Canada’s literary scene boasts such well-known names as Margaret Atwood, Mordecai Richler, and Leonard Cohen. This playlist delves into this rich aspect of Canadian history and culture, introducing these legends to a new generation of students.
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Films in This Playlist Include
Margaret Atwood: Once in August
Ladies and Gentlemen… Leonard Cohen
Mordecai Richler: The Writer and his Roots
Jack Kerouac’s Road: A Franco-American Odyssey
A Writer in the Nuclear Age: A Conversation with Margaret Laurence
Ten Million Books: An Introduction to Farley Mowat
Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K. Page
In Margaret Atwood: Once in August, filmmaker Michael Rubbo attempts to discover what shapes the celebrated writer's fiction and what motivates her characters. As one of Canada's most distinguished poets and novelists, Atwood is also one of this country's most elusive literary figures.
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes "to renew his neurotic affiliations." He reads his poetry to an enthusiastic crowd, strolls the streets of the city, relaxes in this three-dollar-a-night hotel room and even takes a bath.
This feature documentary explores Mordecai Richler's cultural and geographic roots as well as his personal reasons for writing. The film includes excerpts from several of his books and movies as well as readings by the author.
Part documentary, part drama, this film presents the life and work of Jack Kerouac, an American writer with Québec roots who became one of the most important spokesmen for his generation. Intercut with archival footage, photographs and interviews, this film takes apart the heroic myth and even returns to the childhood of the author whose life and work contributed greatly to the cultural, sexual and social revolution of the 1960s.
In this short film, internationally acclaimed author Margaret Laurence passionately addresses several issues related to peace: the social responsibility of the writer; language usage and reality; jargon and "newspeak"; imagination, meaning and understanding; the nuclear threat; world leadership; the role of empathy in communication; the distinctions between fiction and didactic writing; and the power of "ordinary" people to influence events. The film's scope makes this an excellent discussion starter in diverse subject areas.
Farley Mowat has sold more books than any other Canadian writer – 10 million copies in 22 languages in 50 countries. In this short film, Mowat recalls some of his experiences that have found their way into his work.
This short film encapsulates the life of P.K. Page, a Canadian woman who has reached international stature as both a painter and a poet. Through an exploration of her life and art, the film shows how her powerful works have extended beyond their inherent confines into the realms of anthropology and ecology.