For nearly 40 years, Charlie Chamberlain was one of the most popular vocalists in Canada—and the most beloved member of the old-time band Don Messer and His Islanders. This five-minute short by filmmaker Rachel Bower brings Chamberlain’s home-grown talent and gregarious personality back to life.
An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, this animated short is a tragic vision inspired by the 4th movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer’s brilliant ability to evoke work and labour in his music, animator Patrick Bouchard brings earth to life through animated clay sculptures, creating a tactile nightmare in which man is his own slave driver.
In this short documentary, Canadian concert pianist Glenn Gould enjoys a respite at his lakeside cottage. This is an aspect of Gould previously known only to the collie pacing beside him through the woods, the fishermen resting their oars to hear his piano, and fellow musicians like Franz Kraemer, with whom Gould talks of composition.
This short documentary follows Glenn Gould to New York City. There, we see the renowned Canadian concert pianist kidding the cab driver, bantering with sound engineers at Columbia Records, and then, alone with the piano, fastidiously recording Bach's Italian Concerto.
In this feature documentary-musical by Chelsea McMullan, indie singer Rae Spoon takes us on a playful, meditative and at times melancholic journey. Set against majestic images of the infinite expanses of the Canadian Prairies, the film features Spoon crooning about their queer and musical coming of age. Interviews, performances and music sequences reveal Spoon’s inspiring process of building a life of their own, as a trans person and as a musician.
Official selection at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
That Higher Levelfollows the 100 musicians who make up the National Youth Orchestra of Canada over the course of two months of training and touring across the country. Embedded with the orchestra throughout, filmmaker John Bolton weaves together footage that captures the essence of the training institute and, eventually, the journey and performances on tour.
Prince Edward Island singer and part-time fisherman Chad Matthews is a hardworking father of four and a Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute artist. In a rural town where making a living means only earning minimum wage, Then Sings My Soul follows Chad as he reaches for a guitar to help ease the pain.
This feature-length documentary is a dynamic kaleidoscopic portrait of Socalled (aka Josh Dolgin), a multi-disciplinary musician and artist whose unique blend of klezmer, hip hop and funk is blasting through the boundaries that separate music of different cultures, eras and generations.
Socalled is unstoppable: a pianist, singer, arranger, rapper, producer and composer – as well as magician, filmmaker and visual artist. The "Socalled" Movie offers a nuanced picture of an individual who's artistically fearless.
Musician Catherine MacLellan—the daughter of Canadian singer/songwriting legend Gene MacLellan—grew up surrounded by her father’s music. He died by suicide when she was 14. Two decades after his loss, Catherine is finally ready to confront the hurtful mystery of her absent parent and embrace his musical legacy.
The Song and the Sorrow follows Catherine as she journeys to understand her father and face her own struggles with mental illness. Through archival footage and intimate interviews with friends, family members, and musicians who knew and played with Gene—including Anne Murray, Lennie Gallant, and the late Ron Hynes—the film reveals a troubled and loving man who was never at ease with fame or money.
Catherine is determined to lift the oppressive burden of silence that accompanies the stigma of mental illness and hopes that others can take strength and solace from her story.
With a meticulous selection of interviews, performances and photos drawn from a vast and rich archival collection, Pauline Julien, Intimate and Political follows the iconic Quebec singer and eternally free spirit on a journey through key moments in the province’s history.
Show Girls celebrates Montreal's swinging Black jazz scene from the 1920s to the 1960s, when the city was wide open. Three women who danced in the legendary Black clubs of the day - Rockhead's Paradise, The Terminal, Café St. Michel - share their unforgettable memories of life at the centre of one of the world's hottest jazz spots. From the Roaring Twenties, through the Second World War and on into the golden era of clubs in the fifties and sixities, Show Girls chronicles the lives of Bernice, Tina and Olga - mixing their memories with rarely seen footage of the era. Their stories are told against a backdrop of the fascinating social and political history that made Montreal a jazz and nightclub hotspot for decades. It is a story of song and dance, music and pride.