François Girard – Le Violon Rouge aka The Red Violin (1998)


In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as “the red violin,” is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of “the red violin.” Continue reading

David Cronenberg – Transfer (1966)


A 1966 short film written, shot, edited and directed by David Cronenberg.

Transfer, my first film, was a surreal sketch for two people – a psychiatrist and his patient – at a table set for dinner in the middle of a field covered in snow. The psychiatrist has been followed by his obsessive former patient. The only relationship the patient has had which has meant anything to him has been with the psychiatrist. The patient complains that he has invented things to amuse and occasionally worry the psychiatrist but that he has remained unappreciative of his efforts. Continue reading

Robert Lepage – La Face cachée de la lune AKA The Far Side of the Moon [+extra] (2003)



Forty-something Quebeçois Philippe Roberge is floundering in his life. He believes that no one listens to him or takes him seriously. A graduate student in Philosophy of Scientific Culture, he has just failed his Ph.D. dissertation for the second time, his theory of interest in outer space being a narcissistic response from man being widely rejected throughout the community. To make ends meet, he works selling newspaper subscriptions. And he has a cordial but basically non-existent relationship with his ex-wife. Philippe examines his life in response to the recent death of his mother coupled with his dissertation beliefs. Although she lived in a care home, he acted as her primary caregiver. His only remaining family is his younger gay brother, André, the two who could not have more different temperaments. As such, they do not get along. Following his mother’s death, Philippe’s thoughts about his life are influenced by three major incidents: being invited to speak at a major conference in Russia by a cosmonaut who he idolizes, entering a contest on sending messages into outer space, and receiving information regarding the nature of his mother’s death.
— IMDb. Continue reading

Robin Spry – Prologue (1970)


One critic described this film as an “immensely appealing and articulate exploration of the world of the drop-out, which makes almost everything else in the recent spate of films about hippydom seem adolescent.” Prologue concerns a young Montrealer who edits an underground newspaper. He and his female companion are joined by a young draft dodger from the United States. In the choices they make, the two rival philosophies of dissenting youth become evident: militant protest or communal retreat.

The film includes some of the bloody rioting in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention. Also seen and heard in the film is anti-war and civil rights spokesman Abbie Hoffman.

Robin Spry was one of the brightest talents of the late sixties and early seventies and a pioneer of the emerging English-Canadian film scene of that era. Equally adept at documentary and fiction and gifted with a keen eye for social analysis, his films often dealt with contemporary social issues and were continually concerned with the politics of power. Continue reading

Sarah Polley – Stories we tell (2012)


In this inspired, genre-twisting new film, Oscar®-nominated writer/director Sarah Polley discovers that the truth depends on who’s telling it. Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She playfully interviews and interrogates a cast of characters of varying reliability, eliciting refreshingly candid, yet mostly contradictory, answers to the same questions. As each relates their version of the family mythology, present-day recollections shift into nostalgia-tinged glimpses of their mother, who departed too soon, leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Polley unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving. Stories We Tell explores the elusive nature of truth and memory, but at its core is a deeply personal film about how our narratives shape and define us as individuals and families, all interconnecting to paint a profound, funny and poignant picture of the …

Written by The National Film Board of Canada Continue reading