National Canadian Film Day 150, REEL CANADA’s annual day-long celebration of Canadian movies, is on the horizon and, NOW Magazine and REEL CANADA present a vivid retrospective of our country’s cinematic history over the past 35 years.
April 10 to April 22 at Sam Pollock Square, Brookfield Place (181 Bay)
1. RON MANN
Poetry In Motion | November 11, 1982
Written by Steven Hillen
Photo by Paul Till
Comic Book Confidential was the coolest documentary I saw as a kid. It was on TV constantly, and I’d always watch. The comics were great, but the stories and artists left an indelible impression. Those beads of sweat on the astronauts’ face, censored due to racism, are etched in my memory.
Grass is a killer film. It succeeds at being funny, accessible and informational, but it’s also a convincing and powerful work of activism. The talk-show clips about the impossibility of legislating morality ring especially true. How could I not contemplate it while making The Stairs?
My dad’s a huge jazz fan – he attended the original taping of Imagine The Sound. We saw the film together at Jackman Hall around 10 years ago, and I was introduced to Ron beforehand. I mentioned my then-recent film, Hogtown Blues. Ron gave a knowing smile, appreciating my film title, from Oscar Peterson. A small moment shared with Canada’s chronicler of counterculture. For me, it was highly memorable and felt very cool.
Filmmaker Hugh Gibson
Because he lived in Toronto, I was able to photograph Ron Mann in his apartment and had plenty of time. We were on the same wavelength in terms of goofing around, trying odd ideas. There’s a great shot of him cracking up at a scene from Planet Of The Apes being shown on the TV beside him. I think the photo that we picked was an example of “If and only if the photos are equally good, go for the most appropriate one.”
Photographer Paul Till
2. DAVID CRONENBERG
Videodrome | January 13, 1983
Written by John Harkness
Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg
Videodrome is a completely logical extension of Cronenberg’s work, yet there is a new stylistic maturity and complexity…. He has worked in a genre that is usually derogated as childish…. He has never cast American stars for the sake of casting American stars. And, most important, he has remained true to his vision of human experience that has resulted in the most mature, intelligent body of work by anyone working in the science fiction/horror genre in the last two decades.