In this short documentary about The Tragically Hip, director David Battistella uses a split-screen and acid-etched colours to distil the iconic Canadian band’s essence. After decades together, through hotels, highways, gigs and recording sessions, The Hip’s members have forged a powerful brotherhood. "These guys are my life partners, musically" says bass guitarist Gord Sinclair. The Hip's brand of straight-ahead rock and roll has catapulted the band to international stardom, and ensured them a place in Canadian musical history, but at heart, they remain a bunch of guys from Kingston, Ontario, making music together just for fun.
This film was produced for the 2008 Governor General's Performing Arts Award.
Bryan Adams is one of world’s most enduringly popular singer/songwriters. He is most at home in his Vancouver studio, surrounded by his collection of vintage microphones and guitars. Adams calls it “a very analog space in a very digital world.” In this short documentary, we witness an intimate rendition of his song “One World, One Flame” and hear him speak of his audience-centred approach to performance: “I want it to be fun, I want it to be real.”
This short film pays tribute to Rush, one of rock's most successful and popular bands of all-time. 'Humility' and 'rock and roll' don't usually appear together, yet the members of Rush (Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson), reflect here on a career of making music built on craft, heart and an uncompromised commitment to push the limits - to always 'get better'.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2012 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
All his life, Michel Pagliaro (Pag) has been on a quest for the perfect 3:15 minute song. Following in the tradition of rockers like Eddy Cochran, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, Pagliaro's songs belie their initial simplicity. Director Eric Tessier captures Pag in all his ragged glory, from the wicked glint in his eye to his razor sharp suit.
This revealing portrait of NFB filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin was shown at a gala ceremony in 2008, where Obomsawin received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Her work has captured some of the most startling events in Canadian history, including the armed standoff between the Canadian Army and Mohawk warriors in 1993. Her films cross a spectrum of social issues, but they are always human. Obomsawin explains in the interview, "For me, a real documentary is when you're really listening to somebody; they are the ones that will tell you what the story is, not you."
A legend in his own mind, as well as a few other places, actor Eugene Levy's (American Pie, Best in Show) eyebrows alone deserve a place in the hallowed halls of national treasures. Join director Robin Neinstein as he engages Levy in an infotainment interview that goes horribly wrong. This film was produced for the 2008 Governor General's Performing Arts Award.
Eric Charman is the life of the party, and not only because he's usually the person organizing it. As a lifelong patron of the arts, Charman has raised money for the Victoria Symphony, the Pacific Opera Victoria, and, most significantly The Victoria Conservatory of Music. The life of a bon vivant is not nearly as effortless as it seems. Over the past 40 years, Charman has presided over 400 charity auctions. In this short film created for the 2008 Governor General Awards, director Carl Bessai captures the effervescent Eric Charman doing what he does best - throwing a party.
This short film explores the passions of acclaimed musician and songwriter Sarah McLachlan, using her own words and drawings to guide us through her rich creative world, the founding of the groundbreaking Lilith Fair, and her philanthropic work at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.
Produced by the NFB in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2015 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
When William Shatner gets a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canada's Governor General, he shows appreciation as only Shatner can. In this short film, the most famous space cadet in showbiz takes helm of our heritage and treats us to a memorable rendition of Canada's national anthem.
Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2011 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
Watch more NFB comedy here.
Folk music icon Buffy Sainte-Marie became internationally renowned with her protest song "Universal Soldier." In this short documentary, she candidly discusses her hopes, creative vision and songwriting skills, as well as her role as an Aboriginal activist. Still a vibrant artist fifty years into her career, she keeps her eyes set on the future.
This short film portrays the story of singer Paul Anka, who rose from obscurity to become the idol of millions of adolescent fans around the world. Taking a candid look at both sides of the footlights, this film examines the marketing machine behind a generation of pop singers. Interviews with Anka and his manager reveal their perspective on the industry.
Michael Bublé reveals the source of his creative courage in this captivating short film. By the age of five, Bublé knew that music was his destiny. While other performers sang pop tunes, Bublé was swinging the standards on the club scene, becoming an indie artist long before it was cool. Supported by a devoted family who always believed in his dreams, Bublé remains a rebel. With 50 million albums sold, this inimitable Canadian artist is beloved by audiences around the globe, and continues to defy all expectations.
Ages 12 to 17
Arts Education - Music
Civics/Citizenship - Ideologies
Diversity - Identity
Media Education - Film and Video Production
Make a list of movies about rock bands; view some if possible. How does the Tragically Hip compare with other bands? Bring in examples of other Canadian music with similar messages about honesty and integrity; how do such songs connect to the message of the film (e.g. “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne, “Saltwater Cowboys” by Simani)? Investigate the filmmaking techniques used and how they influenced the overall impression of the band.