This feature documentary studies the automobile and its pervasive effect on the history of North America. Focusing on the Ford dynasty, from the original Henry car through to Henry II, the film demonstrates how society has adapted to fit the needs of the automobile.
In a city the size of Montreal with thousands and thousands of motorized vehicles, traffic problems are difficult to solve. Here is a panorama of such problems. This film includes an interview with Mayor Jean Drapeau, when Montreal was still the metropolis of Canada.
A young immigrant arrives in Canada from France—and brings his Citroën 2CV with him. The iconic post-war car stands out on the streets of Vancouver, and before long he meets up with a group of like-minded car buffs. In Julien Capraro’s documentary short, Franck, Lionel, Harjeet and Johnny Mac, who are busy preparing for an upcoming antique-car show, explain how these vehicles not only evoke nostalgia for a past era but are also a powerful marker of identity and a link between two cultures. Produced as part of the Tremplin competition, in collaboration with ICI Radio-Canada Télé.
This funny yet serious short film demonstrates the effectiveness of advertising and the marketing machine. Its comic appeal lies in the characters and the absurd situations they find themselves in, but it also shines a harsh light on our tendency towards needless consumerism prompted by a steady flow of commercials.
The NFB's 22nd Oscar®-nominated film.
This animated short proposes what many earthlings have long feared – that the automobile has inherited the planet. When life on Earth is portrayed as one long, unending conga-line of cars, a crew of extra-terrestrial visitors understandably assume they are the dominant race. While humans, on the other hand, are merely parasites. An Oscar® nominee, this film serves as an entertaining case study.
These vignettes from 1954 cover various aspects of life in Canada and were shown in theatres across the country. Subjects included here are: Ball Stars Start Young: In Vancouver's Little League, baseball players, diamond and equipment are junior size, but not the boys' coaches or the eagerness of teams and fans. An Auto a Minute: This is just about the rate of output seen in one of Ontario's automobile assembly plants. A Railroad Goes to Sea: Swapping steel rails for ocean waves is routine for British Columbia's Pacific Great Eastern Railway, travelling the forty-mile leg between Vancouver and Squamish by railway barge.
The NFB's 7th Oscar®-nominated film.
A light-hearted animated short about how Canada's vast distances and great obstacles were overcome by settlers. The story is told with a tongue-in-cheek seriousness and takes us from the intrepid trailblazers of long ago to the aircraft of today and tomorrow. A 1953 Cartoon Short Subject Oscar®-nominee.
This short doc is a novel look at driver safety and the consequences of a change from Jekyll to Hyde behind the wheel of a car. A truck driver explains why this transformation threatens everybody on the road. He points out that the people responsible for traffic accidents may be mild-mannered on the sidewalk, but that they turn into reckless speed demons on the road. To prove his point, he takes us on a breathtaking ride with one such driver.
This short animated film takes an amusing look at city dwellers' obsessive dependence on the automobile. Just as he does every morning, a man is preparing to jump into his car and head off to work when the remote control gizmo refuses to cooperate. The key won't unlock the door! Some helpful passersby suggest several solutions, but our stubborn hero turns a deaf ear. Will he get to work on time?
This feature-length documentary tells the incredible story of Ernest Dufault, a.k.a. Will James, a French-Canadian man who became one of the most legendary cowboys of the American West. For over 30 years, as he went from cattle rustler to ex-convict, he managed to keep his secret. And when he took up the pen, he became a Hollywood legend. Watch this compelling exploration of the powerful attraction the West still holds for young adventurers.
This documentary paints a vivid portrait of the bush pilots who soar daily above the boreal forests and tundra of Quebec's Great North. Who hasn't dreamed of flying? Head in the clouds, light-hearted giddiness, a surge of adrenaline, exhilarating freedom. Bush pilots of northern Quebec, the last of a dying breed, experience these sensations every day aboard their hydroplanes. Lakes, rivers, forests: this majestic North of open spaces and infinite silence is all theirs.
Ages 13 to 18
Family Studies/Home Economics - Consumer Awareness
Social Studies - Labour Studies
Social Studies - Social History
Technology Education - Society and Technology
What is the “American Way” as presented in this film? How does Henry Ford II view Canada? Do you think this is an accurate view? Research how mainstream automobile companies are organized today; has this changed since this film was made in the 1970s? Has the average consumer and their behaviours changed since this film was made? Research the ways that advertising has been used to sell Ford automobiles. What workers rights issues are raised in the film? Compare and contrast this with present-day workers’ rights issues. What changes are currently occurring in Detroit to revitalize the city? (For example: the urban farming movement.)