One of my favourite bloggers, Jim Henshaw, has once again lit up his flame thrower and let loose on the Canadian film industry and the critical establishment that seemingly supports it. This time he attacks our industry for it's inability to support films that might actually connect to an audience. We excuse our filmmakers and create some sort of 'artistic' rationale that allows failed writers and directors to make new films that don't represent the actual experiences/feelings of Canadians. And despite what our cultural institutions tell us, our experience isn't much different to the rest of the world. In some sort of bizarre cheer leading, the 'critics' are often pulling their punches and judging our home grown talent with kid gloves.

Jim's article is a frank critical look at Paul Gross's new film Passchendaele. I decided to avoid the film as I gave four hours of my life to the CBC mini-series 'The Trojan Horse', written and directed by Gross. This series, despite some good ideas, fell flat on cliches, absurd situations and lazy story telling. Jim was more adventurous and his article can be read here...

I've often complained that we export most of our great talent. It is exploited in Hollywood as our home grown filmmakers have contributed wonderful films to the canon of great movies. We need to get past the idea that 'entertaining = bad'. 'Citizen Kane' is entertaining. 'The Godfather' is wildly entertaining. We need to change the equation and realize that 'art' and 'entertainment' are not at odds.

1 comment:

jimhenshaw said...

Thanks for the compliments and the link, Mark. I'm encouraged by how many in the Canadian film community seem to share sentiments I thought were my own.

Do see "Passchendaele" if only to confirm your own suspicions.

Winning this battle will take bullets and "Passchendaele" provides an entire artillery barrage in our favor.