100 great and glorious years of Canadian cinema.
We attempted to choose the most famous Canadians and important cineastes and in so doing, we were bound to leave out some of the best. One hundred names is too restrictive when it comes to Canada's contribution to world cinema and a second 100 could be constructed with relative ease. Our trouble was not who to include, but who do we leave out? Saul Rubinek, Martin Short, Henry Czerny, Denis Heroux, Harold Greenberg and Peter Mettler were left off the list due to the lack of space, not for their relative merits as actors.
We did not want the list to be an academic exercise nor restrictive to any particular notion of indigenous Canadian cinema. Selection was based on the importance of the film, the filmmaker, box office success, and such shifting notions as popularity and fame, with the acknowledgement that Canadians have made a significant contribution to American cinema. Mary Pickford was the most famous and financially successful woman in silent cinema, and Jim Carrey has become one of the highest paid actors in the history of film. Ivan Reitman, James Cameron and Norman Jewison are three of Hollywood's most reliable producer-directors, and Canadian comedians such as Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, Michael J. Fox, Leslie Nielsen, Michael Myers and, of course, (the late) John Candy have come to dominate North American comedy. Toronto-born Walter Huston was one of the finest actors of his generation and gave birth to the Huston clan, which includes son John and granddaughter Anjelica. Winnipeg songstress Deanna Durbin still receives world-wide fan mail 60 years after saving Universal from bankruptcy with Three Smart Girls, and Alberta's Fay Wray achieved immortality screaming atop the Empire State Building in King Kong.
In compiling the names and chronology, Take One acknowledges the excellent work done by Peter Morris in Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema, 1895-1939 and The Film Companion; Pierre Veronneau, Gary Evans and Rose-Aimee Todd in The NFB Film Guide, 1939-1989; John Turner in the Canadian Feature Film Index, 1913-1985; Mike Hoolboom in Independent Eye, Vol. 13 No. 1; and Ed Gould in Entertaining Canadians. Two hundred and fifty of the best films ever made in Canada are listed according to the year of release.
Finally, Take One would like to thank the Ontario Film Development Corporation for assisting with the printing of this issue, and Sylvia Frank and Eve Goldin of The Film Reference Library in Toronto for providing us with the majority of the stills, without which this celebration of 100 great and glorious years of Canadian cinema would not have been possible.
Writer. Born Alan Herman, Montreal, 1916. Died, 1995. Canada's leading left-wing writer of books, screenplays, radio, television and live drama, Allan's life was defined by his obsession with Dr. Norman Bethune, his comrade-in-arms during the Spanish Civil War. Allan wrote the biography of Bethune, The Scalpel, The Sword in 1952, and battled for over 40 years to make a movie about the Canadian surgeon who became a hero of the Chinese revolution. After an arduous production, Philip Borsos's Bethune: The Making of a Hero, starring Donald Sutherland and based on Allan's script, was released in 1990 to almost universal critical condemnation. In 1976, Allan's autobiographical screenplay for Jan Kadar's Lies My Father Told Me won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy award.
Jule and Jay Allen
Exhibitors. Jule: Born, 1888, Bradford, Penn. Died, 19??; Jay: Born, 1890, Bradford, Penn. Died, 1942. With their father, the Allen brothers opened their first "Theatorium" in 1906 in Brantford, Ont., and formed one of Canada's first distribution companies, the Allen Amusement Corp., in 1908. They built their first luxury theatre in Calgary in 1912 and by 1918, owned the largest chain in Canada. In 1922, they went bankrupt after losing a fierce bidding war for first-run features and sold all of their 53 theatres to the American-owned Famous Players Canadian Corp. This would be the last time Canadians made an significant impact through ownership of a national exhibition chain until Garth Drabinsky built up Cineplex Odeon in the 1980s. The Allens continued to exhibit films and operated Ontario's largest independent circuit prior to WWII.
Director, producer and writer. Born, Montreal, 1931. From the mid-1950s into the 1960s, the Oxford-educated Almond directed more than 100 CBC-TV dramas. When he turned to feature filmmaking, he attracted domestic and international attention with a trilogy of understated, highly interiorized explorations of mind and spirit, starring his then-wife Genevieve Bujold. In the title role of Isabel (68), she almost drowns in a flood of threatening memories. In The Act of the Heart (70), Bujold plays a troubled woman who falls in love with a priest (Donald Sutherland) living through his own spiritual crisis. In 1972's Journey, Almond cast John Vernon and Bujold again as his destabilized protagonists. Almond's attempt to establish an "art cinema" met with critical resistance and only modest commercial success, leading to his absence from filmmaking for nearly a decade.
Actor and writer. Born, Ottawa, 1952. Ottawa and comedy: the connection is obvious and invoking it is a popular Canadian tradition. Beyond Parliament Hill, however, the capital connection to hilarity must have deeper roots. After all, Dan Aykroyd, the multi-talented comic, impressionist, actor, writer and producer is only the latest incarnation of Ottawa humour, his generation's version of another Ottawan, Rich Little. Aykroyd studied criminology at Carleton University before embarking on a career which has included stints at Second City, Saturday Night Live, and considerable success in Hollywood in such films as The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy, for which he earned an Oscar nomination.
Director. Born, Hobart, Australia, 1953. Died, 1995. A gifted filmmaker, once pursued by Marlon Brando to direct a project, Borsos started out as a lab technician in Vancouver. Establishing himself in the late 1970s with formally assured short documentaries (Nails earned an Oscar nomination in 1979), Borsos emerged as a major talent in 1982 with his feature debut, The Grey Fox. This dramatic dissection of the Canadian West is an understated, finely nuanced essay on heroism and technology. Its quiet, fatalist poetics would be extended in Borsos's four other features, most notably in the sprawling, awkward grandeur of Bethune: The Making of a Hero. Cancer claimed Borsos just weeks after his last film, Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog, had been released.
Cinematographer and director. Born, Montreal, 1928. Canada's most gifted cinematographer, Brault has been a seminal figure in Quebec cinema since the 1950s. His early work with Gilles Groulx (Les raquetteurs), Claude Jutra (a tout prendre, Mon oncle Antoine) and Pierre Perrault (Pour la suite du monde) virtually defines the look of classical Quebec cinema. His cinematography ranges from gritty cinema verite to the lyricism of Kamouraska; his directorial work from the terse documentary of La lutte to smoothly proficient TV dramas like Les noces du papier. His masterpiece is Les ordres, which won him the Best Director Award at Cannes in 1975. The film seamlessly fuses documentary and fiction styles while dramatizing the trauma of innocent people caught up in the October Crisis.
Director and writer. Born, Ottawa, 1928. Died, 1989. Educated at Queen's University and at one time a journalist at The Ottawa Journal, Canada's greatest documentary filmmaker began his cinematic career making sponsored films. Joining the NFB in 1954, Brittain proceeded to illuminate obscure areas of Canadian life and to fashion witty, often withering portraits of Canada's famous and infamous. As director, writer, and, most memorably, narrator of his own films, Brittain is arguably the most comprehensive chronicler of post-WWII Canada. His filmography contains some of the best documentaries and docudramas (a genre he virtually invented) ever made. Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry, Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks and others constitute an incisive and passionate victory over Canadian cultural amnesia.
Actor. Born, Montreal, 1942. Bujold, whose American career is arguably the most high-profile by a Canadian female actor since Deanna Durbin, began as a theatre usherette. Intense, sensual and intelligent, she made three prestigious "art" films with her then-husband, Paul Almond, in the early 1970s. She gained international recognition in Philippe de Broca's cult classic, King of Hearts, and won an Academy award nomination for her performance in Anne of the Thousand Days opposite Richard Burton. Later, she joined Alan Rudolf's informal stock company and gave fine, cryptic performances in Choose Me and The Moderns. She is memorable as the love interest of Jeremy Irons's twins in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers.
Actor. Born, New Westiminster, B.C., 1917. Died, 1993. The heavy of more than 50 lowbudget thrillers, Burr slimmed down for his starring role in the TV series Perry Mason (1957-66). As the court-room attorney who never lost a case, he was a huge hit, winning an Emmy twice. On film, he is remembered mainly as the murderer stalking Grace Kelly in Hitchcock's Rear Window and the lawyer in A Place in the Sun. He later found himself as a detective confined to a wheel-chair in the TV series Ironside (1967-74). Burr closed out his career reprising his role as Perry Mason in many Movies of the Week.
Director and writer. Born, Kapuskasing, Ontario, 1954. Perhaps it's that stifling Canadian realist documentary tradition; perhaps it's our peculiar affinity for developing new image-making technology; for Hollywood-based Canadian expatriate Cameron, perhaps it's both. Indeed, while rejecting outright one cultural tradition and running away with the other, Cameron is making decidedly un-Canadian fantasy films (The Abyss, The Terminator, Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, True Lies) with the latest imagemaking pyrotechnics. Before alien life-forms sent his career skyrocketing, Cameron studied physics at California State, designed sets for Roger Corman, cutting his directorial teeth, so to speak, on such films as Piranha II: Flying Killers.
Actor. Born, Toronto, 1950. Died, 1994. Given the funhouse gallery of characters he created, it's fitting Candy was born on Halloween. From SCTV's Tommy Shanks and Johnny LaRue, to Uncle Buck and the twisted Louisiana hood in Oliver Stone's JFK, Candy's affable and malleable personality made him one of the most popular performers to emerge from the comedy scene in Toronto in the late 1970s. After studying journalism at Centennial College, Candy became a co-founder of the Canadian chapter of Chicago's Second City comedy troupe. He went on to star in the fabled SCTV series until finding fame on the big screen with a succession of hits in the 1980s, including Splash with Tom Hanks, Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin, and Only the Lonely with Maureen O'Hara. Before his death at 43, John Candy played out a boyhood dream by becoming a part owner of the Toronto Argonauts football club.
Director and writer. Born, Maniwaki, Quebec, 1929. A key figure in Quebec cinema, Carle was a graphic artist and writer before shooting his first film in 1961. His innovative debut feature. La vie heureuse du Leopold Z. (65), tracked the adventures of a snowplow operator during a madcap Christmas eve. The quirkily paced, proto-feminist La vrai nature de Bernadette starring Micheline Lanctot and La mort d'un bucheron with Carole Laure led eventually to the more mainstream but graceful Les Plouffe and the epic love story Maria Chapdelaine, both classics of Quebec cinema. Named in 1995 to France's Legion d'Honneur, Carle continues his peripatetic career with theatrical and TV films. Effervescent, optimistic, he once said about Canadian moviemaking: "We're condemned to originality."
Actor. Born, Jackson's Point, Ontario, 1962. Years as a stand-up comic on the comedy club circuit landed Carrey in a very short-lived sitcom, The Duck Factory, and small parts in several films. However, it wasn't until his rubbery face, manic energy and general goofiness on TV's In Living Color got him the lead in the low-budget comedy, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, that Carrey became an "overnight" sensation. With the success of The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Carrey has become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood and the natural successor to Jerry Lewis's "stupid" style of physical comedy.
Actor. Born, Carmen, Manitoba, 1910. Died, 1963. A versatile character and support actor, Carson appeared in 80 films from 1935 to 1961. The tall, beefy and rugged Manitoban was usually cast as the wise guy who wound up decking the likes of James Cagney and James Mason. Carson was a key player in Warner Brothers' excellent stock company of character actors. He is best remembered for his malevolent performances in Mildred Pierce, opposite Joan Crawford, as the studio press flak in Judy Garland's musical version of A Star is Born, and as Paul Newman's older brother in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Actor. Born, Brooklyn, New York, 1950. Lauded as "Canada's top character actor of his generation," Chaykin studied acting at State University in Buffalo and founded a theatre group which toured Toronto in the late 1960s. Since then, Chaykin has been blazing a trail across stage and screen as portrayer of eccentric and melancholic loners. He has also shown considerable range in his performances, moving from the American labour-boss bully in Donald Brittain's Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks through the spaced-out rock star in Whale Music to the sex-obsessed games player in Atom Egoyan's The Adjuster, perhaps his finest role. Internationally, Chaykin is best known as the suicidal cavalry officer in Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves.
Tommy and Rae Dawn Chong
Tommy: Actor, director and writer. Born, Edmonton, 1938. Rae Dawn: Actor. Born, Vancouver, 1962. Tommy Chong perfected his lunatic hippy persona with partner Cheech Marin, performing improvisational theatre in late 1960's Vancouver. Their very successful real-life version of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers led to several best-selling comedy albums. They moved smoothly into film, and Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke became one of the box office success stories of the late 1970s. Chong went on to write and direct four sequels before the duo broke up in 1985. His daughter. Rae Dawn won a Genie for her performance in Quest for Fire, which required her to act in the nude and speak a special language devised by novelist Anthony Burgess. She has since appeared in Choose Me, The Color Purple and Tales From the Dark Side.
Director. Born, New Orleans, La., 1939. Turning down bids to play pro football, Clark completed a drama major at the University of Miami. With the success of his low-budget horror classic, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, Clark moved to Montreal in 1973 and came to dominate Canadian commercial filmmaking for a decade. He followed Children with Dead of Night and Black Christmas, a box office hit starring Margot Kidder. From 1978 to 1981, Clark directed Murder By Decree, Tribute and Porky's, three of the most successful films produced in Canada during the "tax shelter" years. Sad to say, the sophomoric Porky's remains the box office champ of Canadian cinema. Clark returned to the States in 1984: his career, like his locale, has gone south since then.
Judith and Budge Crawley
Judith: Director, editor and writer. Born, Ottawa, 1914. Died, 1986. Budge: Producer and director. Born, Ottawa, 1911. Died, 1987. Judith is a pioneering presence in Canadian film history. Co-founding Crawley Films, she was the script supervisor for the company's many sponsored films. As the company grew, she became a director, cinematographer, and even the lab technician on many Crawley films. After 1961, she stopped directing and concentrated on script development, writing the narration for Crawley's Oscar-winning documentary feature, The Man Who Skied Down Everest in 1976. Her husband, the indefatigable Frank Radford "Budge" Crawley, was Canada's first movie mogul. Under his stewardship, Crawley Films produced over 4,000 short films and industrials, Canada's first animated television series and several feature films, including The Luck of Ginger Coffey, The Rowdyman and Janis.
Actor and writer. Born Hume Blake, London, Ontario, 1911. From a family with strong Canadian heritage links to early settlers, politicians and the founder of Labatt's breweries, Hume Cronyn turned away from his McGill law studies to pursue a stage career. He hit the boards in New York in 1932, and was tempted by Alfred Hitchcock in 1943 to ply his talents in cinema with Shadow of a Doubt. He also adapted the screenplays for Hitchcock's Rope and Under Capricorn. Cronyn worked mainly on the stage, often with his celebrated wife Jessica Tandy, but regularly made forays onto the screen to play flamboyant and idiosyncratic character roles, as in his abrasive attorney in The Postman Always Rings Twice and his Oscar-nominated performance in Fred Zinnemann's The Seventh Cross, opposite Spencer Tracy. Tandy and Cronyn were a remarkable couple whose creative and personal partnership was eulogized in Deepa Mehta's Camilla.
Producer and director. Born, Toronto, 1918. Perhaps the ultimate example of the Grierson ideal of the filmmaker as civil servant, Daly spent his entire career, from 1940 until his retirement in 1984, at the NFB. Employed initially as a researcher, Daly set up the stock shot library for the Board, which was the major source of material for the Canada Carries On and World in Action series. In 1950, he was chosen to head the Board's Unit B, responsible for films on arts, science and animation. In the following 15 years, Daly's unit helped to launch the socially relevant and stylistically revolutionary direct cinema movement through the Candid Eye series. He encouraged the development of such talents as Roman Kroitor, Colin Low, Wolf Koenig, Gerald Potterton, Don Owen and Arthur Lipsett. It was his abilities as leader and teacher which made him such an exemplary talent and one of the most significant creative forces at the NFB.
Art Director. Born, Victoria, B.C. 1896. Died, 1972. An illustrator and former Captain in the Canadian army during WWI, Day decided to try his luck in 1920s Hollywood. A chance meeting with Erich von Stroheim led him to work on Foolish Wives and Greed, films which set a new standard for realistic art direction. He was with MGM from 1923 to 1930; later he headed the art department at 20th Century-Fox, from 1939 to 1943. Day was nominated for an Oscar 20 times, the most ever for an Art Director, winning for: The Dark Angel (35), Dodsworth (36), How Green Was My Valley (41), My Gal Sal (42, for B&W), This Above All (42, for colour), A Streetcar Named Desire (51) and On The Waterfront (54).
Producer. Born, Ste-Cecile-de-Levrard, Quebec, 1933. Demers is the only Canadian producer whose public persona audiences can identify with in his movies. In 1980, after a career as a distributor, exhibitor and supporter of movie culture, Demers launched a series of children's films he dubbed Tales for All. Shot in French or English, this remarkable series projects a humanistic outlook, entertaining kids around the world without resorting to mutant kick-boxers tearing heads off aliens. Fifteen Tales have been shot so far, and both The Dog Who Stopped the War and The Tadpole and the Whale were genuine box office success stories in Canada.
Actor. Born, Montreal, 1926. Died, 1991. The daughter of a professional hockey player, Dewhurst made her Broadway debut in 1952. Often critically acclaimed for her performances on stage and in television, she is best known to Canadian audiences as Aunt Marilla in the 1985 CBC-TV production of Anne of Green Gables and as the alcoholic mother in Allan King's Termini Station. She was also memorable in two Oscar-winning films, as Diane Keaton's mother in Woody Allen's Annie Hall and in Fred Zinnemann's The Nun's Story. Twice married to American actor George C. Scott, their tempestuous relationship made for some intriguing performances when the two appeared together on stage and screen.
Producer and exhibitor. Born, Toronto, 1948. The "boy wonder" of Canadian cinema, Drabinsky, a lawyer by training, produced his first feature, The Silent Partner, in 1977. He joined forces with pioneering exhibitor, Nat Taylor, and formed Pan Canadian Distributors the next year. In 1979, the pair built their first Cineplex cinemas, an 18-movie complex in Toronto's Eaton Centre. Drabinsky went on to buy out the Odeon chain of theatres, and between 1984 and 1989 (when he eventually lost control of his company to MCA), he built the second largest chain in North America. He left the world of Canadian cinema forever changed at age 41 for a very lucrative career producing mega-musicals.
Actor. Born Leila Marie Koerber in Coburg, Ont., 1869. Died, 1934. A light opera singer and star on the vaudeville stage before moving into pictures, Dressler made her film debut in Mack Sennett's 1914 screen version of her popular stage hit Tillie's Punctured Romance, co-starring Charlie Chaplin. With the advent of sound, this large, ferociously genial actress became one of Hollywood's most popular stars, delivering several commanding performances in the early 1930s. She played with Greta Garbo in Anna Christie and Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight. In 1931, Dressler won the Best Actress Oscar for her role opposite Wallace Beery in Min and Bill, but she is perhaps best remembered as the irrepressible Tugboat Annie, in her last film, of the same name.
Animator. Born, Toronto, 1920. Died, 1979. As a young man, Dunning worked for Norman McLaren at the NFB. In 1949, he created one of Toronto's first animation studios, Graphic Associates, with fellow NFB-grad Jim McKay. There he gave Michael Snow his first job in film. Moving to England in the mid-1950s, Dunning did a multitude of commercial work, eventually making a cartoon series based on The Beatles for BBC-TV. This led to the film that Dunning will always be associated with, Yellow Submarine, the Peter Max-influenced Pop-Art-meets-Rock-`n'-Roll feature, which became an instantly recognizable pop hit of the 1960s.
Actor. Born Edna Mae Durbin, Winnipeg, 1921. As a teen-ager, Deanna Durbin was an instant singing star of global proportions when her first feature rescued Universal from the brink of bankruptcy in 1937. With her first four films, One Hundred Men and A Girl with Leopold Stokowski, Three Smart Girls, Mad About Music and That Certain Age, Durbin's stardom Rivalled that of 20th Century-Fox's Shirley Temple. Durbin Shared a Special Academy Award with Mickey Rooney in 1938 "for bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth." After another decade in the limelight, she retired to the south of France in secluded goddess-like fashion. There are still Deanna Durbin fan clubs world-wide.
Director and writer. Born, Cairo, Egypt, 1960. Egoyan's major films--Exotica, Speaking Parts, The Adjuster, Family Viewing--deal with sexual repression, the impermanence of memory, and the difficulty in establishing an identity within real or extended familial structures. A graduate of U. of T., where he crafted four short films of increasing complexity, Egoyan directed his first feature, Next of Kin, at the age of 24. His intricately plotted, sardonically witty and technically innovative features won him international acclaim early in his career before he won the International Film Critics' Prize for Exotica at Cannes in 1994. A multi-disciplinary talent, Egoyan has turned to opera and an adaptation of Russell Banks's The Sweet Hereafter for his next projects.
Cinematographer, director and producer. Born, Toronto, 1929. The co-founder and former president of IMAX Corp. While still a political science student at U. of T., Ferguson found his calling doing summer jobs at the NFB. In the late 1950s, he moved to New York to work on such films as the Oscarnominated Rooftops of New York. Returning to Canada for Expo 67, Ferguson designed and directed Polar Life, a multi-screen installation, which was one of the fair's biggest hits. The success of that film led to Ferguson's creation of IMAX in 1968 with Roman Kroitor and Robert Kerr. His North of Superior defined the IMAX style: breathtaking scenes of nature captured in a swooping, epic manner.
Director and writer. Born, Montreal, 1947. The vitality of the Quebec film scene depends on regular booster shots from a certifiable enfant terrible. Forcier, the eminence grise of iconoclasts, has been making loopy disrespectful human comedies for nearly 30 years. A typical Forcier picture is a topsyturvy mix of harsh realism and goofy fantasy, a poverty-stricken, intoxicating world of bars, rooming houses and boxing gyms. His portraits of people on the fringes include Bar Salon, Au clair de la lune, where a dreamy albino bum takes a walk in the sky, and Une histoire inventee, where a lusty actress gets followed through the streets by 40 adoring lovers. Forcier's most recent film, Le vent du Wyoming, celebrates cabaret acts, somnambulism and boxing; like all his work, it is poetic and absurd.
Actor. Born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton, Quebec City, 1916. This unprepossessing figure with a crew cut and shy grin was a Hollywood leading man for 40 years, starring in over 80 films. His credits range from Fritz Lang's classic noir thriller The Big Heat to the relaxed comedy of Daniel Mann's The Teahouse of the August Moon opposite Marlon Brando. Ford specialized in well-meaning, ordinary men, who were tough when the chips were down. He made his name in Gilda, opposite Rita Hayworth, and is best remembered for his charming/tough roles in Richard Brooks's The Blackboard Jungle, Frank Capra's A Pocketful of Miracles and Vincente Minnelli's The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
Michael J. Fox
Actor. Born, Edmonton, 1961. After appearing in Disney's first PG-rated film, Midnight Madness, Fox was cast as the irrepressible yuppie-in-training in the highly successful TV sitcom, Family Ties, for which he won three consecutive Emmys. He transferred easily to film when he was asked to replace Eric Stoltz in Robert Zemeckis's Back to the Future and its two sequels. Fox's attempts at serious drama like Casualties of War and Bright Lights, Big City didn't meet with equal success and he has wisely chosen to stay with the light comedy of The Hard Way and The American President.
Producer and director. Born, St-Joseph-de-Sorel, Quebec, 1945. Frappier worked in all areas of the film business from critic to TV commercial director until he found his true vocation as a hands-on producer. While at the NFB in the early 1980s, he assembled a group of writer-directors who collaborated on developing edgy, urban dramas. The script for Deny Arcand's Le declin de l'empire americain emerged from the process Frappier had set in motion. With that film's phenomenal success, Frappier has become acknowledged as one of the top producers of feature films in Quebec. His other films include Yves Simoneau's Pouvoir intime, Arcand's masterpiece, Jesus de Montreal and Jean-Claude Lauzon's Un zoo, la nuit.
Sidney J. Furie
Director. Born, Toronto, 1933. Once described by British film critic Leslie Halliwell as the "Canadian director with a restless camera," Sidney J. Furie began his career as a writer for CBC-TV. He directed two stylish, prescient teen-age rebellion films at the end of the 1950s, A Dangerous Age and A Cool Sound From Hell. With no infrastructure in place to make feature films in English-Canada, Furie sought cinematic employment in England, where he directed The Young Ones and The Ipcress File with Michael Caine. Later, perhaps inevitably, he moved to Hollywood, were he made a number of films both stylish and insubstantial, including The Lady Sings the Blues, Gable and Lombard and Iron Eagle.
Writer and director. Born, Montreal, 1933. When Godbout joined the NFB in 1958 as a dialogue writer, he was already a published poet, an aspiring novelist, and had worked in Ethiopia teaching literature. He quickly rose to directorial status at the Board, collaborating notably with French documentarian Jean Rouch, and rising to head of French production. In 1966, YUL 871 established his reputation as a stylish filmmaker and this highly acclaimed film, together with the 1971 musical comedy IXE-13, allowed Godbout to bring his unique literary flair to cinema. A provocative critic and commentator on quebecois, English-Canadian and global culture, Godbout's output has been prolific in literature and film. He has written over a dozen books and directed more than 20 films, including the insightful Alias Will James in 1988, and the novel, The Golden Galarneaus, 1995.
Actor. Born, Ottawa, 1915. Died, 1987. Before his ascent to American television's pantheon of pioneer patriarchs as Bonanza's Pa Cartwright (TV's second longest running Western series, on air from 1959-73), Greene was Canada's "voice of god" itself. After graduating from Queen's University, Greene began in radio and his rich basso profundo soon became the voice of choice in countless WWII newsreels and documentaries for the NFB. Moving to the United States in the 1950s, Greene appeared on television, on Broadway, and on screen in mostly forgettable Hollywood fare. Late in his career, as if to rise to the heavens again, Greene starred as Captain Starbuck in the moderately successful sci-fi TV series, Battlestar Galactica.
Producer and administrator. Born, Deanston, Scotland, 1898. Died, 1972. While never officially a Canadian by birth or citizenship, Grierson is the single most important figure in the development of a Canadian film culture. The creative force behind the celebrated British documentary movement (producing both Basil Wright's) Night Mail and Song of Ceylon), Grierson was brought to Canada in 1939 by Prime Minister Mackenzie King to set up the NFB. In Ottawa, he assembled a group of talented filmmakers, including Raymond Spottiswoode, Stuart Legg and Norman McLaren, and launched two seminal wartime series, Canada Carries On and The World in Action. In 1941, the fledgling Board won its first Academy Award for Churchill's Island in the newly created documentary category. Grierson left the NFB in 1945 to form the film production team for UNESCO. His career stalled after the revelations of the Gouzenko spy scandal made him appear to be a Communist sympathizer and Grierson eventually moved back to Scotland where he hosted and produced his own TV program. He spent his final years teaching film at McGill University.
Director, writer and editor. Born, Montreal, 1931. Died, 1994. Groulx never settled into the relatively mainstream filmmaking pursued by some of his colleagues. Committed to a splintering, questioning approach, he became known for his socially committed documentaries. Les raquetteurs, shot in 1958 with Michel Brault, pioneered direct cinema and had a profound influence on modern Quebec film. His 1964 landmark feature Le chat dans le sac explores Quebec's emerging identity and the relationship between the quebecois and les autres through the hero's affair with a young Jewish woman. In 1981, Groulx was severely brain-damaged in an auto crash. He lived out the rest of his life painting; active, but forgotten.
Director. Born, Edmonton, 1923. Like his contemporary, Norman Jewison, Hiller graduated from CBC-TV in the early 1950s in Toronto to mainstream American feature filmmaking. After a series of forgettable films, like Popi and The Tiger Makes Out, Hiller had a huge hit with Love Story, the Ryan O'Neal - Ali MacGraw weepie which became one of the top grossing films of the 1970s, and earned him an Academy award nomination for Best Director in 1971. In a long and efficient career, Hiller has shown talent as a director of light comedy--The In-Laws and Outrageous Fortune--but he is most memorable as the collaborator with Paddy Chayefsky on the sardonic The Hospital.
Andrew and George Holland
Exhibitors. Andrew: Born, Ottawa, 1844. Died, 1929. George: Born, Nepean, Ontario, 1846. Died, 19??. On July 21, 1896, the Ottawa Daily Citizen, announcing the first ever Canadian public film screening outside Quebec, reported that, "The Holland Bros. have the Canadian control of this wonderful invention." That invention was the Vitascope, an early Edison projection system marketed by the two brothers from Ottawa. Unlike Edison himself, these two entrepreneurs recognized immediately the potential of moving image technology. In 1894, as agents for Edison equipment, they had opened the world's first Kinetoscope parlour in New York City; their expansion to Ottawa marked the beginning of Canada's now 100-year-old fascination with cinematographic devices.
Actor. Born Walter Houghston, Toronto, 1884. Died, 1950. This distinguished character actor of stage and screen, has been called "possibly the best American actor ever"; ironically, Huston was brought up in Victorian Toronto. His busy film career began in 1928 when he was already a seasoned veteran of the stage. Huston quickly rose through the ranks and played the lead in D. W. Griffith's Abraham Lincoln, William Wyler's Dodsworth, William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster and Rene Clair's And Then There Were None. Although not noted as a singer, Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson composed "September Song" for him to perform on Broadway in Knickerbocker Holiday. On four occasions, he was nominated for Oscars, finally winning for Best Supporting Actor as the grizzled prospector in his son John's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in 1948.
Director. Born, Toronto, 1926. CBC-TV trained, Jewison left for the world of Hollywood in 1960 and made a remarkable series of successful films, making him one of America's hottest directors in the 1960s. The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair and Fiddler on the Roof generated a total of 15 Oscar nominations, including two for Best Picture and Best Director. Jewison's career slipped badly in the 1970s but he regained his footing with Moonstruck (86), a film which again generated Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Jewison returned to Toronto to establish the Canadian Film Centre in 1987 and has been active in the Canadian film scene, producing Bruce McDonald's Dance Me Outside in 1994.
Actor. Born, Yellowknife, N.W.T., 1948. One of the 1970's most interesting leading ladies, Kidder toiled on the TV assembly line before making audiences sit up and take notice with an eerie interpretation of separated Siamese twins in Brian De Palma's 1973 Sisters. She is best known as Lois Lane to Christopher Reeve's Superman in four films from 1978-87. In 1975, Kidder directed a medium length film, And Again, which did not gain commercial success; 15 years later she studied directing at the Canadian Film Centre. In 1981, she starred in Heartaches, Don Shebib's best film since Between Friends. Her career since the Superman films has been plagued with uneven performances and a near-fatal car accident in 1990 has left her with permanent injuries.
Director and producer. Born, Vancouver, 1930. An award-winning filmmaker in both documentary and fiction, and one who has blurred the distinction between the two, King was educated at UBC and pursued his interest in cinema at the Vancouver Film Society. In 1954, he joined the Vancouver Film Unit of the CBC and produced a number of significant direct cinema documentaries, including Skid Row. After six years in England, King returned to Canada in 1967 and settled in Toronto, directing three genre-busting, ethically unsettling fly-on-the-wall observational films he called "actuality dramas": Warrendale, A Married Couple and Come On Children. Since the mid-1970s, King has worked largely in the fictional mode, directing the popular Who Has Seen the Wind in 1977.
Director, animator and producer. Born, Dresden, Germany, 1927. As an animator, cinematographer, editor, producer and director, Koenig is the type of "complete" filmmaker that the NFB traditionally relied on to create its key works. In the early 1950s, Koenig filmed McLaren's Oscar-winning Neighbours, animated Colin Low's The Romance of Transportation in Canada, and was the cinematographer on Low's Corral. Koenig was one of the principals associated with direct cinema at the NFB's Unit B, co-directing such non-fiction gems as City of Gold with Low, and Glenn Gould--Off the Record, Glenn Gould--On the Record and Lonely Boy with Roman Kroitor. He was the executive producer of the Board's Animation Unit during some of its finest years. A canny veteran, Koenig retired from the NFB in 1995, and remains active in the independent sector.
Director. Born, Toronto, 1931. Best known in Canada for his solid screen adaptations of the work of his close friend Mordecai Richler, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Joshua Then and Now, Ted Kotcheff started as a stage hand at CBC-TV in Toronto in the early 1950s. He moved to England in 1959 to work on television dramas with producer and future NFB Commissioner Sydney Newman. While in England, Kotcheff directed his first features, including Life at the Top, written by Richler and starring Laurence Harvey. He directed a feature in Australia, Outback, before arriving in Hollywood in the 1970s where he directed Sylvester Stallone in First Blood, the first in the Rambo series.
Director and producer. Born, Yorkton, Sask., 1926. A technical innovator, Kroitor has pioneered new cinematographic approaches for decadades. In the 1950s, he was one of the first filmmakers to use new light-weight cameras; his Labyrinthe project was one of the most brilliant multi-screen efforts at Expo 67; and, now in the 1990s, he is working on 3D IMAX films. A veteran of the NFB, Kroitor was one the leading members of the direct cinema movement, contributing to the Candid Eye series and directing Lonely Boy with Wolf Koenig. A co-founder of IMAX, Kroitor directed Tiger Child with Donald Brittain, the first film shot in this revolutionary process.
Producer and animator. Born, London, U.K., 1936. Lamb developed his animation skills at the NFB in the late 1950s, and scored a major success with I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly in 1964. From 1966 through 1971, he taught animation at Harvard, then returned to the Board in 1976 as head of the Animation Unit. During his five years there, he produced two Oscar-winners, Special Delivery and Every Child, as well as such lauded shorts as The Sweater and Afterlife. Lamb's exceptional talents as a script editor and a teacher inspired such animators as John Weldon, Caroline Leaf, Ishu Patel and Eugene Fedorenko to produce mature, often challenging work while maintaining a focused narrative line. While at the Board, he scripted and co-directed Why Me?, a black comic look at death and dying.
Actor and director, Born, Montreal, 1947. Lanctot made an indelible impression as the restless, questing heroine of Gilles Carle's masterpiece, La vraie nature de Bernadette. Soon after, she created another memorable character, Richard Dreyfuss's beguiling, long-suffering girlfriend in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in 1974. Following an unhappy sojourn in L.A. with director Ted Kotcheff, Lanctot returned to Quebec and built her present career as a moviemaker with a reputation for unsentimental, unconventional, probing films. Her directorial debut, L'homme a tout faire, was a critical success as was her 1993 release, Deux actrices. Sonatine, which probes a suicidal bond between two alienated teen-age girls, was the first Canadian feature to win the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival.
Producer and distributor. Born, Budapest, Hungary, 1949. Lantos became involved in film at McGill University and formed his first company, Vivafilm, in 1972. He quickly moved into production during the "tax shelter" years with Gilles Carle's L'ange et la femme, George Kaczender's In Praise of Older Women and Ted Kotcheff's Joshua Then and Now. In 1985, he formed Alliance Entertainment with Stephen Roth, Denis Heroux and John Kemeny. Since then Alliance has become Canada's largest production/ distribution company with a succession of hit TV shows--Night Heat, E.N.G., Due South. Lantos continues to produce features, including Bruce Beresford's Black Robe, Atom Egoyan's Exotica, Patricia Rozema's When Night is Falling and in 1996, David Cronenberg's Crash.
Actor. Born, Shawinigan, Quebec, 1950. Following a troubled childhood, Laure embarked on a career in music. Her charismatic beauty attracted director Gilles Carle who cast her in La tete de Normand St. Onge in 1975 and in the sensuous and controversial L'ange et la femme in 1977. During the filming of the latter, the sultry actress became romantically involved with musician-filmmaker Lewis Furey, who eventually directed her in Night Magic, a fantasy film written by Leonard Cohen. In pictures such as Bertrand Blier's 1978 Oscar-winning Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, as well as in her singing career, Laure seems to be permanently eroticized--dark, sulky, lubricious--a post-Bardot actress who has reinvented the screen goddess.
Director. Born, Montreal, 1953. If the wiry, intense Lauzon released a movie tomorrow, it would set off an instant buzz. Amazingly, his reputation is based on only three films: a short, Piwi; his debut feature, Un zoo, la nuit; and the surreal Leolo, which screened in competition at Cannes in 1992. Lauzon's legend is that of a troubled dropout who transformed himself into an artist able to express down and dirty semi-autobiographical themes with elegant craftsmanship. Despite his success, Lauzon frequently expresses doubts about his profession, claiming that hunting and flying bush planes are more satisfying to him than moviemaking.
Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Director and writer. Born, Montreal, 1941. While other filmmakers of his generation attempted to access the mainstream, Lefebvre, once a movie critic, has never turned away from ultra-low-budget personal cinema. Film historian Peter Morris has called him "the best and brightest of Canadian cinema." Les fleurs sauvages (which won the International Critics' Prize at Cannes in 1982), Jusqu'au coeur, Les dernieres fiancailles, Le vieux pays ou Rimbaud est mort, and many other films (20 features from 1964-84) approach human frailty and incertitude with an eccentric, self-referential mix of wit, surreal contrast and reverie. Respected for his integrity, Lefebvre is also a skillful teacher of screen writing, directing and the use of democratizing technology like Hi-8 video. In 1995, he won Quebec's prestigious Prix Albert-Tessier, an annual tribute to artists and intellectuals.
Director and animator. Born, Cardston, Alberta, 1926. Like his mentor, Norman McLaren, Low has worked in animation and documentary with his eyes clearly fixed on the experimental in form and the socially relevant in content. He directed Romance of Transportation in Canada, a key advance for the NFB in character-driven animation and Corral, a lyrical celebration of the Canadian cowboy. Low also co-directed the multi-award winning City of Gold, a film which made historical photos of the Klondike gold rush come alive. For Expo 67 he created the extravagant Labyrinthe project and from 1969 to 1971, he lived on the remote Fogo Island to document a community in economic and social crisis. He returned to the Board and became head of regional production in 1976.
Director. Born, Winnipeg, 1957. With two short films and three gloriously idiosyncratic features, Maddin has single-handedly invented an imaginary Canadian cinematic history, moving from 1920s prairie Expressionist and Surrealist movements, to that creaky era between silent and sound cinema, to the arrival of our own colour talkies. Originally a student of economics at the University of Manitoba, Maddin's prodigious imagination offers up murky sagas of diseased male rivalry, Tales From the Gimli Hospital; love and amnesia in the Great War, Archangel; lust and incest in a repressed alpine village, Careful: all rendered in luminous Canadian pastiches of Bunuel, Vigo, Cocteau, von Sternberg, Lang and Murnau.
Director. Born, Shanghai, China, 1944. Died, 1993. Of the same clan as writer-director Joe (All About Eve), and writer Herman (Citizen Kane), Mankiewicz directed one of the most moving of all Canadian films. Les bons debarras, shot in 1980, concerns a loving, but destructive relationship between a manipulative young girl and her tempestuous mother. Winner of eight Genies, the picture was followed by more quebecois features and provocative English-language dramas like Love and Hate in 1989, the first Canadian drama to be show on U.S. primetime TV. Mankiewicz had a gift for exploring intricate, even dysfunctional relationships with compassion, finesse and minimal sentimentality.
Director and producer. Born, Toronto, 1959. A wunderkind, Mann directed his first documentary feature, Imagine the Sound, at the age of 21. This won an award at the Chicago Film Festival as did his follow-up, Poetry in Motion. Mann is currently winning converts for the CD-ROM format which he popularized for independent filmmakers by adapting several of his films, notably Comic Book Confidential. Whether through investigations of comics or, currently, marijuana, Mann has made it his project to make marginal cultures accessible to larger audiences.
Actor. Born, Toronto, 1896. Died, 1983. The brother of Vincent Massey, the first Canadian born Governor General, Massey was being groomed for an illustrious career in the family business when, during WWI, an impromptu minstrel show led him into a post-war acting career on the British stage. He was typecast as the embodiment of authority at an early age because of his lanky taciturnity, and when he arrived in Hollywood in 1931, Massey was instantly cast as Sherlock Holmes and similar characters, turning in a succession of strong performances. He won an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and was exceptional as James Dean's father in East of Eden. In the 1960s, he created the memorable Dr. Gillespie in the Dr. Kildare television series.
Director and writer. Born, Toronto, 1954. The self-styled rock `n' roll director of Ontario's New Wave, McDonald has constructed an identity--scruffy, hip and funny--that is cannily in sync with his movies. A product of Ryerson's film department and the Toronto indie production scene of the 1980s, his funky low-budget feature debut Roadkill launched his career in 1990. Both it, and his follow-up, Highway 61, are contemporary road films featuring quirky characters, dollops of debauchery and hot music, strung together by an ironic comic tone. He co-scripted, with Don McKellar and John Frizzell, an adaptation of W.P. Kinsella's Dance Me Outside in 1994, and is slated to release a rockin' feature, Hard Core Logo soon.
Animator. Born, Stirling, Scotland, 1914. Died, 1987. When John Grierson offered the young Scottish animator "40 dollars a week and a chance to make films," McLaren accepted and wound up staying at the NFB for the rest of his working life. He established the Animation Unit in 1942, and spent the majority of his career creating innovative animated and documentary films. His pixilated anti-war allegory Neighbours won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary in 1953 and A Chairy Tale, made with Claude Jutra, was nominated in 1958. Most of McLaren's animated work, like the jazzy Begone Dull Care, was drawn directly on to the film, but he also used "cut-outs" of shapes, traditional cartoon elements, and in the lyrical Pas de Deux, stroboscopic effects.
Actor. Born, Montreal, 1930. Exuding dignity, strength, and an alluring enigmatic quality, Mercure began her film career in numerous bit parts and secondary roles. In 1970, this former music student with the no-nonsense gaze broke through to a wider audience in Denis Heroux's raunchy sex comedy, Deux femmes en or. The next year she played an aging village temptress in Mon oncle Antoine. Mercure's period role in J.A. Martin photographe in 1976 won her Best Actress at Cannes and the Canadian Film Awards. The Mercurian persona reached its apotheosis when she played a sinister dominatrix with extraordinary powers in Cronenberg's Naked Lunch.
Producer and writer. Born Lorne Lipowitz, Toronto, 1945. In his early 20s, Michaels was already writing and producing comedy specials for CBC-TV, when he broke into U. S. TV as a writer for the ground-breaking Laugh-In. The original producer of Saturday Night Live, he won a parcel of Emmys and launched the film careers of John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase and many others. He wrote and produced Gilda Live, a film version of Radner's Broadway show directed by Mike Nichols, in 1980. In the 1990s, he scored major box office hits with another SNL graduate, Michael Myers, in Wayne's World and its sequel. Michaels' latest release is Brain Candy, starring The Kids in the Hall, another one of his discoveries.
Actor. Born, Toronto, 1954. Moranis started in show business as a radio deejay and stand-up comic, jobs which led him to Toronto's famed Second City comedy troupe. In SCTV, he teamed with Dave Thomas to create the endearing toque-wearing, beer-swilling McKenzie Brothers in "The Great White North"; their antics spawned the box office hit, Strange Brew. Moranis successfully transposed his comic nerd character from SCTV to the big time in 1984 in Ivan Reitman's smash hit, Ghostbusters. Since then he has starred in Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, opposite Steve Martin in Parenthood and L.A. Story, and as Barnie Rubble in The Flinstones.
Actor. Born, Toronto, 1964. A graduate of Toronto's comedy club circuit and Second City Revue, Myers was hired by fellow Canadian, producer Lorne Michaels, to write skits for the long-running Saturday Night Live. Myers soon became a regular on-camera player. He extended his popular skit about two suburban dudes with their own local cable show into the hugely successful Wayne's World in 1992. Myers' character, Wayne Campbell, is about growing up young and white in Scarborough's suburban mall culture, with Queen cranked up on the radio while driving down the DVP to the Gasworks on a Friday night.
Actor. Born, London, Ontario, 1951. This charismatic performer began her varied and justly celebrated international career on the London stage in the 1970s with the National Theatre of Great Britain and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She won the London Critics' Best Actress Award in 1979. Since then, she has appeared on Broadway, in Hollywood in films by directors as divergent as Garry Marshall, Barbara Streisand, Woody Allen and most memorably in the title role of Eleni in 1985. A performer of passion and intelligence, Nelligan captured this year's Best Supporting Actress at the Genies for her role in Mort Ransen's Margaret's Museum.
Actor. Born: Regina, 1926. The son of a Royal Canadian Mountie and the brother of a Deputy Prime Minister, Nielsen grew up in the North West Territories where, according to him, "there was lots of Viking discipline." After studying voice and acting with Lorne Greene, Nielsen launched a film career in the mid-1950s. He played stolid leading men for over two decades, including the captains in Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure. A self-confessed "closet comedian," he reinvigorated his image by sending up those former roles in Airplane! and the Naked Gun films. His Detective Drebin has become a pop icon of the 1990s.
Director. Born, New Hampshire, U.S.A., 1932. After growing up in an Abenaki reservation near Montreal, Obomsawin built a career as a singer-storyteller, performing her own haunting tales and chants, as well as traditional native material. In the 1970s, she began making documentaries celebrating native life and exposing the repercussions of white injustice. NFB films like Incident at Restigouche and No Address deal with the realities of being victimized, poor and self-destructive. Obomsawin's Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, a retelling of the 1990 standoff between Mohawks and the Canadian army, won international acclaim, including the Toronto City Award for the best Canadian film at the 1994 Toronto International Film Festival.
Actor. Born, Toronto, 1954. From the North York suburbs of Burnhamthorpe Collegiate, O'Hara landed a job as the hat check girl for Toronto's Second City Revue in 1974. A few days later she joined the touring company, and when Gilda Radner bolted for Saturday Night Live in New York, she joined the legendary troupe. Her outrageous personas were featured in all 52 episodes of SCTV, from 1976-81. Along with her SCTV alumni, John Candy, Rick Moranis and Martin Short, she landed in big-budget Hollywood films. O'Hara launched her film career in Martin Scorsese's After Hours in 1985, was in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice, and played the harried mother in Chris Columbus's mega-hit Home Alone and its sequel.
Leo Ernest Ouimet
Exhibitor and distributor. Born, St. Martin, Quebec, 1877. Died, 1972. A trained electrician, Ouimet began showing films in Montreal on a regular basis in 1905 with $50 and used Lumiere equipment. He began Canada's first film exchange in 1906 and opened his first "Ouimetoscope" the same year. By 1907, he had built the largest (1,200 seats) luxury theatre in North America. The next year he experimented with sound equipment in his theatre. Although the Ouimetoscope was well ahead of its time, cheaper Nickelodeons eventually put it out of business. Ouimet continued in the business as both the distributor (he had the Canadian rights to Pathe films) and producer of newsreels.
Director. Born, Toronto, 1935. While an employee of the NFB, former University of Toronto anthropology student and poet Owen was assigned to direct a half-hour documentary project about a probation officer and a juvenile delinquent in 1964. He did not follow orders, delivering instead an edgy, urgent, now legendary feature called Nobody Waved Good-bye. It was the first film to give Toronto an identity. Owen followed up with several shorts, the intriguing Notes For a Film About Donna and Gail, and a perceptive drama of late 1960s Canuck Zeitgeist, The Ernie Game. After leaving the NFB in 1969, Owen directed several unsatisfactory productions for television, including a sequel to Nobody Waved Good-bye, Unfinished Business, in 1984.
Director. Born, Montreal, 1927. The rugged Perrault is the Gilles Vigneault of Quebec cinema--its most traditionally nationalistic filmmaker. After working in documentary radio, Perrault became known for Pour la suite du monde, shot with Michel Brault in 1963, a film which presents the textures of life in rural Quebec by allowing the subjects to speak for themselves. Films such as La bete lumineuse in 1982 explore the way les quebecois communicate while dealing with such topics as nationalist sensibilities and the relationship between man and nature. Perrault, also a poet, makes films that favour traditional occupations like hunting and fishing while lamenting the encroachment of the modern world on deeply rooted ways of life.
Director. Born, Glace Bay, N.S., 1920. After studying communications at Saint Francis Xavier University in his home province of Nova Scotia, Petrie went to the United States to attend Columbia and Northwestern Universities. Working for most of his career in the U.S., Petrie achieved critical acclaim for his screen adaptation of Lorraine Hansbury's play, A Raisin in the Sun, which starred Sidney Poitier, in 1961. He has since directed many productions for both cinema and television. In 1984, Petrie captured a Best Film Genie for The Bay Boy, which starred a young Kiefer Sutherland and Liv Ullmann, in his semi-autobiographical film about growing up in Cape Breton. His two sons, Daniel Jr. and Donald, are both film directors.
Actor. Born Gladys Smith, Toronto, 1893. Died, 1979. On the Toronto stage from age four, Pickford was a star on Broadway before appearing in her first film for D.W. Griffith in 1910. Known as Little Mary, "America's Sweetheart," she became the most popular and financially successful woman in silent cinema. In films such as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Pollyanna and Little Lord Fauntleroy, Pickford played the heroine with idealism and spunk, and a subtle suggestion of the nymphet. She formed United Artists with Griffith and Charlie Chaplin in 1919 and married Douglas Fairbanks in 1920. Pickford made over 200 films in 25 years and dominated American cinema until the coming of sound, when her Little Mary character went out of favour with audiences. She won the Best Actress Oscar for Coquette (29) and an Honorary Oscar in 1976.
Actor. Born, St. John, N.B., 1897. Died, 1984. Like most talented Canadians of his generation, Pidgeon went south. Although he did work in silent films, Pidgeon only emerged as a leading man in the sound era, appearing in 85 films from 1928-1978. Durable, and frequently cast as a man of principle or a doting husband, Pidgeon reached his peak in the 1940s as the co-star in Ford's How Green Was My Valley, Wyler's Mrs. Miniver and LeRoy's Madame Curie. While performing opposite Greer Garson in the latter two films, the tactful actor garnered two Oscar nominations. Assigned mostly to character roles after that, his dignified screen presence strengthened the sci-fi cult classic, Forbidden Planet, opposite another expatriate Canuck, Leslie Nielsen.
Actor. Born, Montreal, 1927. Plummer is an actor in the classical mold, the kind who has taken on innumerable larger-than-life roles. Working in theatre, film and television in the U.S., England and Canada, Plummer has played Hamlet, Rudyard Kipling and, of course, Baron von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, one of the most popular films of all time. The most memorable of his many Canadian film roles are as the psychopathic thief who terrorizes Elliot Gould in The Silent Partner and as Sherlock Holmes to James Mason's Dr. Watson in Bob Clark's Murder By Decree. The father of actress Amanda Plummer, he recently played the mean-spirited detective in Delores Claiborne and Brad Pitt's dubious Big Daddy in Twelve Monkeys.
Director. Born, Switzerland, 1950. Montreal-based Pool has won many festival prizes for such coolly stylized pictures as La femme de l'hotel, Anne Trister and La demoiselle sauvage, which explore themes of isolation, artistic crisis, identity confusion, and ambiguous sexuality from a feminist perspective. The style and texture of Pool's films are so European auteure that in 1994's Mouvements de desir, a film set on a train speeding across Canada, the characters might as well be travelling to Geneva. One of her best films, the short Urgence, evokes the swirling memories of a woman being rushed to the hospital in the aftermath of an accident.
Actor. Born, Beirut, Lebanon, 1964. Trained in Toronto, Reeves has moved quickly from the troubled teen in River's Edge and Prince of Pennsylvania, to the goofy, but good-hearted "dude" in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and its sequel, to classical roles in Dangerous Liaisons and Much Ado About Nothing. His straightforward approach and good looks made him a major star in Speed. Reeves has become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, and is now the subject of a credit course at UCLA's film school.
Director and producer. Born, Czechoslovakia, 1950. Directing and producing films since his student days at McMaster University, Reitman has been associated with some of the biggest box office successes in Canadian cinema. He produced Cronenberg's first two features, Shivers and Rabid, directed and produced Meatballs, and produced the animated Heavy Metal. In the U.S. since the late 1970s, Reitman produced Animal House, John Belushi's first film, and went on to build an impressive career as one of the most reliable and successful director-producers in Hollywood with a string of hits such as Stripes, Ghostbusters (the most successful comedy of all time and a big part of 1980s pop culture), Twins, Ghostbusters II, Kindergarten Cop, Beethoven and Dave.
Writer. Born, Montreal, 1931. Richler, who grew up in the Jewish immigrant sections of Montreal, is an acerbic satirist with one recurring theme. In various screenplays, including adaptations of his novels The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (a credit he shared with Lionel Chetwynd) and Joshua Then and Now, both directed by close friend Ted Kotcheff, Richler focuses on the sense of failure that can accompany material success. In the 1975 Oscar-nominated Duddy, the twitching hustler played by Richard Dreyfuss, is revealed to be missing something at his core. In an early British picture, the 1965 Life at the Top, also directed by Kotcheff, man-on-the-make Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) suffers from a double dose of dissatisfaction as he deals with the perils of upward mobility and an unhappy marriage.
Director and writer. Born, Toronto, 1958, Raised in small Ontario towns by Dutch Calvinist parents, Rozema's first directorial feature. I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, is the great Cinderella story of Canadian cinema. Made for $350,000, Mermaids is a rarity: an English-Canadian art film that made a profit for its investors. Rozema won the Prix de la jeunesse at Cannes in 1987, and followed her success with White Room, a critique of celebrity-hood, and When Night is Falling, a lyrical lesbian romance. Her films are characterized by their sensual cinematic look, quirky protagonists and fairytale story structures.
Producer, director and actor. Born Mikall Sinnott, Danville, Quebec, 1880. Died, 1960. The founder of the Keystone Studios and creator of the Keystone Kops, Sennett was the self-styled "King of Comedy." He worked the vaudeville circuit until a chance encounter with fellow Canadian Marie Dressler in New York landed him in film. He directed comedy for D.W. Griffith and then set up his own studios in Los Angeles, in 1912. He launched the careers of such comic geniuses as Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand, Frank Capra, Harold Lloyd and Fatty Arbuckle. Failing to change his formalistic style of slapstick comedy, Sennett eventually lost favour with audiences. He directed and produced his last film in 1935.
Actor, director and producer. Born, Montreal, 1931. Although his family hoped to enlist him in their schmatte business, Shatner turned to acting and eventually transformed a short TV gig (the original Star Trek TV series ran from 1966-69) into the creation of an internationally recognized icon. James T. Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise, operates as a pop culture hero who upholds the value of the human race in the cold darkness of zero gravity. Although Kirk is not exactly an emotional volcano, he champions empathy and compassion over pure logic. Shatner's long-running (7 films in 15 years, from 1979-94) portrayal of this earnest, somewhat absurd figure often displays humour and refreshing self-parody.
Actor. Born, St. Thomas, Ontario, 1952. Shaver began her acting career at 16 when she won a scholarship to the Banff School ofFine Arts. She played character roles in several Canadian features during the 1970s (Outrageous!, In Praise of Older Women, Who Has Seen the Wind) before she gained attention in 1985 as a repressed teacher who makes a wary, but liberating foray into lesbianism in Donna Deitch's moving Desert Hearts. Internationally, Shaver is perhaps best known as Paul Newman's longsuffering wife in The Color of Money. She starred opposite Donald Sutherland in Phillip Borsos's ill-fated Bethune: The Making of a Hero.
Norma and Douglas Shearer
Norma: Actor. Born, Montreal, 1900. Died, 1983. Douglas: Sound Recording Engineer. Born, Montreal, 1899. Died, 1971. Norma landed her debut role at MGM in 1920 after a successful modelling career. A fortuitous marriage to legendary producer Irving Thalberg elevated her into one of the studio's leading ladies. Shearer led MGM through the first five years of the talkies with a string of hits including, Private Lives, The Barretts of Wimpole Street and The Divorcee, for which she won an Oscar. Thalberg died unexpectedly in 1936 and left his wife as a major shareholder in MGM. She delivered a witty performance in The Women before retiring in 1942. Her brother, Douglas founded the MGM sound department, and was responsible for developing a revolutionary recording head at the dawn of the sound era. He was awarded 12 Academy Awards for technical achievement over the course of his career.
Director. Born, Toronto, 1938. A central figure in the development of English-Canadian cinema and an eloquent, compassionate chronicler of individual alienation and collective Canadian angst, Shebib made several award-winning, lucid documentaries for the NFB and CBC-TV prior to his feature work. After a remarkable cluster of features in the early 1970s--the seminal Goin' Down the Road, Rip Off, and his masterpiece, Between Friends--Shebib became frustrated by the process of bureaucratic film funding, chronic distribution problems and subsequent box office disappointments. He returned to form with Margot Kidder and Annie Potts in Heartaches in 1981, but since then has worked primarily as a director for television, with only the occasional foray into feature filmmaking.
Actor. Born Harold J. Smith, Six Nations Reserve, Ont., 1919. Died, 1980. Silverheels (his father changed his name because of his fleetness on the track) was an all-star lacrosse player on the Canadian national team before he broke into movies playing bit parts in B westerns. When the popular Lone Ranger radio serial was brought to television in 1949, Silverheels was chosen to play Tonto, the Ranger's faithful sidekick, a role that would make him the most recognizable Native American in TV or film. The series ended in 1957, and Silverheels continued in films up until the early 1970s. Becoming active in Indian affairs, he founded the Indian Actor's Workshop in 1966.
Nell and Ernest Shipman
Nell: Actor, writer and director. Born Helen Barham, Victoria, B.C., 1892. Died, 1970. Ernest: Producer. Born, Ottawa, 1871. Died, 1931. Married in 1911, the Shipmans were in Hollywood from 1912, where Ernest promoted films written by and starring Nell. In 1915, Vitagraph produced Nell's script for God's Country and the Woman, a film in which she took the starring role. The couple returned to Canada and Ernest produced Back to God's Country in 1919, again based on a script by, and starring, Nell. The film became the biggest box office success of any Canadian feature during the silent era, and Nell appeared in the first nude scene in Canadian cinema. The Shipmans separated shortly thereafter, and Nell returned to Hollywood where she established her own production company. Ernest went on to produce six more silent features in Canada.
Director, Born, Quebec City, 1955. Simoneau is the prodigal son of the Quebec film milieu. After directing several critically acclaimed quebecois pictures including Les yeux rouges, Pouvoir intime, Les fous de bassan and Dans le ventre du dragon, Simoneau directed Perfectly Normal (90) one of the most successful English-Canadian comedies ever made, and then took off for a career in Hollywood. Fond of genre plots and eye-popping style, Simoneau defined his approach in Pouvoir intime, a taut crime drama that spills over into existential anxiety, featuring bravura camera moves and trompe l'oeil effects. In the U.S., he has made films for TV and theatrical release, including the 1994 thriller, Mother's Boys, starring Jamie Lee Curtis.
John N. Smith
Director. Born, Montreal, 1943. When Smith switched from documentary to drama at the NFB, he turned out a string of movies in the 1980s that earnestly probed issues like male sexuality (The Masculine Mystique), racism (Train of Dreams) and immigration (Welcome to Canada). Along with collaborators like Giles Walker and Sam Grana, Smith made economic use of non-professional actors and documentary techniques. In 1993, he filmed The Boys of St. Vincent, a powerful and controversial TV miniseries depicting the sexual violation of children in a Catholic orphanage. Excellent reviews and ratings in the U.S. led to a Hollywood assignment directing Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds, which became one of the top grossing films of 1995.
Artist and filmmaker, Born, Toronto, 1929. Snow began his remarkable career in Toronto in the early 1950s as a designer, animator, painter and jazz musician. By 1963, he had moved to New York City and was working with a community of American experimental filmmakers expanding the definitions of cinema through their forays into graphic and structuralist films. Snow's provocative works from this era, New York Eye and Ear Control, Wavelength and Back and Forth, offer remarkably unique viewing experiences, delving into the relationship between the spectator and the image, and qualifying Snow as the undisputed dean of structuralist cinema. His more recent films. So Is This (82) and Seated Figures (88), are equally intelligent and compelling explorations of the nature of communication and signification.
Canada at the Toronto festival, which becomes the premier showcase for new Canadian cinema.
* Atom Egoyan shoots his first feature, Next of Kin, marking the beginning of Ontario's New Wave.
* La guerre des tuques/The Dog Who Stopped the War, Demers's first Tales for All for Les Productions la Fete, is released.
* The Terry Fox Story wins the Best Film and Strange Brew the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
* Cynthia Scott's Flamenco at 5:15 wins for Best Documentary Short, and Atlantis Films of Toronto wins Best Live Action Short for Don McBrearty's Boys and Girls.
The Bay Boy (Daniel Petrie)
The Blood of Others (Claude Chabrol)
La femme de l'hotel (Lea Pool)
Flamenco at 5:15 (Cynthia Scott)
La guerre des tuques (Andre Melancon)
Low Visibility (Patricia Gruben)
Next of Kin (Atom Egoyan)
Sanatine (Micheline Lanctot)
* Robert Lantos and Stephen Roth of RSL Productions join forces with John Kemeny and Denis Heroux of ICC to form Alliance Entertainment Corp.
* After lengthy court appeals, the Ontario Board of Censors is finally disbanded and replaced by the Ontario Film Review Board.
* The Academy of Canadian Cinema becomes the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
* Ishu Patel's Paradise wins the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
* The Bay Boy wins the Best Film and La guerre des tuques the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
* Charade by John Minnis of Sheridan College wins an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
Agnes of God (Norman Jewison)
Artie Shaw: Time is All You've Got (Brigitte Berman)
The Big Snit (Richard Condie)
Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (Donald Brittain)
Crime Wave (John Paizs)
La dame en couleurs (Claude Jutra)
Joshua Then and Now (Ted Kotcheff)
The Masculine Mystique (John N. Smith and Giles Walker)
My American Cousin (Sandy Wilson)
One Magic Christmas (Phillip Borsos)
Paradise (Ishu Patel)
* Drabinsky sells 49 per cent of Cineplex Odeon to MCA Inc., the parent company of Universal Studios, effectively putting Cineplex under American control.
* Telefilm Canada announces a $165-million Feature Film Fund over five years to assist in the production and distribution of feature films.
* The MPAA signs an agreement with the Province of Quebec (Bill 109) by which only Quebec distributors will be allowed to distribute foreign films in the province. This effectively bars English-Canadian distributors from operating in Quebec.
* The Ontario Film Development Corporation comes into being with Wayne Clarkson as its first director.
* The National Screen Institute, based in Edmonton, is formed and the Local Heroes Film Festival begins.
* With the tragic suicide of Claude Jutra, Canada loses one its finest film directors.
* Denys Arcand's Le declin de l'empire americain wins the International Film Critics' Award at Cannes.
* My American Cousin wins the Best Film and Nelvana's The Care Bear Movie wins the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood (Andy Jones)
Anne Trister (Lea Pool)
Dancing in the Dark (Leon Marr)
Le declin de l'empire americain (Denys Arcand)
Loyalties (Anne Wheeler)
Pouvoir intime (Yves Simoneau)
* The Canada-Manitoba Cultural Industries Development Office (CIDO) and B.C. Film are established.
* Patricia Rozema's I've Heard the Mermaids Singing wins the Prix de la jeunesse at Cannes.
* Brigitte Berman's Artie Shaw: Time is All You've Got wins an Oscar for Best Feature Documentary, Arcand's Le declin
Director and producer. Born, Toronto, 1990. Starting with the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau in 1924, Sparling had a 40 year career at the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau and the Associated Screen News. During the 1930s, he was virtually the only creative filmmaker in the Canadian commercial film industry and was the editor on Carry on Sergeant! He launched the Canadian Cameo series of theatrical shorts at ASN in 1935 and continued to direct and produce the series until 1954. During the war, he was the head of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit making propaganda films for the war effort. He returned to ASN and remained with the studios until the production department was closed down in 1957.
Donald and Kiefer Sutherland
Donald: Actor. Born, St. John, N.B., 1934. Kiefer: Actor. Born, London, U.K., 1967. Donald is indisputably one of the world's most versatile actors. From bit parts to leading roles, from American potboilers to European art house cinema, from Klute to M*A*S*H to Fellini's Casanova to Ordinary People to Bethune: The Making of a Hero, Sutherland's career spans a vast and open cinematic terrain. Since making his screen debut in 1964, Sutherland's unique screen presence has made him much in demand. He has produced a body of work which is as beguilingly diverse as it is lengthy. Son Kiefer appears to have taken the same approach, assuming a broad range of roles in an equally eclectic number of films. Making an impressive debut opposite Liv Ullmann in Daniel Petrie's coming-of-age story, The Bay Boy, Sutherland the younger has become one of his generation's most consistent performers.
Exhibitor, distributor, producer and journalist. Born, Toronto, 1906. An enigmatic, yet important figure in the development of a film culture in Canada, Taylor owned and operated the Twentieth Century theatre circuit, the largest of the independents, and opened the world's first "twin" theatre in Ottawa in 1948. With publisher Hye Bosin, he launched the Canadian Film Weekly in 1942 and used the paper as a platform to lobby for greater federal government involvement in feature film production. He produced Julian Roffman's The Mask, which is the first Canadian feature to be marketed extensively in the U.S.; however, his lasting achievement is the introduction of multiplex cinemas, a concept which he developed for 30 years until launching the Cineplex chain with producer Garth Drabinsky in 1979.
Actor. Burn Adolphus Vernon Agopsowicz, Regina, 1932. In addition to his many films, both American and Canadian (remember his growling dispensation of worldly wisdom to Peter in Nobody Waved Good-bye?), Vernon starred in the legendary Canadian TV series, Wojeck, about a crusading coroner. This distinguished stage and screen performer is often cast as the self-assured heavy or crafty villain. An underrated character actor, Vernon is undoubtedly the only human in history to have appeared both in an episode of The Forest Rangers and in a film by Alfred Hitchocock (Topaz). He is perhaps best remembered as "The Mayor" opposite Clint Eastwood in Don Siegal's Dirty Harry and the thief who is viciously betrayed by Angie Dickinson in John Boorman's Point Blank.
Animator, Born, Toronto, 1933. The animator who created the popular Pink Panther cartoon character, Williams also designed the introductory credits to the hugely popular films starring Peter Sellers. He left school in Toronto at 15 to make a failed bid to join the Disney studios; eventually he arrived with George Dunning in swinging London in the early 1960s. Williams worked as a graphic artist, winning countless prizes for his animated TV commercials. He designed title sequences for What's New Pussycat? and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In 1973, he earned an Oscar for his animated version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and in 1988 was responsible for the ground-breaking live action-animation in Robert Zemeckis's Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
de l'empire americain is nominated for Best Foreign Film, and Norman Jewison receives his third nomination, for Moonstruck.
* Le declin de l'empire americain wins both the Best Film and Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
Candy Mountain (Robert Frank and Rudy Wurlitzer)
Family Viewing (Atom Egoyan)
The Gate (Tibor Takacs)
La guerre oubliee (Richard Boutet)
L'homme qui plantait des arbres (Frederic Back)
I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (Patricia Rozema)
Life Classes (William MacGillivray)
Train of Dreams (John N. Smith)
Undivided Attention (Chris Gallagher)
Un zoo, la nuit (Jean-Claude Lauzon)
* Federal Communications Minister Flora MacDonald tables her Film Products Importation Bill which would give Canadian distributors some measure of access to films not produced by the Hollywood majors by introducing a licensing system for all film distributors operating in Canada. The Bill would eventually die on the order paper. It would be the last serious attempt by the feds to curtail the activities of the major American distributors. Subsequent federal policy has been to increase distribution and marketing funds within the context of Telefilm Canada.
* La societe generale du cinema du Quebec becomes the film division of La societe generale des industries culturelles du Quebec (SOGIC).
* The Canadian Centre for Advanced Film Studies, founded by Norman Jewison, opens in North York.
* Un zoo, la nuit wins the Best Film and The Gate the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
* Frederic Back wins his second Oscar for the Radio-Canada animated short, L'homme qui plantait des arbres.
Alias Will James (Jacques Godbout)
The Cat Came Back (Cordell Barker)
Comic Book Confidential (Ron Mann)
Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg)
La grenouille et la baleine (Jean-Claude Lord)
Les portes tournantes (Francis Mankiewicz)
Tales From the Gimli Hospital (Guy Maddin)
A Winter Tan (Jackie Burroughs, Louise Clark, John Frizzell, John Walker and Aerlyn Weissman)
* Drabinsky attempts to buy back Cineplex Odeon from his American partners, but loses out in the much publicized corporate struggle. He resigns from Cineplex and leaves the world of Canadian film for more successful ventures producing mega-musicals.
* The Ontario Film Institute folds into the Toronto Film Festival and becomes the Cinematheque Ontario and The Film Reference Library.
* The NFB wins an Honourary Oscar in recognition of its 50th anniversary.
* Cinema Canada ceases publication after 18 years.
* Arcand's Jesus de Montreal wins a Jury Prize at Cannes.
* Dead Ringers wins the Best Film and La grenouille et la baleine the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
Bye Bye Blues (Anne Wheeler)
Cold Comfort (Vic Sarin)
Jesus de Montreal (Denys Arcand)
Speaking Parts (Atom Egoyan)
The Top of His Head (Peter Mettler)
Welcome to Canada (John N. Smith)
* After many months of delay, Phillip Borsos's Bethune: The Making of a Hero is finally released to almost universal condemnation. The ill-fated production, at $20-million the most expensive Canadian film to be produced at the time, is the realization of a 50-year-old dream by author Ted Allan.
* Francis Mankiewicz's Love and Hate, made for CBC-TV, is the first Canadian production to be aired in U.S. Network primetime.
* The Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation is formed.
* Arcand's masterpiece, Jesus de Montreal, sweeps 12 Genies (the most ever by any film in the history of awards) plus the Golden Reel Award.
Archangel (Guy Maddin)
Behune: The Making of a Hero (Phillip Borsos)
The Company of Strangers (Cynthia Scott)
Une histoire inventee (Andre Forcier)
Le party (Pierre Falardeau)
Perfectly Normal (Yves Simoneau)
Roadkill (Bruce McDonald)
* First Nations Filmmakers Alliance is founded in Edmonton.
* Rock Demers is one of the founders of L'institute nationale de l'image et du son, a Montreal film school based on Jewison's Canadian Film Centre.
* Jesus de Montreal is nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.
* The Genies move from March to November. Black Robe wins the Best Film and Ding et Dong, le film the Golden Reel Award.
The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan)
Black Robe (Bruce Beresford)
Blackfly (Christopher Hinton)
Clearcut (Richard Bugajski)
The Falls (Kevin McMahon)
The Grocer's Wife (John Pozer)
The Making of "Monsters" (John Greyson)
* Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media is released and becomes the most successful theatrically released Canadian documentary of all time.
* Le Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris organizes the largest retrospective of Canadian films ever held anywhere.
* The first issue of the new Take One appears.
* Naked Lunch wins the Best Film and Black Robe the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
Les adventuriers de timbre perdu (Michael Rubbo)
The Boys of St. Vincent (John N. Smith)
Careful (Guy Maddin)
Highway 61 (Bruce McDonald)
Leolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon)
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (Peter Wintonick and Mark Achbar)
Masala (Srinivas Krishna)
Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg)
Requiem pour un beau sans coeur (Robert Morin)
La sarrasine (Paul Tana)
* Robert Lantos takes Alliance public and creates Alliance Communications Inc. In production and distribution in both television and feature films, Alliance has become the largest in Canada and a major player in the North American marketplace.
* Shadow of the Wolf/Agaguk is released. At a reported cost of $31-million, this Canada/France co-production is the most expensive Canadian film ever made.
* The Feature Film Project is launched at the Canadian Film Centre. Its first production is Holly Dale's Blood & Dounts.
* Telefilm Canada celebrates its 25th anniversary.
* Thirty-two Short Films About Glenn Gould wins Best Film and La Florida the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
Calendar (Atom Egoyan)
I Love a Man in Uniform (David Wellington)
Map of the Human Heart (Vincent Ward)
* The federal government approves the takeover of the Canadian assets of Paramount Communications Inc. (formerly Gulf+Western) by Viacom Inc. of New York. These assets include the Famous Players theatre chain and Blockbuster Video. In turn, Viacom promises to exhibit more Canadian films and spend more money in the marketing of Canadian films in Famous Players theatres.
* Nelvana goes public; IMAX is purchased by American interests and goes public in the U.S.
* John Candy, the most successful of the SCTV graduates and one of the most beloved Canadian actors of all time, dies at age 43.
* Atom Egoyan's Exotica wins the International Film Critics' Prize at Cannes, the first English-Canadian feature to win a major international award since The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.
* Exotica wins Best Film and Louis 19, le roi des ondes the Golden Reel Award at the Genies.
Exotica (Atom Egoyan)
Louis 19, le roi des ondes (Michel Poulette)
Love and Human Remains (Denys Arcand)
Mouvements du desir (Lea Pool)
Octobre (Pierre Falardeau)
Thirty-two Short Films About Glenn Gould (Francois Gerard)
Zero Patience (John Greyson)
* Edgar Bronfman Jr., through his family's company, Seagrams, of Montreal, buys MCA (owners of Universal Studios) from Matsushita Electric Industrial of Japan for a reported $8-billion Canadian.
* The newly elected provincial Tories under Mike Harris cut deeply into the OFDC, freezing production funding and slashing the amount of money available for OFIP, the Ontario tax rebate program operated by the OFDC.
* La societe generale des enterprises culturelles (SODEC) replaces SOGIC and L'institut quebecois du cinema, Quebec's film advisory board.
* Disney announces the opening of two new animation studios, one in Vancouver and the other in Toronto.
* Le confessionnal wins Best Film and Johnny Mnemonic the Golden Reel Award at the Genies, in ceremonies that take place in Montreal in January, 1996.
* The NFB receives its 10th Oscar, for Bob's Birthday.
Bob's Birthday (David Fine and Alison Snowden)
Le confessionnal (Robert Lepage)
Double Happiness (Mina Shum)
Eldorado (Charles Biname)
Rude (Clement Virgo)
When Night is Falling (Patricia Rozema)
Animator. Born, Toronto, 1962. One of the best and brightest of the new wave of computer animators, and a graduate of Sheridan College's famed animation school, Williams first went to work for the Toronto-based software innovators, Alias Research, but quickly moved on to George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic. There he has been responsible for creating the aliens in The Abyss and the shape-shifting villain in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. His realistic dinosaurs convinced Steven Spielberg to use computer animation rather than traditional puppets to create the T-Rex and raptors in Jurassic Park. Williams was nominated for an Academy award for his work in transforming Jim Carrey into a cartoon superhero in The Mask.
Actor. Born, Carduston, Alberta, 1907. This almond-eyed beauty raised on her father's ranch, "Wrayland," achieved world-wide fame in 1933 as the shrieking heroine in King Kong. However, Wray started in Hollywood almost a decade earlier during the silent era's golden age and was one of the few actresses from that period still performing in the late 1950s. One of her early successes was opposite Erich von Stroheim in The Wedding March. Like Marlene Dietrich, Wray was often paired up with Gary Cooper in a number of his star vehicles from 1928 to 1933. Wray also acted on stage throughout her career and co-authored a play with Sinclair Lewis. She appeared in her last film, Dragstrip Riot, in 1958.
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|Date:||Jun 22, 1996|
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