C. a. Canada

literature into film
documentaries on race, culture, and other issues
feature films

A. Authors & FilmmakersThe Apprenticeship of Modecai Richler EVR/897/002M11

Earle Birney: Portrait of A Poet
Donald Winkler     NFB: 1981     Length: 53 min 09 sec

Writer, scholar, activist, Earle Birney is revered as the grand old man of Canadian poetry. In this intimate profile, Birney speaks lovingly of his craft and explains the process of translating poetic inspiration into a successful work of art. Highlighting this one-hour film are excerpts from his moving epic David, the lyric poem From the Hazel Bough, and Alaska Passage, which Birney performs with the percussion group Nexus.~ from National Film Board of Canada

Roch Carrier: Storyteller Supreme
Claire Helman     NFB: 1991     Length: 25 min 37 sec

This profile of Quebec author Roch Carrier follows him from a lively English classroom to his favourite French restaurant. Excerpts from five Carrier novels, read by the author, reveal his more reflective side and capture his familiar story-telling charm. The video includes an excerpt from the NFB's animated version of The Sweater and commentary by Carrier's chief translator, Sheila Fischman.~ from National Film Board of Canada
Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr. Leonard Cohen
Donald Brittain, Don Owen     NFB: 1965     Length: 44 min 01 sec
Produced in 1965, this is an informal portrait of the Montreal poet, novelist, and songwriter, Leonard Cohen. He is seen reading his poetry to a rapt audience and also alone, or relaxing with family and friends. (Also included in Two Men of Montreal, title code: 106B 0165 143; available also with discussion by Donald Brittain in Brittain on Brittain - Program 7: Ladies & Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen, Small Is Beautiful, title code: 111C 0189 190.) (Awards: Toronto; New York; Philadelphia.)~ from National Film Board of Canada
In Short: Leonard Cohen
Roslyn Schwartz, Josef Reeve, Elizabeth Lewis, and Derek May      NFB: 1996     Length: 17 min 49 sec
I'm Your Man: Set to the Leonard Cohen song of the same name, this irreverent animated film plays on the conventions and cliche of romance (4 min. 32 sec.). Poen: In this 1967 film, Leonard Cohen reads and re-reads a prose poem from his novel Beautiful Losers as diverse photographs flash by, juxtaposing word and image for a different effect each time (4 min. 35 sec.). A Kite Is a Victim: "Worthy, lyric and pure," a line from this early Cohen poem, describes this animated short and the poetry itself. Excerpt from Poets on Film No. 1 (1 min. 25 sec.). Angel: A man, a woman and a dog take turns donning wings in this 1966 experimental film that both mocks and embodies the spirit of its decade. Featuring music and an uncredited appearance by Leonard Cohen (6 min. 55 sec.).
Life and Times
Robertson Davies    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: 1996

CANADIAN AUTHORS 1--Atwood EVR/897/017M11

    Atwood and Family. (29:39) This study of one of Canada's most elusive literary figures takes place during a quiet encounter on Atwood's island retreat. The author and the filmmaker discuss what shapes Atwood's fiction and what motivates her characters.
    Ten Million Books: An Introduction to Farley Mowat (25: 15)
    Darts in the Dark: An Introduction to W.O. Mitchell (15:35).
Timothy Findley: Anatomy of A Writer.
    Terence Macartney-Filgate.  NFB: 1992.  Length: 57:25.
An Introduction to Margaret Laurence  無字幕,英文發音      EV/897/008B01        V0033114


Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K.Page.

    Donald Winkler.  NFB: 1991.  Length: 38:05.
Al Purdy:  "A Sensitive Man"
Donald Winkler     NFB: 1988     Length: 54 min 40 sec
This film profiling Canadian poet, Al Purdy, illuminates an artist who is seemingly artless. An apparently casual assemblage of images and words catches the paradox of a poet distrustful of false sentiments. Purdy talks about his work, and fellow poets Margaret Atwood, Dennis Lee, and Irving Layton describe how he has found an authentic voice for Canadian experience. It is a film of interest to students and teachers of Canadian literature, and others wishing to understand why Al Purdy is considered our national poet.~ from National Film Board of Canada
Claude Jutra: Filmmaker
Jim Leach. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 1999.

Entrevue avec Robert Lepage (The Seven Faces of Robert Lepage).   Cinema 3180 B. E. Inc. Cinema 3180 B. E. Inc. 51min 46 sec. Documentary.

B. Literature into Film:       

Just a Little Red Dot (Mitra Sen)  791.43/S474/W052197V     無字幕,英文發音,35分

A group of Caucasian children experience discrimination by wearing a bindi on their forehead and are       inspired to create an ingenious solution and challenge their peers' racist attitudes.

Global Village or Global Pillage? (Jeremy Brecher) 300/B829/VRe/W052199V 無字幕,英文發音

An extremely accessible account of the process of "globalization"...a practical guide to what people can do about it.' The Ecologist; A basic guide to globalization and how to challenge it on the grassroots level; In clear, accessible language, the authors describe how people around the world have started challenging the New World Economy. From the Zapatistas to students and workers in France to the broad-based anti-NAFTA and anti-GATT coalitions, opposition to economic globalization is becoming a worldwide revolt. Global Village or Global Pillage is the best guide available to globalization and how to challenge it.

Poor Boy's Game (Clement Virgo)  791.43/V817p/W052245V    英西文字幕,英文發音,105分

POOR BOY'S GAME is a little film with a big message: hate can only be altered with forgiveness, remorse   and redemption. The highly respected Jamaican director Clément Virgo (episodes on 'The Wire', 'The L Word', 'Soul Food', and films 'Love Comes Down', 'Lie With Me', etc) here takes on the tough subject of racism and the accompanying backlash of consequences and with co-writer Chaz Thorne produces a small but pungent film that touches many aspects of the schism between whites and blacks in the seemingly tranquil town of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Isolating the story in such an unlikely place serves to heighten the core problems the film addresses.

If the Mango Tree Could Speak (Patricia Goudvis) 791.43/G688/W052162V  無字幕,英西文發音,120

This award winning video intimately portrays ten boys and girls, ages 12 to 15, growing up in the midst of war in Guatemala and El Salvador. They talk about war and peace, justice, ethnic identity, friendship and marriage. They share their dreams and hopes as well as their pain and loss.

For more information about the video, reviews and a study guide with readings and lessons for classroom use, visit New Day Films.

The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) 英文字幕,英文發音 VE/823/035MO1

    Once upon a time in the near future a country went wrong. The country was called the Republic of Gilead. Ecological disasters ravaged the land resulting in civil war, political turmoil and wide-spread sterility. Only a very few women could still bear children. These women were called Handmaids.

    Captured trying to escape Gilead, Kate (Natasha Richardson) soon befriends 'gender criminal' Moira (Elizabeth Mcgovern) in the prison-like training center for the country's few surviving fertile women. Moira escapes, but Kate is dispatched to the home of the 'Commander' (Robert Duvall) and his wife Serena (Faye Dunaway). Her role as Handmaid is to bear the commander's child for his infertile wife-but revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the government have other plans for kate-the assassination of the Commander. Passionate drama becomes explosive adventure as Kate risks her life-and the future of her unborn child-to break free and strike a fatal blow for the revolution.

Thanks for the Ride (Alice Munro)  EVR/897/014M11
    28 min. 15 sec. 1983. Director John Kent Harrison. Based on Alice Munro's short story. This finely crafted drama, set in Ontrario's cottage country, revolves around two teenage boys from the city who pick up two local girls on a Saturday night and take them for a ride. It is about values and morals, expectations and broken dreams, class differences and peer pressure. It is also about the overwhelming intensity of adolescent emotions and that momentous event'the sexual encounter. (Award: New York)
Such A Long Journey (Rohinton Mistry)
113 min. 1999. Director Sturla Gunnarsson. Based on Rohinton Mistry's novel.
POETS ON FILM - No. 1 EVR/897/011M11
    Poetry with animation. Including "Riverdale Lion," "A Kite is a Victim," "Klaxon," "The Bulge."
    Poetry with animation. Including "The Perishing Bird," "Mon ecole."
    Poetry with animation. Including "From the Hotel Bough," "Traveler's Palm," "Death by Streetcar," "A Said Poem."
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C. short fimls and documentaries on race, culture and other issues

1. Race and Culture


    Who gets in?  Third-World refugees or Hong-Kong entrepreneurs.
Sisters in the Struggle.
    (about Black Women protest.)  Dionne Brand and Ginny Stikeman.  NFB: 1991.  Genre: Documentary.  Length: 49:23.
Meeting Place.
    (about races in Toronto.)  Kent Martin.  NFB: 1990.  Genre: Documentary.  Length: 52:07.
Canadian Portraits.
    NFB: 1989.  Genre: Documentary.  Length: 29:56.  "Ordinary folks" get profiled in the video.  These "Canadian portraits" are interwoven with historical material from the past which shows the nature and extent of this country's multicultural makeup.
Return Home.
    (about Chinese-Canadians).  Michelle Wong.  NFB: 1993.  Genre: Documentary (Chinese Subtiles).  Length: 29:18.
The Emperor's New Clothes: A Cautionary Tale of Free Trade (Short English Version).
    Magnus Isacsson.  NFB: 1995.  Length: 53:05.
A Sense of Family.  Paul Lang.  NFB: 1995.  Length: 54:15.

Discussion Starters.  NFB.  Length: 25:36.  (for discussion, for learning, for lelaxation)

Bamboo, Lions and Dragons.  Richard Patton.  NFB.  Length: 26:27.  (Vancouver's Chinese community has struggled long and hard to make Canada its home)

Under the Willow Tree: Pioneer Chinese Women in Canada
Dora Nipp     NFB: 1997     Length: 51 min 39 sec

A rich and little-known part of Canadian history unfolds through the stories of the first Chinese women to come to Canada and of subsequent generations of Chinese Canadian women. It is an amazing tale of courageous women who left behind their families, knowing they would never see them again and of girls who were shipped off to the New World to marry men they had never met. These are the women who fought against the many forms of racism they faced in Canada while, at the same time, challenging sexism within their own communities. By passing on language, culture, and values to their children, these women defined what it means to be Chinese Canadian. Beautiful old photographs from family albums, the recollections of seven women who grew up in Canada in the first half of the 20th century, and the memories of narrator and director, Dora Nipp, whose grandfather came to Canada in 1881 to build the railway, create a remarkable story of stunning impact. (Award: Oakland.)~ from National Film Board of Canada
    (This film is asbout culture shock)  Denis Villeneuve.  NFB: 1995.  Length: 30:45.
Between the Solitudes.
     (an offbeat odyssey through Anglo Montreal).  Abbey Neidik.  NFB: 1993.  Length: 49:10.
The Black Sheep.
    Jacques Godbout.  NFB: 1992.  Part One.  Length: 119:00.  Part Two.  Length: 113:38.
Enemy Alien.
    (about the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II.)   Jeannette Lerman.  NFB.  Length: 26:49.
Home Feeling: Struggle for A Community.
    Jennifer Hodge.  NFB: 1994.  Length: 57:35.  The Jane-Finch "Corridor" is an area of six square blocks in Toronto's North York.  To the residents of Metro Toronto, the Corridor evokes images of vandalism, high-density subsidized housing, racial tension, despair and crime.  The film provides a powerful view of a community that, contrary to its popular image, is working towards a more positive future.
Cambon, Marie. Hong Kong or Hay River. Moving Images Distribution, 1995. 25 min.

Chan, Tony. The Panama. Moving Images Distribution, 1996. 28 min.

Chiu, Ling. Tethers. Moving Images Distribution, 1998. 6 min.

Lee, Karin. My Sweet Peony. Moving Images Distribution, 1994. 30 min.

Shaw, Jeneva. Silent History. Moving Images Distribution, 1993. 9 min.

Tabata, Susanne. Talk to Me. Tabata Productions, 1995. 5 min.

2. Other Issues:

Montreal Retro
Mazouz       NFB: 1994

Referendum: Take two/ Prise 2
Stephane Drolet     NFB: 1996     Length: 76 min 35 sec

October, 1995. The most important political event in recent Canadian history, the Quebec vote on sovereignty, is about to unfold. During the tense days leading up to the referendum for independence, 23 filmmakers from the NFB's English and French documentary studios take their cameras into the streets and homes of Quebeckers. Culled from 250 hours of footage, Referendum is an emotional portrait of a profoundly divided society. In a collage of powerful moments, the video recaptures the emotions of that time and measures them against today's political agenda. Implicit is the question: What next? (Award: Montreal.)~ from National Film Board of Canada
The Group of Seven: In Celebration
Radford Crawley and Allan Wargan      NFB: 1995     Length: 53 min 21 sec
This compilation includes portraits of three members of the Group of Seven. Canadian Landscape: As a leading member of the Group of Seven, A.Y. Jackson's paintings of rolling, unpopulated land, winter scenes and the remote Arctic, helped to shape the visual image of Canada. This 1941 film traces the illustrious career of this powerful landscape painter. The camera accompanies Jackson on trips to the northern wilderness of Canada and back to his studio in Toronto, where he describes the challenge of transforming (but never imitating) on canvas the essence of his sketches (18 min.). Lismer: A founding member of the Group of Seven, Arthur Lismer developed a powerful expressionistic style, characterized by raw color, coarse brushwork and simplified form. However, he devoted much of his time to art education. At the Montreal Children's Art Centre, which Lismer ran from 1941 to 1967, we see how children learn creative self-expression through art. A 1952 production (19 min. 10 sec.). Varley: Frederick Varley was a talented colorist, draftsman and intimate observer of life whose gifts were best displayed in his drawings and small watercolors. Romantic and independent, he was known as the "gypsy" of the Group of Seven. In this 1953 film, Varley returns to his studio in Toronto after a sketching trip. The camera moves about his studio, selecting examples of his canvasses and watching him begin a new one (15 min. 57 sec.).~ from National Film Board of Canada
Art On Video: B. C. Women Artists 1885-1985
Emily Carr. Mv Video Publishing Group: 1991. Length: 25 min


D. feature films

Alleyn, Jennifer, Manon Briand, and Marie-Julie, directors.  Cosmos.  Max Films Inc., 1996.

Arcand, Denys. Love and Human Remains. Culver, California: Columbia Tristar, 1995. (Laser Disc)

Biname, Charles.  El Dorado.  Coral Springs: Alliance Entertainment, 1996.

Bonoit, Jacques W.  How to Make Love to A Negro Without Getting Tired.  CHV Communication Inc., 1998.

Brault, Michel. A Paper Wedding. A Capitol Entertainment, 1991. 90 min.

Dale, Holly.  Blood & Donuts.  Artwork & Design Malofilm Distribution, 1995.

Egoyan, Atom.  CalendarAlliance, 1993
---.  Exotica.
The Sweet Hereafter.

---. Felicia's Journey. Alliance Atlantic. 1999. 116 min.

Forcier, Andre. Une Histoire Inventee (An Imaginary Tale). Canada (city unknown): Astral, 1991.

Fung, Richard. Chinese Characters. Toronto: V Tape, 1986.

Fung, Richard. My Mother's Place. Toronto: V Tape, 1990.

Gerard, Francois. Thirty-two Short Films about Glenn Gould. 1994.

Jutra, Claude. Mon Oncle Antione. NFB, 1980. 110 min

There was a time when the general store was the crossroads of life, a place where a boy could learn all he needed for the way ahead--especially when his uncle was the storekeeper, and also the undertaker, and the nephew often called upon to lend a hand. This film recalls such a store in a village in the asbestos mining area of Quebec in the early 1940s. The film presents a hundred-and-one vignettes of village life--all the bitter-sweet nostalgia with which a man might remember the events that thrust him into manhood. The action takes place on Christmas Eve--the one time of the year when the mine closed its doors, and the store bustled with humanity. For a few hours the villagers could forget their poverty and converge on the store for gossip and revelry. In the midst of it all was Uncle Antoine, customary ebullience and ribald humor whetted by occasional recourse to the gin bottle, and always somewhere in the background, his nephew Jacques taking it all in. But for Jacques this night was to bring sudden initiation into some of the harsher, cruder realities of life, even acquaintance with tragedy and death. Mon oncle Antoine is about a Quebec that makes no headlines but reflects the whole of life, the ebb and flow of hope and despair that might be in anyone's memory. In French with English subtitles. ~from National Film Board of Canada
Kotcheff, Ted. The Apprenticeship of Dubby Kravitz. Hollywood: Paramount, 1993.

Krishna, Srinivas. Masala. New York: Fox Lorber Video, 1993.
---.  Lulu.  Coral Springs: Alliance Entertainment, 1997.

Lauzon, Jean-Claude.  Night Zoo.  1987.

Lepage, Robert.  Le Confessional.  Coral Springs: Alliance Entertainment, 1996.

---. No. Alliance Atlantis, 1999. 1 hr. 25 min.
Cinema 3180 B. E. Inc. Entrevue avec Robert Lepage (The Seven Faces of Robert Lepage). Cinema 3180 B. E. Inc. 51 min 46 sec. Documentary.

Maddin, Guy. Tales from the Gimli Hotel. 1988.

Marjara, Eisha  Desperately Seeking Helen.   NFB: 1998    Length: 80 min 40 sec

Director Eisha Marjara's story takes us first to her childhood in snowbound small-town Quebec and then to Bombay, India, where she desperately tries to track down Helen, a famous movie star in the world's largest dream factory. Helen becomes a passage into Marjara's real world--her unsettling youth, life-threatening anorexia, and the devastating 1985 Air India bombing, which took the lives of her mother and sister. This video revisits the '70s pop culture of Marjara's youth and enters the fascinating world of the Bombay movie industry--"Bollywood."~ from National Film Board of Canada
McDonald, Bruce.  Dance Me Outside Alliance Atlantis: 1999

McKellar, Don. Last Night. Alliance Atlantis: 1998. MV 791.43 Md478 Ve

At the turn of the century, the end of the world is known to be coming to an end. This modest comedy-drama examines how the impending doom affects its cast. McKellar plays an architect who plans to meet the end alone at dinner. Others (Sandra Oh, David Cronenberg) make a suicide pact, but are caught apart and struggle to get together before the end. Another man (Callum Keith Rennie) pursues final sexual conquests and a milquetoast woman (Tracy Wright) strives to gain courage. Of course, the group ends up interacting. (from IMDB)
Mehta, Deepa.  Sam & Me.  Layout and Design Astral Video, 1991.
---. Fire. Behavior Distribution, 1996. 104 min
---.  Earth.

Mettler, Peter.  Tectonic Plates/Plagues Tectoniques.  Rhombus Media, 1992.

Podeswa, Jeremy. The Five Senses. Five Line Feature. 2000. 106 min.

Pool, Lea. The Savage Woman. Canada (city unknown): WBF, 1993.
---. Straight for the Heart.
---.  Set Me Free. (1999)

Rozema, Patricia.  I've Heard the Mermaid Singing.
---.  White Room.    Alliance Entertainment: 1991.

The Company of Strangers
Cynthia Scott    NFB: 1990     Length: 100 min 51 sec

A bus breaks down in the wilderness. Eight elderly women, average age 71, are stranded at a deserted farmhouse. The have only their wits, their memories, and eventually some roasted frogs' legs, to sustain them. Through the long days and nights this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and exchange intimate thoughts; turning the crisis into a magical time of humour and spirit. Featuring non-professional actors and spontaneous dialogue, this memorable film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage. (Awards: Vancouver; Halifax; Mannheim; Indianapolis; Calgary; Durban; Banff; Figueira da Foz; Creteil; Montreal; Biarritz; Genie, Toronto.)
Shum, Mina. Double Happiness. USA (city unknown): New Line, 1995. (Laser Disc)

---. Drive She Said. Behavior Distribution, 1997. 103 min

Simoneau, Yves. Perfectly Normal. Montreal, Quebec: Alliance, 1991.

Virgo, Clement. Rude. Willowdale, Ontario: MCA, 1996.
---.  Junior's Groove. Image Entertainment, 1997. 92 min.

Lynn Whitfield stars in powerful movie about love, struggle and passion as the oveprotective mother of piano prodigy Junior Brown.
Williams, Stephen.  Soul Survivor    Malofilm Distribution:  1995

Wheeler, Anne. Loyalties. Jazz Bug: 1991.  MV 791.43 W562 Ve

Lily and her three youngest children join her husband David Sutton, a doctor in an isolated northern Alberta town. Their eleven-year-old son arrives later from boarding school. David conceals a dark secret which caused the family to leave England without telling anybody. They befriend a neighbor Rosanne, who throws out her boyfriend after he beats her up in a bar. Lily, who is very English and out of place in the town, hires the half-Native Rosanne as a housekeeper, and eventually the two women become good friends, until the secret emerges again. (from IMDB)

F. books

Jr. Donohoe, Joseph I., and Jane M. Koustas, eds. Theater Sans Frontiers: Essays on the Dramatic Universe of Robert Lepage. Michigan State UP, 2001.

Kathryn, Elder, ed. The Films of Joyce Wieland. Toronto International Film Festival Group, 1999.

Who's Who In Canadian Film and Television. Global Press, 1999.




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