January 10, 2007

New Year, New Genies, New Hope -- and a Common Sense Plea

(Halifax) It’s an interesting dilemma this year at the Genie awards. Think about this impossible scenario: some Canadians have actually seen the films nominated for awards.

W.T.F. ???

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, some of the films up for the major awards were films that Canadians actually went out to see. Canadian tax-payers, the people paying for Telefilm, actually rewarded Telefilm’s policy of promoting viable films. Films which are culturally viable. Meaning films that are a part of culture, because Canadians embrace them as their own.

This is a point that cannot be stressed enough, and contrasted enough, with what came before. So let’s make this really simple and straight forward for everybody so that they understand the point. I’ll put it in capital letters.

CANADIAN CULTURE LOVES = BON COP, BAD COP, THE TRAILER PARK BOYS, THE ROCKET and other genre movies that are distinctly Canadian including many genre films in our history made by guys like DAVID CRONENBERG! This is true over all our history. They vote for them with their box office dollars. They vote for them with their TV ratings. IT IS OBVIOUS WHAT IS CANADIAN CULTURE.

CANADIAN CULTURE HATES = ATOM EGOYAN, DON MCKELLAR, BRUCE MCDONALD, PATRICIA ROZEMA, and all the rest of the poseurs and obscure film festival “darlings“. Canadians hate these bastards. They don’t patronize their films and see them as jokes. They have made Canadian film the laughing stock it is today among Canadians. IT IS OBVIOUS THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO PLACE IN CANADIAN CULTURE AND SHOULD NOT BE SUPPORTED WITH ANOTHER SINGLE PENNY OF CANADIAN TAX-PAYER MONEY.

Is there any mystery then, recognizing these undeniable truths, that the Genies have been viewed as pointless by Canadians? The pinnacle in uselessness being a Genies award show hosted with Atom Egoyan’s pompous unibrow war-pig wife. Who is going to watch that? NOBODY.

I apologize to intelligent readers who already “get” the obvious and don’t need all the capitals of this entry. Canadian film has, and always has had, so much potential. Telefilm the same. It is an institution with a noble mandate: enable the creation of Canadian culture. It is such a tragedy that that has happened so little before 2006. One can only hope that maybe, just maybe, the powers that be will look upon the Genies this year and something will “click” in their minds. Shockingly, there might actually be an audience -- a small one -- for this awards show this year. Will that be enough for the switch to be turned on in the heads of the people who make the decisions with our money?
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