Great Canadian film directors /
edited by George Melnyk.
imprint
Edmonton : University of Alberta Press, c2007.
description
xviii, 468 p. : ports. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0888644795 :, 9780888644794 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Edmonton : University of Alberta Press, c2007.
isbn
0888644795 :
9780888644794 :
catalogue key
6046625
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 419-430) and index.
Includes filmography (p. 405-418).
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-01-01:
A title such as "Readings in Current Canadian Cinema" would have suited this volume better. Of the 20 directors examined, perhaps four--Claude Jutra, Denys Arcand, David Cronenberg, and transplant Atom Egoyan--truly deserve the "great" of the title. Michael Snow (omitted) has a stronger claim than Joyce Wieland (included), and Anne-Claire Poirier and Micheline Lanctot (both also overlooked) hit higher than any of the included women. Melnyk omits proven greats--Norman McLaren, Arthur Lipsett, Gilles Carle, and Jean Beaudin--in favor of one-hit wonders he labels with the nonsensical "future greats." Though discussions of Jean-Claude Lauzon, John Greyson, Robert Lepage, Bruce McDonald, Lea Pool, Patricia Rozema, Mina Shum, Gary Burns, Michael Dowse, Thom Fitzgerald, Zach Kunuk, Don McKellar, and Lynne Stopkewich are welcome and fresh, Melnyk's uncritical pretension makes this book an insult to Canadian film. Typos abound. Since much of this uneven book rehashes the familiar, Jim Leach's Film in Canada (2006) remains the superior resource. Summing Up: Not recommended. M. Yacowar formerly, University of Calgary
Reviews
Review Quotes
“Canadians too often overlook the existence of film directors who have made a major contribution in defining our culture. With Great Canadian Film Directors, George Melnyk has skillfully put together essays on 20 directors by a number of scholars and critics, focusing on their diversity, complexity, imagination and talent. Why directors and not stars? Because our star system is practically non-existent....[T]he list is impressive and worth our scrutiny. Some names may be familiar, other decidedly not. Surprisingly, genders are well represented.” Nicholas Spillios, Edmonton Journal, November 25, 2007
Canadians too often overlook the existence of film directors who have made a major contribution in defining our culture. With Great Canadian Film Directors, George Melnyk has skillfully put together essays on 20 directors by a number of scholars and critics, focusing on their diversity, complexity, imagination and talent. Why directors and not stars? Because our star system is practically non-existent....[T]he list is impressive and worth our scrutiny. Some names may be familiar, other decidedly not. Surprisingly, genders are well represented.” Nicholas Spillios, Edmonton Journal, November 25, 2007
"George Melnyk’s aim for his scholarly yet readable Great Canadian Film Directors is to present a clear understanding of why Canadian directors are so crucial to the development of a distinct cinematic identity, both thematically and aesthetically.” To accomplish his purpose, Melnyk, an associate professor of Canadian Studies and Canadian Film Studies at the University of Calgary, and a prolific author, focuses on the films of 20 Canadian directors in 19 essays by respected scholars, some, like the filmmakers themselves, better known than others. The diversity of the presentations is held together by broad categories of identities such as English, French, and Inuit, male and female, and in time frames of Late Greats,” Contemporary Greats,” and Future Greats” to establish that the breadth and depth of Canadian cinema is outstanding.” In developing his thesis for the diversity and excellence of Canadian film achieved by directors such as Claude Jutra, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Patricia Rozema, immigrant Lea Pool, and Inuit artist and filmmaker Zack Kunuk, Melnyk develops the rationale for his choices and his omissions, and his preference for the adjective great.” His colleagues, in turn, scrutinize the themes and aesthetics of the directors. Kay Armatage, for example, compares the works of Nell Shipman and Joyce Weiland. Christopher Gittings profiles director John Greyson and his queer aesthetic … [that] broadens our perspective on Canadian cinema.” Aaron Taylor analyzes the work of Bruce McDonald, the ‘bad boy’ of Canadian Cinema,” while Jacqueline Levitin’s discourse features Chinese-Canadian Mina Shum’s films, and Kalli Paakspuu discusses the necrophilia in Lynne Stopkewich’s work. The groundbreaking, award-winning film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, by Inuit director Kunuk, is the subject of Jerry White’s erudite essay. Although admittedly not the last word on why or who of Canada’s film directors have attained or will achieve greatness, Melnyk definitely establishes the diversity and excellence of the Greats” included in the insightful and interesting essays in his book. Academics, film students, and teachers will find it a rewarding read."- M. Wayne Cunningham
"...We should be grateful that Melnyk has been the facilitator for some excellent essays. The most original pieces include those of Jerry White on Zach Kunuk's career and artistic perspective; Jacqueline Levitin on Mina Shum's difficult but fruitful creative negotiation of her Chinese Canadian status; Patricia Gruben's thoughtful analysis of Gary Burns' work' and Bart Testa's valiant and exceedingly well informed attempt to cut through the misconceptions about Norman Jewison and his films. Students grappling with Canadian cinema for the first time will be grateful for Bill Beard's views on Atom Egoyan; Kay Armatage's feminist take on Nell Shipman and Joyce Wieland's curtailed careers; Pierre Veronneau's masterly overview of Denys Arcand's themes' Brenda Austin-Smith's astute treatment of Patricia Rozema's cinema; and Peter Dickinson's critique of Robert Lepage's oeuvre. Is is also good to see attention given to Lea Pool. ... The sins of omission are endless in any anthology, and I'm sure Melnyk would be the first to admit that another book could be published on a slew of other directors. ... As it stands, the collection contains some original work, many solid introductions, and only a few missed opportunities." Brian McIlroy, Canadian Literature, Summer 2008
"One of Melnyk's goals is to introduce the work of these directors to a wider audience. 'We make films that very few people see. Probably 80 percent of my students had never seen a Canadian film. These directors make superb films.' But, in the end, it is a very personal thing. 'I want to see Canadian films because they do something for my soul.'" Polly Washburn, Prairie books NOW, Fall/Winter 2007
"George Melnyk’s aim for his scholarly yet readable Great Canadian Film Directors is to present “a clear understanding of why Canadian directors are so crucial to the development of a distinct cinematic identity, both thematically and aesthetically.” To accomplish his purpose, Melnyk, an associate professor of Canadian Studies and Canadian Film Studies at the University of Calgary, and a prolific author, focuses on the films of 20 Canadian directors in 19 essays by respected scholars, some, like the filmmakers themselves, better known than others. The diversity of the presentations is held together by broad categories of identities such as English, French, and Inuit, male and female, and in time frames of “Late Greats,” “Contemporary Greats,” and “Future Greats” to establish that “the breadth and depth of Canadian cinema is outstanding.” In developing his thesis for the diversity and excellence of Canadian film achieved by directors such as Claude Jutra, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Patricia Rozema, immigrant Lea Pool, and Inuit artist and filmmaker Zack Kunuk, Melnyk develops the rationale for his choices and his omissions, and his preference for the adjective “great.” His colleagues, in turn, scrutinize the themes and aesthetics of the directors. Kay Armatage, for example, compares the works of Nell Shipman and Joyce Weiland. Christopher Gittings profiles director John Greyson and his “queer aesthetic & [that] broadens our perspective on Canadian cinema.” Aaron Taylor analyzes the work of Bruce McDonald, “the ‘bad boy’ of Canadian Cinema,” while Jacqueline Levitin’s discourse features Chinese-Canadian Mina Shum’s films, and Kalli Paakspuu discusses the necrophilia in Lynne Stopkewich’s work. The groundbreaking, award-winning film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, by Inuit director Kunuk, is the subject of Jerry White’s erudite essay. Although admittedly not the last word on why or who of Canada’s film directors have attained or will achieve greatness, Melnyk definitely establishes the diversity and excellence of the “Greats” included in the insightful and interesting essays in his book. Academics, film students, and teachers will find it a rewarding read."- M. Wayne Cunningham
"One Saturday in the winter of 1965 I talked my father into driving me to Toronto from our home in Oshawa, Ontario, to see a particular movie that I knew I would never see at the local cinema. I was 14 years old. What I saw that cold night made a profound and lasting impression on me. I grew upwatching Hollywood westerns and commercial television shows and, like most people of my generation, I thoughtlessly consumed those products for escape and entertainment. Never before had I seen a film that encouraged me to think about myself, my own life and the province that was my home. The movie was called Nobody Waved Goodbye. It was produced at the National Film Board of Canada and directed by a Torontonian named Don Owen. Thus began my 40-year love affair with Canadian cinema. By becoming a passionate fan of Canadian cinema in the 1960s, I joined a relatively small group of people who go to see Canadian films because it nurtures our souls and provides us with powerful food for thought from a familiar point of view. [F]or the intrepid voluntary viewers out there, this book will be an invaluable resource—a map to navigate their courageous journey through the wonderfully contradictory worlds of our brave film artists and the almost invisible yet burning hearts of those who live on the frosty masthead of the North American continent." Clarke Mackey, Literary Review of Canada, October 2007
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2007
Choice, January 2008
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Summaries
Long Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is a major study of the film director's role in articulating a creative vision that provides insights into national cultures. The 18 essays highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talents of Canada's most prominent Anglophone and Francophone filmmakers. Among the distinguishing features of the collection are its contemporary treatment of major figures such as Denys Arcand and Norman Jewison, as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selected bibliographies for each director provide students and the general public with a significant study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Main Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is the first major study that reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada’s most dynamic film directors. The 19 essays in this collection focus on each filmmaker’s ability to create a vision that both reveals and redefines our national cultures. Together, these essays, by established and emerging scholars, highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talent of Canadian filmmakers. This collection’s value is in its contemporary analysis of major figures as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selectedbibliographies for each director provide film students and the movie-going public with an unrivalled study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Main Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is a major study of the film director's role in articulating a creative vision that provides insights into national cultures. The 18 essays highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talents of Canada's most prominent Anglophone and Francophone filmmakers. Among the distinguishing features of the collection are its contemporary treatment of major figures such as Denys Arcand and Norman Jewison as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selected bibliographies for each director provide students and the general public with a significant study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Main Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is the first major study that reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada’s most dynamic film directors. The 19 essays in this collection focus on each filmmaker’s ability to create a vision that both reveals and redefines our national cultures. Together, these essays, by established and emerging scholars, highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talent of Canadian filmmakers. This collection’s value is in its contemporary analysis of major figures as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selectedbibliographies for each director provide film students and the movie-going public with an unrivalled study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Long Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is a major study of an increasingly important bi-national cinema. Its focus is the film director's role in articulating a creative vision that provides insights into national cultures. With 18 essays by established and new scholars, the book highlights the diversity, imaginative power, and talents of Canada's most prominent filmmakers. Including both Anglophone and Francophone directors, the book provides a broad canvas for Canadian cinema.Among the distinguishing features of the collection are its contemporary treatment of major figures such as Denys Arcand, as well as a breakthrough approach to the work of Norman Jewison. The collection also features critical discussions of the work of women directors_Lea Pool,Lynne Stopkewich, and Patricia Rozema_and the work of young filmmakers such as Gary Burns, Michael Dowse and Don McKellar."Unlike Hollywood or Bollywood with their star-systems," writes editor George Melnyk, "Canadian cinema is director-driven like European cinema and many other national cinemas." The burgeoning Canadian feature film industry that came onto the world stage later than other established cinemas is now a vital force recognized globally. This book provides students and the general filmgoing public with a significant critical study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Long Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is a major study of an increasingly important bi-national cinema. Its focus is the film director's role in articulating a creative vision that provides insights into national cultures. With 19 essays by established and new scholars, the book highlights the diversity, imaginative power, and talents of Canada's most prominent filmmakers. The book provides a broad canvas for Canadian cinema.Among the distinguishing features of the collection are its contemporary treatment of major figures such as Denys Arcand, as well as a breakthrough approach to the work of Norman Jewison. The collection also features critical discussions of the work of women directors—Lea Pool, Lynne Stopkewich, and Patricia Rozema—and the work of young filmmakers such as Gary Burns, Michael Dowse and Don McKellar."Unlike Hollywood or Bollywood with their star-systems," writes editor George Melnyk, "Canadian cinema is director-driven like European cinema and many other national cinemas." The burgeoning Canadian feature film industry that came onto the world stage later than other established cinemas is now a vital force recognized globally. This book provides film students and the general filmgoing public with a significant critical study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Main Description
This is a major study of the film director's role in articulating a creative vision that provides insights into national cultures. The 18 essays highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talents of Canada's most prominent Anglophone and Francophone filmmakers. Among the distinguishing features of the collection are its contemporary treatment of major figures such as Denys Arcand and Norman Jewison as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selected bibliographies for each director provide students and the general public with a significant study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Main Description
Great Canadian Film Directors is the first major study that reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada's most dynamic film directors. The 19 essays in this collection focus on each filmmaker's ability to create a vision that both reveals and redefines our national cultures. Together, these essays, by established and emerging scholars, highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talent of Canadian filmmakers. This collection's value is in its contemporary analysis of major figures as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selected bibliographies for each director provide film students and the movie-going public with an unrivalled study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Main Description
Great Canadian Film Directorsis the first major study that reflects the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada's most dynamic film directors. The 19 essays in this collection focus on each filmmaker's ability to create a vision that both reveals and redefines our national cultures. Together, these essays, by established and emerging scholars, highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talent of Canadian filmmakers. This collection's value is in its contemporary analysis of major figures as well as critical discussions of the work of women directors and young filmmakers. Filmographies and selected bibliographies for each director provide film students and the movie-going public with an unrivalled study of a cinema that now garners world attention.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is a major study of the film director's role in articulating a creative vision that provides insights into national cultures. The 18 essays highlight the diversity, imaginative power, and talents of Canada's most prominent Anglophone and Francophone filmmakers.
Table of Contents
Introduction : Canadian cinema and the film director
Wieland's far shore and Shipman's God's countryp. 3
The fatal leap : accessing the films of Claude Jutra through history and symbolp. 29
"It takes monsters to do things like that" : the films of Jean-Claude Lauzonp. 49
Denys Arcand : a moralist in search of his audiencep. 67
David Cronenberg : mapping the monsterous malep. 79
Atom Egoyan : unnatural relationsp. 99
Activism and aesthetics : the work of John Greysonp. 125
Norman Jewison : homecoming for a "Canadian Pinko"p. 149
Double take : adaptation, remediation, and doubleness in the films of Robert Lepagep. 175
Straight outta' Hogtown : sex, drugs, and Bruce McDonaldp. 199
Living in/between : the cinema of Lea Poolp. 227
Woman with a movie camera : Patricia Rozema's revisionist eyep. 253
Mina Shum : the "Chinese" films and identitiesp. 271
A problem with rules : Gary Burnsp. 295
Coward, bully, and clown : the dream-life of Michael Dowsep. 313
Hanging in plain sight : the problem body in Thom Fitzgerald's filmsp. 329
Zach Kunuk and Inuit filmmakingp. 347
Don McKellar : artistic polymathp. 363
Lynne Stopkewich : abject sexualitiesp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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