24. February 2016 · Comments Off on Don Owen’s ‘Nobody Waved Good-bye’ · Categories: Canadian Filmmakers, Feature Films · Tags: ,

don-owen.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxToronto filmmaker Don Owen has died at the age of 84.  Credited with “introducing Canadians to the world and the world to Canadians” he is best known for his 1964 feature-length film Nobody Waved Good-bye about a teenage boy who rebels against his parents’ middle-class goals and conventions.  The film began as a documentary short about probation officers which he transformed into the feature film shot in just three weeks.

He used a small crew of five people and no screenplay. Instead, he wrote a short outline that he would discuss with the actors and camera operator John Spotton before each scene, with dialogue then improvised based on these discussions.  He also choose to shoot one scene with hidden cameras with the actors unaware that they were being filmed.
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Toys – Grant Munro (NFB) – experimental film
mattby Matt Joyce

On the surface, the short film, Toys (1966) by Grant Munro, can be seen as an anti-war film. A message about the effects war toys have on children, it reveals how their glamorization has noticeable repercussions, potentially furthering desensitization to violence. Though this is not the sole message, the film’s derived authenticity comes from its use of dualities. Through the cinematic use of pixilation, realist film form and chosen composition, the film dissolves the structures that separate common binary oppositions. These formal elements, combined with the humanist relation between child and toy, attempt to merge the dichotomies that society understands and perceives as being either fantasy or reality, probable or improbable connections.

The film begins by situating the child in the domain of fantasy – a toy store – a place filled with imagination, where the displays of possibility captivate the mind. The camera portrays faces of excitement and wonder as these children mentally debate their favourite figure. More »

21. September 2015 · Comments Off on Deepa Mehta, In Profile – NFB · Categories: Documentaries · Tags: , , , ,

UnknownDirected by Nettie Wild, this short film is a tribute to award-winning director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta. A true cultural hybrid, Mehta has been described as a “transnational” artist, able to tell universally meaningful stories from a uniquely Canadian point of view. In a career spanning over 30 years she has consistently broken new ground, tackling such controversial issues as intolerance, cultural discrimination and domestic violence. As an Indian who grew up speaking English first in a British Colonial School and then learning Hindi, she finds her passion and her stories in India, and the freedom to choose how to tell those stories in Canada. — NFB

 


(Video profile produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation)

Read about Deepa’s latest project ‘Beeba Boys’ here.  Deepa Mehta at TIFF produced by THE NOMADS.

23. July 2015 · Comments Off on Mike Maryniuk’s ‘Home Cooked Music’ · Categories: Short Films · Tags: , , , , ,

home_cooked_musicWinnipeg filmmaker Mike Maryniuk‘s Home Cooked Music profiles inventor and craftsman Lorne Collie and his whimsical stringed instruments – made out of unlikely items such as shovels, rakes, baseball bats, and stop signs. In Lorne’s hands, these everyday items become beautiful and functional guitars, violins, banjos, and fiddles.  The film is described as “a whimsical chord of Canadiana.” by POV Magazine.

Mike Maryniuk was born in Winnipeg, but raised in the rural back country of Manitoba. A completely self-taught film virtuoso, Maryniuk’s film world is an inventive hybrid of Jim Henson, Norman McLaren and Stan Brakhage. Maryniuk’s films are a visual stew of hand-made ingredients and are full of home cooked wonderfulness. — núna

The film screened at HotDocs 2015 and is now available on NFB’s website.

02. June 2015 · Comments Off on Thomas Burstyn’s ‘Some Kind of Love’ · Categories: Documentaries · Tags: , ,

pics-tom“Art. Science. Housekeeping. A film about a scientist, his sister the artist and the nephew who arrives to make a film about them.” – Official Trailer description

Some Kind of Love is a documentary about two vastly different siblings who are anything but ideal housemates. A world-famous scientist and a revered artist grapple with the challenges of their reunion in filmmaker Thomas Burstyn’s moving documentary about family, duty, and reconciliation.

Born in Montreal, director and cinematographer Tom Burstyn is a multi-award winning, Emmy nominated cinematographer. He trained at the National Film Board of Canada as a documentary maker, before enjoying great success in the feature film industry.

Some Kind of Love opens in Ottawa on June 13th at the Mayfair theatre and in select theatres across Canada in June.  Check your local listings.  Here’s the trailer.