Jay Baruchel and Sarah Polley to the rescue! I felt the same about Canadian films as most, but then something happened. A few years go, Canada stopped making pure art house pictures and started making movies. no disrespect to either of these categories, but until the mid 2000′s Canadian films were a genre by their own right. They were raw, depressing, and usually overly sexual.
I’m not sure what is responsible for the change, but the Canadian film landscape is by no means as one-dimensional as it once was. We still are able to create those wonderful art house pictures, but now we can make “The Trotzky” and “One Week,” films that are enjoyable, and light.
We may have taken a long time to evolve as a country, but that evolution is now in full swing. The Canadian film landscape is nearly as diverse as any country’s. with the exception of a big budget special effects vehicle, anything the States can do, Canada can match. In fact, what is so special about modern Canadian film is that they can tell the stories that Canadians were previously unable to witness.
We are a different people than our neighbours to the south. Our sense of humour is different, we put the letter “U” in weird places, and we have a natural way of blending comedy and drama that is not often seen south of the Border (the most notable exception to this may be Juno, and that had Maple Leaves plastered all over it). It is because of this that, if Canadians would be more open, they would find that our industry is producing quality films. Films that could not be produced by any other country in the world.
Goon and Bon Cop Bad Cop for instance are films that feel like they were tailor made to be ingrained in the Canadian toque. Then there’s films that are not so obviously made for Canadians, such as Daydream Nation or the Tracy Fragments.
This is the great thing about Canada though, we mix well.
We can do whatever we feel like with celluloid without limiting ourselves by our own preconceived notions of personal identity. More so than any other country in the world, Canada may actually define itself by the art it produces, rather than the more traditional practise of art being defined by its country. This difference may be subtle but so are we as Canadians. We can laugh at the little things, and make little movies about them.
This is not to say that we should forget about Goin’ Down the Road to discover our past. But we have not experienced our golden age yet. We don’t have to pine for the days of Bogart and Grant. We don’t lament Grace Kelly’s decision to run of with royalty and abandon her film career. And we don’t have to hold our directors up to Billy Wilder and watch them pale in comparison. We get to start fresh, in the digital age, and that prospect, is a beautiful thing.