Canada is becoming a more interesting and dissenting voice on film. Today, I saw three films on the plane to Montreal. Only two are Canadian, but all three films truly lifted me.
The best of these was the Quebecois “Les Pieds Dans le Vide” (Freefall, 2009). It is about skydiving, which is one of my very favourite things. The sumptuous Montreal scenery and the language lift this film beyond soap opera to being a modern tale of young people obsessed with something that doesn’t happen on screen or on Facebook. For this – and for the beautiful Montreal scenery and joual voices – I am grateful.
The skydiving scenes are amazing and use landscape and Montreal scenery to maximum effect. If you love views from the air, see this. It is just gorgeous.
Next came “Cairo Time” with Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddiq. I have always adored Patricia Clarkson and cannot understand why she doesn’t have a big deal Hollywood career.
In this film, her husband works for the UN and has invited her to Cairo. He is delayed but his young assistant helps her to adjust to waiting in Cairo. How can you not enjoy a film in which an older woman is adored by a younger man? It is gentle, moral and lovely, with lush Egyptian urban, rural and pyramid views. It won’t win any Oscars, but it is a gorgeous romantic film with loads of visual and ethical content.
The third movie I watched on the plane was “The Damned United”, about Brian Clough’s 44 days of managing Leeds United soccer team. This is an enthralling film, that looked deeply at the many issues involved in football management. It was so intelligent that it should have been Canadian. All British football managers should be forced to see this.
Seeing film when you are completely relaxed and absorbed into the gentle Canadian zeitgeist is a completely different experience and highly recommended. Do see “Les Pieds Dans Le Vide”, no matter what else you see. It will lift your spirits with its beautiful visuals and make you feel Canadian, in the best possible way.
These flms offer a totally different point of view from the whizz bang theories of Hollywood and the kitchen sink realism of British film. I loved them and they will alter how your eyes work when you see film and give you a new visual context.