The Canadian Scene

  • Gerald Pratley


At Canada's main film festivals Canadian films have their own showcases: Panorama Canada at Montréal's World Film Festival, Perspective Canada at the Toronto International Film Festival (no longer called Festival of Festivals), Canadian Images at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Canadian section at Halifax's Atlantic Film. As the summers pass these special programmes bring on high hopes of whole-hearted rejoicing in finding among the almost fifty new feature-length films at least a substantial number to make us quietly proud of what our filmmakers have accomplished in showing audiences here and abroad what it means to be Canadian. Regretfully, with a sense of loss over what might have been one writes of disappointment rather than the excitement of discovery. Paul Donovan's Paint Cans introduces a character early in the story who matter-of-factly mentions that "Canadians can't make films." The audience laughs, as though in agreement, and it is not...