Canada’s Best Features

Critical essays on 15 Canadian films


Volume Editor: Eugene P. Walz
Long recognized for outstanding National Film Board documentaries and innovative animated movies, Canada has recently emerged from the considerable shadow of the Hollywood elephant with a series of feature films that have captured the attention of audiences around the world.
This is the first anthology to focus on Canada's feature films - those acknowledged as its very best.
With essays by senior academics and leading scholars from across the country as well as some fresh new voices, Canada's Best Features offers penetrating analyses of fifteen award-winning films. Internationally acclaimed directors David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Denys Arcand, and Claude Jutra are represented here. Noteworthy films include Mon oncle Antoine, often cited as Canada's number one film of all time, such Cannes Festival favourites as Le déclin de l'empire américain and Exotica, and cult films Careful by Guy Maddin and Masala by Srinivas Krishna.
The essays offer the latest word on these films and filmmakers, done from a variety of perspectives. Some of the films have never been examined in-depth before. Complete filmographies and bibliographies accompany each essay. A contextualizing introduction by Professor Gene Walz provides the necessary overview. An annotated bibliography of books on the Canadian film industry completes this impressive package.

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"…excellent filmographies and bibliographies attached to each essay." - in: The American Review of Canadian Studies (Spring 2005), pp.145-148
"…carefully edited and […] many of the essays in the anthology offer readers excellent examples of close readings paired with film-friendly critical theories that are useful beyond the analysis of the specific film under discussion." - in: The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2 (2004)
"It deserves a good look." in: The Canadian Historical Review (2004)
Acknowledgements and List of Figures
Notes on Reference Procedure

1 CHRISTINE RAMSAY: Canadian narrative cinema from the margins: ‘The nation’ and masculinity in Goin' Down the Road
2 JIM LEACH: Double vision: Mon oncle Antoine and the cinema of fable
3 TOM McSORLEY: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
Or, the anxiety of influence
4 ANDRÉ LOISELLE: Michel Brault’s Les Ordres: Documenting the reality of experience and the fiction of history
5 PETER MORRIS: Canadian gothic and Les bons débarras: The night side of the soul
6 BLAINE ALLAN: The Grey Fox afoot in a modern world
7 SUZIE SAU-FONG YOUNG : “Forget Baudrillard”: The horrors of ‘pleasure’ and the pleasures of ‘horror’ in David Cronenberg's Videodrome
The decline of frivolity
and Denys Arcand's American Empire
Gender is irrelevant: I've Heard the Mermaids Singing as women’s cinema
10 ANGELA STUKATOR: Pictures of age and ageing in Cynthia Scott's The Company of Strangers
11 THOMAS WAUGH: Home is not the place one has left: Or, Masala as ‘a multi-cultural culinary treat”?
12 GEORGE TOLES: Drowning for love: Jean-Claude Lauzon's Léolo
13 WILL STRAW: Reinhabiting lost languages: Guy Maddin's Careful
14 CATHERINE RUSSELL: Role playing and the white male imaginary in Atom Egoyan's Exotica
15 ELUNED JONES: Reconstructing the past: Memory's enchantment in The Red Violin
JOHN SCHOLES WITH GORDON COLLIER AND GENE WALZ : Canadian film: A select annotated bibliography