Friday, August 4, 2017

100 Best Canadian Films – Stephen Broomer

The publishing of Stephen Broomer’s Hamilton Babylon: A History of the McMaster Film Board last year along with some screenings revealed this too little known artistic movement in Canadian cinema. The year is 1966 and the newly founded McMaster University’s film department is ideologically torn between the aesthetic projects of its two founders: whether it should continue in the vein of the avant-garde films of John Hofsess or of the broad comedies of Ivan Reitman? It’s a stimulating read, extensively researched and full of original commentary, and reveals fundamental problems for the Canadian film industry, both for the experimental and narrative sectors, that are still relevant today.
100 Best Canadian Films is a series of personal surveys of the history of Canadian cinema. Other lists includes those by Paul Corupe, David L. Pike, Jerry White, André Loiselle, Paul WilliamsGreg Klymkiw, Pat MullenJason AndersonDaniel KremerYves Lever, Piers HandlingMarcel JeanMike Hoolboom and myself. – D.D.
Dear David: In response to your request for a list of 100 significant Canadian films, I have chosen to give you an idiosyncratic list of 99 films that informed my sense of Canadian cinema’s scope ’n variety, films I encountered growing up in Toronto, on local television, and in school and through such diverse sources as Cinematheque Ontario, Canuxploitation, and Pratley’s Feature Film Guide. I have tried to give an equal weighting to fiction, documentary, and experimental films, since Canada’s got such a rich tradition across the board. But don’t expect only ‘rich tradition’! If I could, I’d put every TV movie Emmeritus Productions ever made on this list (tip of the hat to Paul C.) – S.B.

The Bitter Ash (Larry Kent, 1963)
À tout prendre (Claude Jutra, 1963)
Winter Kept us Warm (David Secter, 1965)
Countdown Canada (Rob Fothergill, 1967)
Picaro (Iain Ewing, 1967)
The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar (Peter Pearson, 1968)
The Neon Palace (Peter Rowe, 1970)
The Only Thing You Know (Clarke Mackey, 1971)
Rip-Off (Don Shebib, 1971)
The Pyx (Harvey Hart, 1973)
Wedding in White (William Fruet, 1973)
Paperback Hero (Peter Pearson, 1973)
Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
Recommendation for Mercy (Murray Markowitz, 1974)
Les Ordres (Michel Brault, 1974)
Skip Tracer (Zale Dalen, 1977)
Blood Relatives (Claude Chabrol, 1978)
The Brood (David Cronenberg, 1979)
Mourir à tue-tête (Anne Claire Poirier, 1979)
My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka, 1981)
Visiting Hours (Jean-Claude Lord, 1982)
Beyond the Seventh Door (Bozidar D. Benedikt, 1987)
Un zoo la nuit (Jean-Claude Lauzon, 1987)
The Carpenter (David Wellington, 1988)
Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (Michael Rubbo, 1988)
George’s Island (Paul Donovan, 1989)
Highway 61 (Bruce McDonald, 1991)
Careful (Guy Maddin, 1992)
Liar’s Edge (Ron Oliver, 1992)
Calendar (Atom Egoyan, 1993)
Zero Patience (John Greyson, 1993)
Sweet Angel Mine (Curtis Radclyffe, 1996)
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (Lee Demarbre, 2001)

Churchill’s Island (Stuart Legg, 1941)
Paul Tomkowicz: Street-railway switchman (Roman Kroiter, 1954)
Corral (Colin Low, 1954)
The Days Before Christmas (Stanley Jackson, Wolf Koenig and Terence Macartney-Filgate, 1958)
Pour la suite du monde (Pierre Perrault, 1963)
Revival (Don Shebib, 1965)
Helicopter Canada (Eugene Boyko, 1966)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen (Donald Brittain and Don Owen, 1966)
The Things I Cannot Change (Tanya Ballantyne, 1966)
The Fogo Process Films (Colin Low, 1967)
R34 (Jack Chambers, 1967)
A Married Couple (Allan King, 1969)
Sad Song of Yellow Skin (Michael Rubbo, 1970)
August and July (Murray Markowitz, 1973)
Accident (Patrick Crawley and Martin Duckworth, 1973)
Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry (Donald Brittain, 1976)
The Inquiry Film (Jesse Nishihata, 1977)
Home for Christmas (Rick Hancox, 1978)
Hookers on Davie (Janis Cole and Holly Dale, 1984)
Artist on Fire: Joyce Wieland (Kay Armatage, 1987)
Comic Book Confidential (Ron Mann, 1988)
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (Alanis Obomsawin, 1993)
In the Gutter and Other Good Places (Cristine Richey, 1993)
Reconstruction (Laurence Green, 1995)
Fiction and Other Truths: A Film about Jane Rule (Lynne Fernie and Aerlyn Weissman, 1995)
Project Grizzly (Peter Lynch, 1996)
A Place Called Chiapas (Nettie Wild, 1998)
Claire’s Hat (Bruce McDonald, 2001)
Gambling, Gods and LSD (Peter Mettler, 2002)
Tyler’s Barrel (Matt Gallagher, 2002)
Hardwood (Hubert Davis, 2005)
Special Ed (John Paskievich, 2013)
I Drink (Peter McAuley and Jim Shedden, 2013)

Portrait of Lydia (John Straiton, 1964)
Steel Mushrooms (Gary Lee-Nova, 1967)
Palace of Pleasure (John Hofsess, 1967)
Soul Freeze (Bob Cowan, 1967)
Rat Life and Diet in North America (Joyce Wieland, 1968)
Reason Over Passion (Joyce Wieland, 1969)
The Hart of London (Jack Chambers, 1970)
Connexions (Greg Curnoe, 1970)
Wildwood Flower (Keewatin Dewdney, 1970)
Essai à la mille (Jean-Claude Labrecque, 1970)
N-Zone (Arthur Lipsett, 1970)
Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper (David Rimmer, 1970)
La region centrale (Michael Snow, 1971)
Rhapsody on a Theme from a House Movie (Lorne Marin, 1972)
Hearts in Harmony (Judy Steed, 1973)
Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (Michael Snow, 1974)
Sweet Movie (Dusan Makavejev, 1974)
Everything Everywhere Again Alive (Keith Lock, 1975)
Black Forest Trading Post (Andrew Lugg, 1976)
Trapline (Ellie Epp, 1977)
The Art of Worldly Wisdom (R. Bruce Elder, 1979)
The Road Ended at the Beach (Phil Hoffman, 1983)
Landfall (Rick Hancox, 1983)
On Land Over Water (Six Stories) (Richard Kerr, 1984)
36 Short Films (James D. Smith, 1984)
Bricolage (David Rimmer, 1985)
A Trilogy (Barbara Sternberg, 1985)
Undivided Attention (Chris Gallagher, 1987)
Consolations (Love is an Art of Time) (R. Bruce Elder, 1988)
Cloister (Carl E. Brown, 1989)
Machine in the Garden (Richard Kerr, 1991)
Ville Marie (Alexandre Larose, 2006-2009)
Axis (John Kneller, 2014)

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