Depending on who you ask, Canadian cinema may well be celebrating its 100th year this year and, despite the general dismay that it continues to attract from some, it is still very much able to be as innovative as any other national cinema. Why the history lesson? Because that may be the best way to introduce Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, at once a great addition to the Canadian cinematic canon and a bitter poisonous…
By: Trevor Chartrand Canadian films have the unfortunate reputation for being ‘bad’ or ‘poorly produced,’ and as much as it hurts to admit, the generalization tends to be accurate. That’s certainly the case with the latest film from directors Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Michelle Derosierand. Angelique’s Isle tells the true story of a First Nations woman and her wilderness survival during the copper rush of the late 1800s.
One of the best things about moviegoing is watching a rising star come into their own element. Up-and-coming actors are always praised for this, but we don’t shed enough light on indie filmmakers who finally find the right vehicle for them.
Sending the unlikeliest of people into space–from Jason Voorhees to Homer Simpson–has always been a crowd-pleasing move. So it should come as no surprise that Shelagh McLeod finds the same results in her feature directorial debut Astronaut, which sends seventy-one year old Richard Dreyfuss into the heavens, in perhaps the Oscar winner’s best performance in years.
Directed and Written by Katherine Jerkovic, Roads in February is a beautifully shot and immersive film that explores the relationship between a young Hispanic Canadian named Sara (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart), and her grandmother (Gloria Demassi).
In Mouthpiece, two women play the lead character. Not with strategic editing or a duel Sliding Doors-esque narrative, but simultaneously on-screen. While this may sound like an excuse for the filmmakers to showboat and earn arthouse cred, the results couldn’t be farther from being just a fancy trick.
This Is North Preston is a spinning top. One moment, you’ll have your mind made up about what the documentary is presenting only to have your opinion changed a few more times. I was so gobsmacked by the end that I was almost inclined to rewatch the film to see if my opinion would change again – I dare you to find a more riveting documentary than this.
A feature-length story being dissected into individual short films is a concept full of possibilities, only to be expanded on when three filmmakers sign up to shape the narrative. Canadian thriller Ordinary Days take a swing at this challenge but, unfortunately, produces weak results.
By: Trevor Chartrand You’ll be hard pressed to find a more Canadian film than The Grizzlies; the inspiring true story of an impoverished Nunavut community battling mental illness by creating a sports team. Over ten years in the making, this long-time passion project of director Miranda de Pencier is a not only a well-made dramatic film, but also a small taste of the type of media representation First Nations and Inuit citizens deserve.
Hellmington centres on Detective Samantha Woodhouse, distressed over the recent death of her father and tormented by a forgotten yet mysterious case of the disappearance of a former high school classmate. In order to piece together the puzzle of the latter, Samantha reconnects with her past while she’s in town for the funeral; including meeting old acquaintances and people who were close to her late dad.