Questions of Protocol

In this week’s NOW, I take a look at Canada’s Top Ten and wonder — at length — whether we as a nation are going down the wrong road with regards to evaluating our national cinema. And that’s assuming we even have a national cinema, which is debatable.

Does this country have a star system? Of course it does; every country with an active media presence has a star system. And ours is … well, if it’s not broken, it’s listing in an unhealthy direction, at least as far as filmmaker worship goes.┬áRead the piece, it’s all in there.


4 thoughts on “Questions of Protocol”

  1. While I haven’t had a chance to see it myself yet, A Dangerous Method has received rave reviews from a number of prominent non-Canadian critics. This doesn’t seem to be just a case of nationalism.

  2. I’ve seen a few of those reviews, and I truly do not understand where they’re coming from. Yes, the subject matter is inherently interesting, but it’s not executed in an interesting or dramatic way; the movie’s rooted in its stagey source material in much the same way that “M. Butterfly” was, with the idea that drives the plot being endlessly discussed but never really coming to life.

    There are people who think “Eastern Promises” is a masterpiece, too. They are also wrong.

    1. It’s funny — I have the opposite take, which is that “A History of Violence” is the masterpiece and “Eastern Promises” is overrated. For me, the shift in focus from Naomi Watts’ more subtle storyline to Mortensen’s telegraphed deep-cover mobster arc curdles the story — though the steam-bath fight is still terrific. (Also, I’m so sick of Armin Mueller-Stahl’s nodding-and-whispering schtick that he pretty much ruins all of his scenes.)

      I prefer the flatter and more confrontational approach of “History”, where the questions of a character’s identity are actually key to the drama, and open up layers of mystery that still lead somewhere quite bizarre. Plus, Maria Bello.

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