Jim Leach's Cinematic Identity In Canadian Film

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To the average moviegoer, the world of Canadian cinema is a mysterious (and probably fictional) landscape. Besides obvious outliers, such as David Cronenberg, Canadian filmmakers seem to have a horrible time breaking into the mainstream. Furthermore, it 's quite rare to come across a movie that showcases Canada as a real place, instead of a frigid land of funny-sounding stereotypes, or a hidden stand-in for New York or Los Angeles.

Is it even worthwhile to document the film history of Canada, as a separate and valuable entity? Jim Leach, the author of Film in Canada, seems to think so. In his book, Mr. Leach comprehensively covers the history of our country 's cinema, from the early Realists to the popular cinema of the 1980 's. He readily admits it 's quite impossible to ascribe a certain set of characteristics or ideals to Canadian cinema. Within our own borders, multiple film traditions exist discordantly aside one another: Quebec cinema, for instance, is notably distinct from
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As an avid movie and history fan, who has been woefully underexposed to Canadian movies up until now, understanding how we perceive ourselves (and how we used to perceive ourselves) is an enticing notion to me. However, I am not so much interested in a narrow, definitive profile of Canada 's cinematic identity as I am in the evolving relationship between Canadian movies and Canadian history in the mid-20th century. What specific historical events and factors gave rise to the different Canadian film movements? How did exterior factors (such as Hollywood, or the international political climate) impact how we tell stories? Finally—and most importantly—what do all these things tell us about Canada 's evolving set of national values? In short, using key genres and examples from the Canadian film canon, I will argue that Canada does not possess a single 'identity ', but a multitude of radically different ones, each individual filmmaker viewing our country through the cracked lens of

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