I'm going to bang on some more about the recent controversy about the CRTC (the Canadian TV/Radio regulatory body) and its proposal to loosen rules regarding importing talent to work on Canadian productions. I'm re-visiting it because folks in Canadian film/TV are angry and it's worth drawing more of the audience's attention to the matter.
My Internship in Canada focuses on the experiences of Souverain Pascal, recently arrived from Haiti on a mission to secure an internship in Canadian federal politics. Souverain receives a single response from Independent Member of Parliament, Steve Guibord. Souverain is thrust into the deep end when MP Guibord -- through a series of unlikely and surprising events -- holds the deciding vote in whether Canada will send troops to support the looming war.
Personally I think sites like TV, Eh?, First Weekend Club and Eye on Canada that focus on Canadian productions are good, at least for people specifically looking for that topic. So maybe a preferred venue is a more mainstream newspaper or website that include Canadian coverage next to the more obvious Hollywood stuff.
In the last couple of years Canadian TV programmers have gone nuts for comedy -- specifically so-called "American-style" sitcoms. So far it hasn't really worked out too well with a lot of cancellations and even those series that continue often receiving mixed reviews. So maybe it should come as no surprise that one of the best comedies to come along on Canadian TV is out of left field -- APTN's Mohawk Girls!
Perhaps the problem is Canadian film, with its limited commercial hits, is quick to turn toward idolatry. If we can't have a Steven Spielberg we at least want our Ingmar Bergman, our Akira Kurosawa. And we're quick to hoist onto our shoulders anyone who even remotely seems like a possible candidate.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a film crew to follow you day in and day out, documenting your daily rituals all in an effort to create a successful film? I have a chronic condition called Dermatillomania, which has left me scarred and disfigured on the outside, alienated and "different" on the inside.
A big difference between casting in American and Canadian productions is this: when a Hollywood production casts a Canadian it's in spite of the fact that the actor is Canadian. Yet often when Canadian productions import American actors, they do so because the filmmakers were told they had to have an American lead.
Canadian suffers from a Goldilocks and the Three Bears syndrome: "Serious" Papa Bear films that win accolades but tank at the multiplexes, or lowest common denominator Baby Bear horror films and comedies. This often squeezes out the Mama Bear films -- those that don't require a degree in Film Appreciation 101, yet neither do they demand you check your frontal lobe at the door.
Although The Mortal Instruments didn't exactly grip me, if you loved the movie -- great. But The Mortal Instruments has already won a prize -- by selling more tickets than any other Canadian-produced movie in 2013. If there is to be a Golden Reel Award, shouldn't it celebrate movies that are actually trying to build and develop a domestic Canadian industry?
Canada is, literally, one of the most multiracial/multicultural nations in the world. And yet you probably wouldn't get that impression watching a lot of Canadian movies and TV series. When it comes to Canadian film and TV, things have come a long way -- but it can also feel like two steps forward, one step back.
I've had a weirdly emotional reaction to Pete Seeger's death. Like, way more intense than I would have imagined. I abandoned him when I grew what I thought was a more sophisticated taste in music; his stuff started to seem too plain, too openly earnest, too babyish. Today, though, I've been listening to his songs non-stop, and nearly every single one of them has made my eyes well up.
If you think about many of your favourite American series, you'll realize how much the sense of place seeps into the story (U.S. series often put a place name in the opening credits montage). From Breaking Bad's premise arising out of the American health care system to True Blood with its southern drawls and back woods voodoo.