This lively satire uses animation and a pseudo-documentary style to depict Canada's search for a national identity. The National Scream explains, amongst other elements of Canadiana, how and why the beaver became the country's symbol.
This short animation takes us on a humorous tour through the varied phases and faces of Canadian history, but the goal of defining a national identity doesn’t prove simple. The film sees Canadians as pragmatists, adaptable to whatever circumstances they encounter. It’s a boisterous, bubbling analysis of the Canadian character and although it may not answer the question of the film’s title, it certainly has fun trying.
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.
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 animated short is a take on the "As Seen on TV" commercials, or the K-Tel ads of yesteryear. In this parody version, the ad attempts to sell an electronic device that allows one to speak fluent, effortless French.
Please note that this film was produced in 1979 and reflects certain attitudes and thinking of its era. The last scene of the film includes negative stereotyping of Jews living in Quebec. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. While the film does not represent today’s views as perspectives of Canadians (and the NFB) have evolved and we have become more conscious regarding issues of discrimination and minority rights, the film is presented in its original version because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these stereotypes never existed.
Produced in collaboration with Information Canada, a branch of what’s now the Department of Foreign Affairs, this sponsored short film is an ad for national unity in Canada. In this satirical view of Canadian society, a series of images and words illustrate various prejudices, serving as a pretext to show that despite their differences, Canadians from all backgrounds form a unified nation thanks to federalism. Today, some of the cultural depictions and language in the film are considered outdated and offensive.
A cartoon film about the whole heterogeneous mixture of Canada and Canadians, and the way the invisible adhesive called federalism makes it all cling together. That the dissenting voices are many is made amply evident, in English and French. But this animated message also shows that Canadians can laugh at themselves and work out their problems objectively.
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.
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.
From Gerald Potterton (director of the cult classic Heavy Metal), this short film depicts the daydream of a chauffeur awaiting his employer. On a hot summer day, he begins to imagine that it's winter—the residential street where he's parked transforms into snowy mountains, and a series of comic misadventures begin. As the car is replaced by a toboggan, it carries the tycoon away on a dizzying ride. The chase includes some unforgettable antics in the snow, including a piggyback ride on an incredulous skier.
This epic drama looks at the opening of the Canadian West and the drought that led to the Depression in the Thirties. It is the saga of a family who left Eastern Canada to stake their future in the Prairies. Principle roles are played by Frances Hyland and James Douglas.
For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.
In this feature film, an engineer from Paris flies to Montreal (on Air Canada Flight YUL 871), partly on business, partly in search of parents displaced by World War II, and partly because of the prevailing restlessness of the age. He achieves little that is conclusive, but in the short time between his arrival and departure he has a love affair, enjoys a flight over Montreal and the Expo pavillions, and is adopted by a little girl.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.