WORTHWHILE CANADIAN INITIATIVE: What does it mean to be a Canadian film? Does it require Canadian talent behind the camera? In front of it? Does it need to be filmed in Canada? (Well, so are a lot of American films.) Does it need to involve Canadian themes -- and what, for the love of God, are "Canadian themes" beyond a desire to celebrate Thanksgiving in the wrong month and to find the Northwest Passage? Is Juno a Canadian film since it was filmed in Canada, was directed by a Canadian and stars two Canadians, and shares its name with the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys, even though it's not set in Canada? If Juno counts, does Meatballs?
Hell, I don't know.
But in the comments yesterday, Randy called Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter "the greatest Canadian movie ever made" and if there's a blog better suited than ours to test that proposition, well, it's probably in Canada and since I haven't found it (that blog -- I know where Canada is), we're here.
And in terms of defining a "Canadian film," I think the Genie Award nominations are a fair start, though that only covers us from 1980 onwards (see, also, this list) it leads us to an obvious problem: beyond Meatballs and Strange Brew, are we basically looking at the films of David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan? The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz aside, I think so. And if that's the case, if I'm choosing up between devastating films I don't often go back to (with the exception of Egoyan's Exotica), as much as I admire Cronenberg's Dead Ringers (and Jeremy Irons' performance therein) I think I have to agree with Randy and go with The Sweet Hereafter, in which the setting matters more to the overall feel of the film and therefore makes it a more Canadian film, as opposed to "a film which happens to have been made by a Canadian." Your mileage may vary (in miles or kilometres.)