To Everyone Up North, The Cat Wishes You A Happy Canada Day!


From all of the writers and the cat here at the Shattered Lens: Happy 152nd birthday, Canada!

O Canada!  How we love you!  It’s not just that your people are nice and your basketball teams are impressive.  It’s not just that your wilderness is beautiful and your cities are gorgeous.  It’s also that so many great movies have been made by or have starred Canadians!  The first Canadian film was produced in 1897 but the Canadian film industry really took off in the 70s and the 80s.  That’s when Canadian directors like David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, and others started to make films that were both uniquely Canadian and, at the same time, universal in their appeal.  At the same time, that’s also when Canadian generous tax shelter laws lured a countless number of low-budget productions to the country.  Though these films were often disguised as being American productions, they gave early work to several talented Canadian actors and technicians.

Here’s just a few of our favorite Canadian films:

 

The Canadian film industry has continued to grow, giving us everyone from James Cameron and Denys Arcand to Xavier Dolan and  Denis Villeneuve.  Along with some wonderful films, Canada has also given us Degrassi and a countless number of Lifetime movies!  No wonder the flame-haired one loves Canada so much!

So, Canada — Happy Birthday!  Thank you for being you and thank you for not taking it personally that time America tried to invade you back in 1812.  We love you, Canada!

Love you, Canada!

 

 

Canadian Dances Scenes That I Love: Jamie Lee Curtis and Casey Stevens in Prom Night


Prom Night … everything is alright…

Since today is technically still Canada Day, I figured why not share one of the greatest dance scenes ever filmed?  This scene is from the classic 1980 film, Prom Night, and it features Jamie Lee Curtis and Casey Stevens showing what they can do on the dance floor!

Well, actually, it shows Jamie Lee Curtis showing what she could do.  According to David Grove’s Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queen, Casey Stevens claimed that he could dance but, when it came time to shoot the scene, he turned out to be rather awkward and the responsibility for selling the scene pretty much fell completely on Jamie Lee Curtis’s shoulders.  As Prom Night co-star MaryBeth Rubens put it, it was impossible to imagine Casey and Jamie Lee ever being a couple in real life, despite the fact that they were during the making of this film.

Interestingly enough, Prom Night would later bring Jamie Lee Curtis her first acting nomination when she was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Foreign Actress.  (Indeed, one of the interesting thing about the early history of the Genie Awards is just how many slasher films were nominated.  Apparently, during the early 80s, the Canadian film industry was a bit less robust than it is today.)  That said, Jamie Lee does give a really good performance in this film and dammit, she deserved the award!

(Or, at the very least, I assume she did.  I’m not really sure to whom she lost and I’m too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia.)

(Okay, screw it.  I felt guilty for being lazy so I decided to look it up.  Jamie Lee Curtis lost to Susan Sarandon, who won for her performance in Atlantic City.  Since Sarandon’s role was actually a supporting one to Burt Lancaster’s, I still say that Curtis should have won.)

The song’s great too.

So, enjoy this scene and just try not to dance!

4 Shots From 4 Canadian David Cronenberg Films: Stereo, Shivers, Scanners, Videodrome


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

For a second time, Happy Canada Day!

Actually, Canada Day was yesterday but, because it fell on a Sunday, it’s not being officially observed in Canada until today.  So, technically, it still is Canada Day and I can still honor Canada by offering up 4 shots from 4 films directed by one of the Canada’s greatest directors, David Cronenberg.

That’s right!  It’s time for…

4 Shots From 4 Canadian David Cronenberg Films

Stereo (1969, dir by David Cronenberg)

Shivers (1975, dir by David Cronenberg)

Scanners (1981, dir by David Cronenberg)

Videodrome (1983, dir by David Cronenberg)

Happy Canada Day From The Shattered Lens!


Happy Canada Day!

Now, as our regular readers know, I absolutely adore Canada.  I love the people, I love the movies, and I especially love the television!  In honor of Canada Day, I thought I would share a great moment from Canadian history!

That moment, of course, is the night that Downtown Sasquatch defeated Hell Hath No Fury at the Toronto Battle of the Bands!  It was this victory that not only introduced Spinner Mason to the rest of the Toronto but it also launched Craig Manning into super stardom.

First, a little background.  Craig was one of the most popular students at Degrassi Community School but he shocked the entire student body when he cheated on his girlfriend, Ashley Kerwin, with Manny Santos.  The end result is that Manny ended up pregnant and had to get an abortion.  Ashley, meanwhile, challenged her rage by forming a band called Hell Hath No Fury.  Hell Hath No Fury specialized in singing songs about how much they hated Craig.

Craig, of course, was already the lead singer for Downtown Sasquatch.  When it came time to write a song for the upcoming battle of the bands, Craig was stunned to discover that his band would be competing against Hell Hath No Fury.  Craig was hit with writer’s block.  With Craig unable to come up with lyrics for a new song, drummer Spinner Mason and guitarist Jimmy Brooks decided to try to help out.  Here’s what they came up with:

Things looked bleak for Downtown Sasquatch.  Things looked even bleaker when, on the night of the battle of the band and with Craig still unable to write, Hell Hath No Fury — while wearing shirts that portrayed Craig burning in Hell — performed their anti-Craig anthem, Mr. Nice Guy:

When Downtown Sasquatch took the stage, it was as a power trio.  Craig had mysteriously disappeared.  Bravely, Spinner attempted to kill time but it was obvious that the audience had turned against Downtown Sasquatch.  The future of Canadian music was in peril.

Then, suddenly, Craig returned, walking out on stage with freshly written lyrics in his hands.  The rest is history:

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

LOVE YOU, CANADA!