Posts Tagged ‘National Film Board’

A Feeling And A Definition

March 25, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Another day, another incredible Canadian short film.  This Oscar nominated (1968) piece by Ryan Larkin captures the variety and majesty of human walking in a variety of animation/art techniques.  I am posting this video not only for its visual content, but also for the phenomenal music that accompanies it.  It’s fascinating to me that an artist can take an ordinary action and transform it into a compelling presentation. On the surface there is nothing remarkable about walking, or the many people presented in the film.  But on closer inspection, I see the complexity of bipedal transportation being explored through whimsical eyes.

In my intial post about the National Film Board, I noted that many Canadian shorts have received Oscar nominations.  I think it is a testament to the creative visionaries who have pushed the boundaries of film over the years.  While most elements of creative endeavour battle the move towards popular conformity (see yesterday’s post) I think it is important that as a nation we encourage dynamic activity in the Arts.  If Canada is to truly have it’s own culture defined, then we must invent our own way to express that meaning.

Much of this blog has dealt with elements of that cultural definition, by highlighting movements and creations that I see has significant to the conversation. Certainly there has been a great deal of other material on here, but at the core of The Alder Fork is a quest for meaning.  One of the main elements of that is the hope for a Canadian identity.  Perhaps it should not be quantified in a standard way, but I think it should be sketched. If we can see it, we can touch it, and by feeling our way through Canadian culture we will come to a greater understanding of the nation and its people.

Please enjoy Walking by Ryan Larkin.


But Wait There’s More

March 23, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I have been on a National Film Board kick the last few days.  This delightful vignette is a play on both Canadian bilingualism and flashy infomercials.  I absolutely love infomercials.  I would never actually purchase a product I saw on one of those programs, but that doesn’t stop me from watching them.  Perhaps it is my love of watching confident persuasive people at work (see my interest in religious leaders for more on this), or maybe I am just easily entertained.  I highly recommend clicking your way over to the infomercial blog for a wide array of commentary and video relating to everyt commercial from the Slap Chop to the Magic Bullet.

The video itself cracks me up. I wrote a big project in OAC (what was once Grade 13 in Ontario) on English-French relations in Canada.  I think this one minute film summarizes the great divide between the two cultures in a unique and clever way.  Director Andre Leduc clearly has a handle on this relationship.  The “4 different accents” part made me laugh out loud.  In high school we were taught to speak Parisian French, and many of my friends have been made fun of in Quebec for “sounding funny.”  I also had a bilingual friend whose dog only understood French despite living in Southern Ontario.  This is such a wacky country.

A new episode of the podcast will be forthcoming and I may discuss a few of the recent blog topics in a little more depth.