A film about the life and work of one of Canada's foremost modern painters. Borduas swung from religious painting to the purest of black-and-white abstraction. This film provides the opportunity to follow the development of his styles--surrealism, cubism, and automatism.
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.
The NFB's 63rd Oscar®-nominated film.
Shui-Bo Wang's feature documentary is a visual autobiography of an artist who grew up in China during the historic upheavals of the ‘60s, '70s and '80s. A rich collage of original artwork and family and archival photos presents a personal perspective on the turbulent Cultural Revolution and the years that followed. For Shui-Bo Wang and others of his generation, Tiananmen Square was the central symbol of the new China – a society to be based on equality and cooperation. This animated documentary artfully traces Shui-Bo's roots and his own life journey as he struggles to sort through ideology and arrive at truth.
In this short lyrical film, haunting childhood memories, photographs and family stories form the heart of a woman’s search for transformation. A descent into the labyrinths of memory, the film documents Jelena’s recollections of her childhood in both Croatia and Canada, resulting in a fragmentary reconstruction of her past. With candour and sensitivity, Jelena reclaims her own identity, disarming us with her courage and will.
This short documentary focuses on prairie sculptor Joe Fafard. If there's one thing Joe knows, it's cows. He knows the way they tuck in their forelegs to lie down to ruminate and the way a calf romps in the barnyard. He also knows his friends and neighbours in the farming community of Pense, Saskatchewan—and he sculpts them all in clay, as eloquent and quirky miniatures. Joe's work has been exhibited throughout Canada as well as in Paris and New York, and this film offers a glimpse into his process, his aesthetic, and the charming prairie community in which he lives.
A documentary about the self-taught painter William Kurelek, told through his paintings. There are scenes of village life in the Ukraine and the early days of struggle on a prairie homestead and the growing comfort of family life. In Ontario, Kurelek paints the present life of Canada with the same pleasure he painted the old.
This short documentary looks at the work of artist Arthur Lismer, a member of the Group of Seven, emphasizing his contribution to art education and to Canadian art. At the Montreal Art Centre we see how children learn the independence of creative self-expression in art.
This feature-length documentary follows naturalist Bill Mason on his journey by canoe into the Ontario wilderness. The filmmaker and artist begins on Lake Superior, then explores winding and sometimes tortuous river waters to the meadowlands of the river's source. Along the way, Mason paints scenes that capture his attention and muses about his love of the canoe, his artwork and his own sense of the land.
Mason also uses the film as a commentary on the link between God and nature and the vast array of beautiful canvases God created for him to paint. Features breathtaking visuals and exciting whitewater footage, with a musical score by Bruce Cockburn.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
A film featuring architect, sculptor, and musician Nobuo Kubota in a sound-sculpture performance. From within a cage-like structure filled with traditional musical instruments and sound-making devices fashioned from ordinary objects and toys, Kubota creates an aural/visual montage of musical notes and noises. Praised by music educators as a valuable tool for teaching creativity in sound exploration and musical innovation, the film reveals the infinite percussion possibilities of simple objects and presents a portrait of a versatile performer whose imagination has led him far beyond the confines of conventional music.
This short film introduces us to the "automatistes," followers of an abstract art form that developed in Montreal. The movement, initiated by Paul-Émile Borduas, is explained by the artists themselves when narrator Bruce Ruddick drops in at their cooperative studio. The film also captures painter Paterson Ewen at his home and joins the crowd at L'Échouerie, the artists' rendezvous spot. Dr. Robert Hubbard, chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada, comments on non-objective art in general and automatism in particular.
In this revealing study of Norval Morrisseau, filmed as he works among the lakes and woodlands of his ancestors, we see a remarkable Indigenous artist who emerged from a life of obscurity in the North American bush to become one of Canada's most renowned painters. Morrisseau the man is much like his paintings: vital and passionate, torn between his Ojibway heritage and the influences of the white man's world. Jack Pollock, the Toronto art gallery owner who discovered Morrisseau's paintings in the early 1960s, comments on what makes them so unique.
This short documentary features a visual tour of legendary Canadian painter Tom Thomson's favourite natural landscapes. The film traces Thomson's career, which began in Toronto, where he worked as a commercial artist. Later, Thomson's weekend sketching trips in the country turned into longer journeys farther north, and he finally settled in northern Ontario's Algonquin Park. Thomson spent less than four years as an artist and was barely 40 when a canoe accident ended his life. Fellow artists Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson and Arthur Lismer pay tribute to this genius, who, in Jackson's words, "contributed more to Canadian painting than any other artist."
Ages 12 to 16
Arts Education - Visual Arts
Civics/Citizenship - Citizen Responsibilities