Based on a short story by Sinclair Ross, this short film recalls rural life on the Prairies in the 1930s. In the film a farmer's young son, sent to town to hire a man for the harvest, readily accepts when an itinerant trumpet player, down on his luck, begs a chance. He is hardly the kind of man the boy's father had in mind, but that night his trumpet speaks from the shadows and everyone pauses to listen.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short film brings together animated interpretations of 4 poems by great Canadian wordsmiths: “From the Hazel Bough” by Earle Birney, “Travellers Palm” by P.K. Page, “Death by Streetcar” by Raymond Souster, and “A Said Poem” by John Robert Colombo.
This short film is a dramatization of Canadian author W.O. Mitchell's penetrating story about the racial prejudice encountered by a Polish immigrant farmer in a rural Saskatchewan community. Presented with the incisiveness characteristic of Mitchell's Jake and the Kid radio series, this film story employs homespun events of a farming community to lay bare some universal truths about the unthinking discrimination practiced against a man who is different from his English-speaking fellow farmers.
This feature-length fiction, originally produced as a television miniseries and based on the novel Nuages sur les brûlés by Hervé Biron, explores the colonization of northern Quebec during the Depression-era 1930s. These historical dramas relive the toil, hardship and unexpected rewards of the pioneer. Folk singer Félix Leclerc appears in each episode. Part I: Encounters with the inhospitable wilderness while clearing a townsite. Part II: Struggles for leadership; log cabins are built and the women arrive. Part III: The dangers of frontier life: forest fire, accident, anxiety about bankruptcy, lack of tools, hard labour. Part IV: Big steps forward: the curé brings in teachers and is in turn presented with a new, though rough-hewn, church.
This short film offers a picturesque tour through the maple-wooded hills alongside Québec's Lièvre River in autumn to the accompaniment of acclaimed poet Archibald Lampman’s poems including Morning on the Lièvre. Trees are ablaze with colour, and their splendor is reflected in the mirrored surfaces of the water, offering a glimpse of the landscape Lampman knew so well through the poet’s eyes and words. Lampman’s poem is read by broadcaster and poet George Whalley, with accompanying score by composer Eldon Rathburn.
This short film is based on a short story by Canadian author Rudy Wiebe about a man who fantasizes about being a British king. His “court” is situated in an abandoned house on a frozen prairie. A little boy, wandering by after school, is invited in to meet this royal pretender to the throne. The man’s delusion, intensity, and paranoia are depicted in a sombre, haunting atmosphere set to an enthralling classical score.
In this animated short, Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice "Rocket" Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, the boy was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton's. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.
This short film from director Gerald Potterton (Heavy Metal) stars Buster Keaton in one of the last films of his long career. As "the railrodder", Keaton crosses Canada from east to west on a railway track speeder. True to Keaton's genre, the film is full of sight gags as our protagonist putt-putts his way to British Columbia. Not a word is spoken throughout, and Keaton is as spry and ingenious at fetching laughs as he was in the old days of the silent slapsticks.
For more background information about this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short film tells the amusing tale of a man who feels the common urge to escape the city's noise for the weekend. Made without words, but with a wide range of other sounds, this film tracks our hero to a perfect haven of… pandemonium. The countryside, it turns out, is not as unspoiled and quiet as the poets proclaim.
For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.