Is Canadian cultural identity deteriorating in entertainment?
Is Canadian cultural identity deteriorating in entertainment? Is Canadian cultural identity deteriorating in entertainment?Comedian stories aren’t always represented on the big screen here in Canada. It’S an industry, that’s been long dominated here by the United States, but director Miranda de pencier is using her lens to tell a uniquely Northern story from a tiny Arctic Community. The Grizzlies is based on a true story. It follows the story of several Inuit used in a grieving Nunavut community and what happens when they get a teacher from the south who plans to only stay for a one year old, welcome to the edge of the world students in your class joining me now is Miranda de pencier she’s, the director of the Grizzlies, it’s her debut feature. Last October. She won the Directors Guild of Canada Award for best Direction in a feature film, and she do it’s me from Montreal tonight. We’Re on. Good to see you in the chair, so we had to go too so we went to another theater, hey thanks know: it’s been an incredible ride. It really has we’re on our third week of of number one Canadian box office for Canadian film and so works out. What is the story about for you? It’S so many things and it’s become so many things for me. It’S it’s honestly hard for me to talk about without bawling my eyes out and and talking for hours, so I’ll, try to put it into a sound by kids, overcoming their trauma through sport. It attracted me because I had suffered from depression in high school and sports. It really helped me, and I love stories about people overcoming difficulties. You know we all have challenges in life and I was I was just moved by, but it really changed and became so much more when I got up to the Arctic. For the first time when I met the real kids who the stories about I’ve never been to an intimate Community, I couldn’t believe this was Canada born and raised a girl from Toronto, and I thought what the hell have we done. I mean yes, we know we work on this story 10 years ago. This country wasn’t talking about reconciliation on on the scale that they are and end at that we are today and and words like in a decolonization weren’t around the way they are today. So I started out making what I thought was a sports drama and it’s become so much more. But how are you as a southerner someone from Toronto, coming to tell this story? How are you welcomed or not welcomed, to tell that story? How are you so very quickly from I get to public? For the first time, I have to say the real Grizzly that I met the real Miranda Tata hack, the real Adam Tik Tok, opened open themselves to me and it was really stunning and beautiful, and I and I will deeply appreciate it. if they trusted me from The beginning was, it was a really gutsy of them and ratatata Hawk said. You know, I don’t know if I want to give you my life rights, because we don’t know if we want to remember what life was like before the grizzly started in a community. The trauma and the and the death was so. The toll was so huge, but if we don’t give you our life rights, we could go back there again and if this movie can help other communities, we want you to have the life rights and she signed and the real acrostic with my hand. And now I’m going to give it to you, I’m going to give you my life rights. We need to tell this story and I said how old was he producing Partners cuz? I knew nothing about the Arctic and about the culture, and thankfully I found two incredible partner: stacii with MacDonald and alethea Arctic Burrell and without them I couldn’t have made this movie it really with the operation Arctic Circle we trained and mentored, and I’m in within every Single department on the crew and the end no 600, kids, the auditions. We did a workshop with 60 of them in the Eastern Art Shop in the Eastern Arctic and we’ve taught them throat singing and drum dancing in a lot of a lot of work that they could return to their communities. The actress deal with the same issues that the kids, the real kids, do. Somebody said we don’t want any white people come from the south, making films about the North, and, I said, well., That’s who I need to get on board and I’m really grateful to collaborations been extraordinary anything for first-time director we had stunts. We had dogs, we have sports, we have first time actors, we had language, we had weather but really showed Toronto. We shot almost entirely and we shot three days in Guelph at the end but yeah it was. It was physically a challenge, but it was such a community. It was such a team and because we done the workshops up there, so many locals work on the the movie and it really became just a big Love Fest with a great time I mean, I hope it’s changing. You know you look at the rest of the world, I think what’s hard about English Canada is, we are up against Hollywood, we’re up against the Behemoth of movie production and it’s in our language and the culture has got some similarities, but I mean they have a Very specific culture and a lot of smaller communities in the world of specific cultures can lean into that. It makes it harder and English Canada because we thought we got a little slow lot of similarities with the states, but I think that’s changing. In the more specific we get with our storytelling Faithfully, the world is getting more diverse. Our storytellers are getting more diverse, you know not to knock a white man. Cuz they’ve been doing a fabulous job, making movies for a very long time, but it’s great that there’s some other people that are starting to get to the table, we’re giving opportunities to people of color to indigenous filmmakers and two new voices. I think that that’s where it’s going to start getting interesting from Montreal. Thank you so much for taking time for your bank. Thank you so much for coming on the show so much Canadians with a strong Canadian cultural identity. Many commentators say it’s an exception. Canadian television, film, screams dominated by American, shows the road book stores and tonight we’re asking our panel. Are we as Canadians losing ourselves to the American identity and from Calgary North weather? Vice president strategy, Zane belge? How would you describe our relationship to American culture? Are we losing ourselves to the Americans toes seems to imply that it’s something new in this is something we’ve faced really since, since the war of independence and since the War of 1812 on Northrop Frye, one said that Canadian is an American who rejects the Revolution, and I stranger things at the qualifier, like our culture is American, except it’s not it’s American, but different, and you know till we’ve always been defined against America and by-and-by that truamerica, so, in other words, we’re already losing that battle. We lost the amount of Canadian beers negative. Jose Aid really barely counts. However, you know we’ve at the same time, produce all these actors who would like Jim Carrey, who are in an American context or fluid, and I think that’s inherent to who we are in into the very nature of Canadian identity, which is which is not as strong As in other countries, you know we have a prime minister, and I think I have your own ferocious mass culture in those in those conditions, is almost impossible. What’S so to speak on a panel talking about, which is to say the USA Today, I’m sitting relatively comfortable in terms of the question which country is facing an identity crisis right now, kind of cynical to say that that our identities, only a foil values, unique, possibly Not pricey the depth of commitment and their prioritization multiculturalism, the four walls of Canada lost ourselves to the American identity. You can extend it out. It’S not confined to any argument about American influence International one travel throughout the world. I spent the first 20 years of my life in the UK. Now you think of Britain with incomes Batman American audience in the early eighties. I worked for a calling well and who was the screenwriter and he won the Oscar for movie called Chariots of Fire. Very, very, very, but that was incredibly evil to British culture. Alien shows do we have Australia because we sure the Border we actually can never compete in our own lane. Everything we do has to be measured for Neighbors down south right. If we were off the island of Western Europe, you know we would be considered quite a unique culture because we wouldn’t be constantly tethered. We compared to our Network, you know production standards or the subjective, quality, internal criticism to say, production, standard-speaker movie stars model play 88 million people and it produces a of that cultural. Up with his incredible I mean, has produced a better crime drama than has ever been produced in Canada. What we face is actually something both very specific but also kind of inexplicable. It’S just that if you have a talent here, you can only measure yourself against America. Cd, for example, I know fetty WAP. If you want another picture, any TV that isn’t exported it’s horrible TV, that’s horribly bad acid, find Canadian detective shows set in the early part of the twentieth century that has become essentially an American show for the past two seasons. The degree of violence or the police what Scandinavian countries with a tiny population of produce more than we do well, it’s certainly not about the government’s money to make Canadian art rather than Make It in America, you make it virtuous, you make it you make it by Committees of people who decide whether art is actually valid in a political sense. Where is in America? What they decide is Duke are people going to like this? That’S how they get mass culture, and I think what we have here is, in fact not an inferiority complex, but in some ways we feel like we’re better than them and because we’re better than them, we make art that nobody wants. Something perhaps that people people are saying okay, we want to do something. People like people like American shows. So let’s tell our Canadian stories through an American lens if you will adopted and end initially utilized poorly, but let me give an example of two shows airing on the CVC I didn’t say United States. I would have said it’s impossible, but because of the Advent of the same technology that we could be victimized streaming, which is why we consume so much American Media. In many cases these shows have been local Productions put out. There is Canadian stories and have had massive take me to the United States and Kim’s Convenience, particularly, I find a very unique sort of case study centerpiece of the Shelf. How did Canada do this? Why were they able to do that? Everything it’s advertised and marketed as a sledgehammer, so I feel like we’re good at telling a story. What do you think? I think that was me extra sensitive Maiden we will only Americans would have made it. I mean you know we could only have been lately. Hollywood films, you see it everywhere, you started Superman, you saw it in the Revenant, hold a great film story about Albert it, even though it has great writers, and even though it has great stories – and you know – that’s – that’s actually lost to the world dooming ourselves to Be the background because we insist on on finding stories that are so good for us and we insist on seeing or is something small and virtuous rather than big and delicious film. I mean that seems to be resonating with people who I haven’t, seen it for Canadian Canadian film in Canada. Right so I mean I wonder what percentage of the country song Avengers movie in the 1-1. I guess that’s what people have said to me. A Canadian film sold out a theater when it comes to indigenous stories. Yes, they have to be told, but I do believe that that. Or he’s have to be told, and there is there is so much of a history. American history is not particular. There are stories that can be told him. We simply I’d, icon, Quantified, icon, Define why we haven’t done it particularly well, and we haven’t. We haven’t, produced all right, a situation right now where Canada is in a unique position. Co-Productions are higher than before. I demand for artists from this country are higher than before. The other element of his conversation is not just our internal demand for our own content, but is the world wanting our continent? Think of that right now, we’ve got Lilly Singh Canadian YouTuber, going to be hosting a late night Network show when groundbreaking territory for a freak Canadians, you know taking our DNA in our culture and exporting it across the border, which I think to this issue is. It is it the Netflix. Is it the screaming? Is it the global Marketplace for for television? I think those are all good things that might bring content from a US production house into my in a living room. It also gives the same equal Level Playing Field for good Canadian content to find a home across the world, so we can either face that. You know that that, as a challenge to say, oh no more American contents can be finding our Collective living rooms. Great Canadian content that could never find a home that wouldn’t have found a home 15 years ago now has access to that same Marketplace to actually promote that content across the world. I think I think net-net we have to you know, take this in as a positive and, frankly, levered some, the great quality Kevin’s country really is not. I think one of the Tendencies of this country is to think I’ll go. There must be a government solution to this right. There must be some collective action that we can take with. An artist need in this country are not Avi movies, and you know that just isn’t in existence right now. Grizzlies is getting a great reputation by word of mouth; a made-in-Canada film, by Canadians, with a strong Canadian cultural identity. But many commentators would say it is an exception. Canadian TV and film screens, and even book stores, are dominated by the U.S. material.
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