December 13, 2006

Look, Tiny Tim: The Canadian Film 2006 "Top Ten"

(Vancouver) The “Top 10” of Canadian Film for 2006 has been chosen. Courtesy of the TIFF Group. A quick Google search will reveal a list predictable and disheartening, as these list usually are. There’s one dramatic feature which is not too bad and has a little bit of appeal. There’s a couple of very earnest documentaries. And then the bulk of the list is filled out with pretentious art house style junk which certainly isn’t art, nor is it made for any discernible audience outside of the tiny group of faux intellectuals (or perhaps pseudo-intellectuals is a more accurate term?) who huddle around together patting themselves on the back, throwing away millions and millions of tax-payer dollars, year after year. All the while pointing a finger at big bad Hollywood as the reason nobody goes to see their films.

Notable about the list is the lack of “big name” Canadian filmmakers. That’s a big plus for Canadian film’s direction. You know, Egoyan comes to mind. Or Lantos, or a few others. The usual suspects who have sucked so many untold millions out of taxpayers in the name of “Canadian Culture” and produced film after film, year after year, which Canadians hate. Certainly Canadians look at their garbage as anything but Canadian Culture. It’s not embraced by Canadians as their own, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, Lantos has another hopeless bomb in the wings with “Fugitive Pieces” and Egoyan is hiding out at the U of T until the ill-wind blows over and maybe Canadians will never notice the $40 million or so thrown away on his boring pretentious flops. Hey -- when exactly are Lantos and Egoyan going to start paying back all those millions in government loans and public investments? Maybe Egoyan should sell his Land Rover?

But what is disheartening is that some obscure filmmaker once again pulled the old Canadian funding trick and placed old cross-eyes Donnie McKellar in as the star of his film Monkey Warfare. This was done solely to get Telefilm production funding and the “stamp of approval”. This list of really awful Canadian films that have starred the feeble actor is long and sad. All of them complete disasters, with one grating third-rate Peter Sellers on cough syrup “performance” after another. But, he’s one of the Canadian Film Illuminati. A made man. The kicker? He’s going to star in yet another pretentious go-nowhere film he wrote in the not too distant future. And we, my friends, will be throwing millions down the shoot for more faux Canadian Culture staring the faux Canadian star, Don “Old Cross-eyes” McKellar.

Other low points include the lack of inclusion of Bon Cop, Bad Cop on the list. Sorry to burst your bubbles, but Trailer Park Boys hasn’t come close to breaking even and is not a runaway hit. Although it is a decided move in the right direction. Bon Cop, Bad Cop did a lot more original things and was far more interesting. And it was a genuine hit film. That’s reality.

And where’s this stupid pet zombie movie, Fido? It’s not on the list? Canadians dropped $11 million on this also-ran Shaun of the Dead. Not good enough to be on this list? Geez, that really doesn’t signal good things for this film. Or maybe it does? The group of people who have been given credit for this list have a track record of being completely clueless with regard to Canadian film decision-making. Everyone of them with a really dark past of public fund waste. So maybe that means it’s worth checking out? You wouldn’t think so reading about it. It sounds like an awful riff in Dead Alive/Shaun/ a thousand other tired zombie comedies sub-genre.

And lastly, there is the wet stain of Sarah Polley. Super-activist. So super left wing hardcore she was ex-communicated from the NDP (seriously). Child star who never had to get a real job and knows very little about every day Canadians. Her “actor’s film” is on the list, of course. It’s oh so “Canadian” in its dreariness and lack of audience. What makes it all so distressing, is that once we get rid of a hackauteur like Egoyan, he’s replaced by a future repeat siphon for Canadian taxpayer dollars like Polley. There seems no escape. No doubt, she already at work at her next project. Her funding for next year squirreled away by Wayne Clarkson before Telefilm even gets any allotment from the government. Likely while she jets around to film festivals, paid for by Telefilm, for her film which was ruthlessly and expensively promoted by Telefilm to be in those festivals. The film a few hundred Canadians might go see in the theatre and rent. A few hundred, tops.

Merry Christmas, English Canadian Film. May God, if there is one, help the sad orphan that is English Canadian Film.
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