Canada: the land of mounties, maple syrup, and strange individuals who insert videotapes into their bellies. Here is our highly subjective list of top ten Canadian films from acclaimed filmmakers Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand, Patricia Rozema and others.
David Cronenberg had to lead this list, and no movie before or since epitomizes his surreal, subversive work as the twisted horror of "Videodrome," starring James Woods and Deborah Harry. All of his other films are worth checking out, however, especially "Crash," "Dead Ringers," and "Naked Lunch."
Sarah Polley plays the lone survivor of a school bus tragedy that takes the children of a town. Based on the book by Russell Banks, Atom Egoyan made a heart-wrenching film. Other films by Egoyan you shouldn't miss include "Exotica" and "The Adjuster."
Cronenberg and Polley make an appearance in Don McKellar's surprisingly touching End-of-the-World drama "Last Night," which successfully combines millennial hysteria and intimate portraits of people who know the end is coming. Not to be missed.
Patricia Rozema's ("Mansfield Park," "When Night is Falling") 1987 film tells the quirky story of a day dreaming photographer who travels the streets of Toronto on her bicycle with her camera, snapping pictures as goes. When Polly is taken hired by a lesbian art gallery curator, the plot takes surprising turns.
Guy Maddin's unique vision colors this surreal tale inspired by German expressionism.
Claude Jutra's bittersweet 1971 masterpiece tells the story of a young boy's Christmas in a small French-Canadian town.
Sarah Polley did a remarkable job with her first feature film, [i]Away From Her[/i], an adaption of an Alice Munro short story about the love, marriage, and Alzheimer's disease. Polley has made a beautiful film, working with an astonishingly accomplished cast, including Gordon Pinset and Oscar-winning actresses Julie Christie and Olympia Dukakis.
Molly Parker, Mary-Louise Parker, and Gabrielle Rose are among the characters who smell, see, hear, taste and touch each other in Jeremy Podeswa's quietly affecting interconnected tales.
Molly Parker plays a necrophiliac in Lynne Stopkewich's surprising first movie.
Denys Arcand won an Oscar for the sequel "The Babarian Invasions," but the talky original still stands as his best work. Also worth a look: his 1989 "Jesus of Montreal."