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.
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.”
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.
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 documentary profiles Quebec-born singing sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle. The sisters enjoy international acclaim—although outside of the mainstream—for their inimitable style, their talent as songwriters, and especially their unassuming, informal personalities. With camera and sketchbook in hand, artist and filmmaker Caroline Leaf captures the sisters’ endearing qualities. The result is an easygoing, sometimes whimsical portrait of the famous sisters on and off stage. Highlights include excerpts from the sisters’ Carnegie Hall performance and a look at their songwriting and recording processes.
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.
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 short film pays tribute to music producer Daniel Lanois. Hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as “the most important record producer to emerge in the ’80s”, Daniel Lanois has won international acclaim as one of the most distinctive and talented producers of his time. Through his work with artists such as U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, and Neil Young, Lanois has made an exceptional contribution to Canada’s music industry and inspired an entire generation of producers and engineers.This short film, a visual essay on sonic texture, was inspired by Lanois' childhood dreamscape.
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 2013 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
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.
This short documentary profiles an imaginative inventor and craftsman who makes whimsical stringed instruments out of unlikely items. In his hands, shovels, rakes, baseball bats, and stop signs become beautiful and functional guitars, violins, banjos, and fiddles.After a near-death experience, retired machinist Lorne Collie embarked on his creative journey, and this heartening film offers a folksy, one-of-a-kind portrait of Collie's spirit and talent. Through weathered doc footage and hand-crafted animation, the film shows that Collie is having more fun than he’s had in a long time and feeling more than alive.
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.
Murray McLauchlan says his battered second-hand guitar is haunted by all the musicians who ever played it. Murray’s songs are haunted too, by all the experiences and music that have filled his life. Ever curious and generous, he shares music and stories with us, and with the spirits that still inhabit the legendary studio where he records in Toronto’s Kensington Market.
Ages 16 to 18
Arts Education - Music
Diversity - Identity
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Media Education - Popular Culture
Warnings: [Swearing. Drawings depicting sexual acts and discussions of sex.]
An uplifting documentary about Josh Dolgin, a Canadian musician whose work combines multiple influences, including traditional Jewish klezmer, jazz, and hip-hop. Ideal for classroom discussions, activities, and assignments around music, identity, Canadian art, and multiculturalism. Describe the multitude of influences that shape your own creative process; what forms of media, art, culture, and tradition inspire you? How do you combine these different influences, and how do they shape your identity? Choose a tradition from your own culture, family or community, and write about how it influenced something else you created. In the documentary, Josh touches upon legal issues he had in regard to music sampling and copyright laws. How do these issues relate to themes explored in the film? What are your own thoughts on sampling and copyright laws? Explain your answer.