“The Red Balloon”, “Log Driver’s Waltz” and “The Cat Came Back” live large in my personal Canadian psyche. Here are some blog reader favourties – not necessarily NFB picks, but indicative of the era of reel to reel:
“Mr. Magoo” cartoons … my Dad was a firefighter but on his “off-shifts” he worked for a place called NPS and they sent reel to reels all over the country. He used to bring home a projector and movies and showed them in our basement; our first “in-home theatre”! – Bev
Highlights of the Stanley Cup playoffs from the previous year. Twelve teams with the Original Six in a division all by themselves, with the division winner clobbering the Blues! Ah, those were the days. – Henry
“Parlez-moi with Sol”. – Marsha
Not so much a favorite but I have a very vivid memory of watching “Night and Fog”, a documentary about the Holocaust! – Kathyryn
One of our favourites was Hopalong Cassidy, his white horse and his sidekick, Gabby Hayes. Our Dad would speed up the projector so that things would just be a-flyin’ across the screen and my brothers and I would just be in gales of laughter. Oh-oh! I’m really dating myself, aren’t I! – Lauren
The National Film Board of Canada (or simply National Film Board or NFB) launched its online Screening Room in January 2009. In October 2009 the NFB launched an iPhone app giving users access to streams of hundreds of NFB films for free. If you follow my blog, you will understand that I like free!
Recently I was returning from a day of canoeing up in Haliburton and I told my coworker (and driver) that I had the NFB app on my phone and I had not even used it yet! He suggested I watch “Water Walker”, the Bill Mason film. So I plopped the phone in his iPhone holder, dropped it into NFB movie mode, and watched the entire film on the trip back.
Watching Bill Mason reminded me of something Seth Godin said, “I think it makes sense to make your art your art, to give yourself over to it without regard for commerce.” If you watch that film and you watch Bill at work, you find yourself asking lots of questions. Why is the NFB site completely free? How did Bill Mason make money canoeing? Is Bill an example of someone doing what they love and perhaps, as Godin goes on to suggest, discovering “that this focus turns out to be the secret of actually breaking through and making money.”?
I’m not alone in this quest to discover the answer to these and other questions. Perhaps we just need to be nice to stray cats now and again!
This hilarious Oscar®-nominated animation is based on the century-old folk songof the same name. Old Mr. Johnson makes increasingly manic attempts to rid himself of a little yellow cat that just won’t stay away… Also won the 1989 Genie Award for best animated short film.