...
Canadian Must-Sees: The Sweet Hereafter
Atom Egoyan crafted a world with a gaping black hole in the centre, pulling characters into a swirling, self-destructive vortex, while simultaneously affirming the redemptive power of love THE SWEET HEREAFTER (1997) 5/5 Directed by: Atom Egoyan Starring: Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Tom McCamus, Bruce Greenwood, Arsinée Khanjian, Gabrielle Rose, Earl Pastko, Stephanie Morgenstern and Maury Chaykin. Running time: 112 minutes A film that touches on the essence of love by throwing us into the abyss of loss, The Sweet Hereafter marks the apex of the English-Canadian film tradition as it navigates the empty space left in the wake of tragedy with a gentle, but unsentimental eye. Based on the novel by Russell Banks, The Sweet Hereafter focuses on a school bus tragedy in a small town, and the big city lawyer who drives into town looking to point the finger of blame. Ian Holm plays Mitchell Stephens, a slimy litigator who makes a living off of other people’s pain ...
Rod Mickleburgh writes of Blythe spirit
Canadian actor Jonathan Crombie leaves a latent impression on the Canadian film landscape after playing the sweet-natured soul perpetually burned by the flinty Anne... of Green Gables
By Rod Mickleburgh
Social media reaction to the unexpected death this month of Canadian actor Jonathan Crombie, who so memorably played Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables, came almost entirely from the distaff side. Not too many guys were fans of the movie, I guess. Well, I’m a fan. A big one. Like many of my gender, it seems, I was originally pretty dismissive of the whole Anne of Green Gables thing. Who cares about the adventures of some spunky 11-year old orphan girl in turn-of-the-20th century Prince Edward Island? She hates her red hair. Boo hoo. Bring on Anna Karenina. But my mind was changed when I went to what I had hoped would be a party at a friend’s house, only to discover all the women heading into the TV room to watch Anne of Green Gables. Thinking they couldn’t ...