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Sample: Title; rating (out of 4); principal setting; year of release; international co-producer (if any); cast; description; scriptwriter; director; content warning; running time.

(2005) Arabella Bushnell, Ben Cotton, Brad Dryborough, Ryan Robbins, Justine Warrington, Erin Wells.....Three couples who are friends get together at a cabin intending to test themselves with a wild weekend of sexual experimentation and spouse swapping...but many aren't quite as "liberal" as they thought they were and things don't quite work out the way they had hoped. Serio-comic flick boasts a good tempo and great, textured performances from all concerned, resulting in an interesting little flick. There is nudity and some sex, but this isn't an "erotic" movie, per se -- the sex, or promise of sex, isn't the point; the characters' reactions to it is the point. sc: Kris Elgstrand. dir: Dylan Akio Smith. - partial female nudity, male nudity, sexuual content.- 85 min.

CABLE BEACH  * * *  setting: B.C.
(2004) Chris Kramer, Karin Konoval, Tygh Runyan, Nancy Sivak, Scott Hylands, David Ogden Stiers, Tom McBeath, Hrothgar Mathews.....Fisheries Officer (Kramer) takes a posting in the small coastal B.C. town where he was born (but not raised) and finds clues to his family history, particularly when a tourist is murdered and the chief suspect a mentally damaged hermit (Runyan) who knows something about his past. Moody and atmospheric, leisurely paced mystery-suspenser boasts a good cast and intelligent writing, though the resolution is a bit awkward. Worth seeking out. Konoval, as the acerbic senior fisheries officer, is particularly memorable. sc: Arthur Jackson, William Thumm. dir: James Head. - violence.- app. 90 min.

CABOOSE  * * 1/2
(1996) (/France) Gildor Roy, Celine Bonnier, James Hyndman, Bernard- Pierre Donnadieu, Guy Nadon, Emmanuel Charest, Brigitte Poupart, Marie-France Marcotte, Robin Aubert.....An enigmatic, disgraced ex-cop (Roy) hires a would-be rookie cop, who washed out of the police academy (Bonnier), to protect him from a mysterious enemy he won't name. Film noir suspense-drama is deliberately murky -- but maybe too much so, where there's a feeling that the core ideas are better than the actual execution. Still, maintains interest thanks to some raw, seedy atmosphere, a steamy sex scene, and strong performances from Bonnier, Roy, and Nadon as a troubled priest. In French. a.k.a. Revolver. sc: Odile Poliquin, Richard Roy, Michel Michaud. dir: Richard Roy. - sexual content; partial female and male nudity; violence.- 90 min.

CADILLAC GIRLS  * * 1/2  setting: N.S./USA.
(1993) Jennifer Dale, Mia Kirshner, Gregory Harrison, Adam Beach, Anna Cameron, Mike Crimp.....Story of the troubled relationship between a mother and her teen-aged daughter (Dale and Kirshner), which becomes even more strained when they return to the mother's Nova Scotia hometown after her father's death. O.K. drama does have some twists and turns, though not enough to entirely raise it above being a rerun of a dozen other movies (but the idea that it's the daughter who likes the town and the mother who doesn't is a nice turnabout). Good performances, and American import Harrison even tries for a maritime accent (though he ends up more Irish or Scottish). Louis Del Grande has a cameo. sc: Peter Behrens. dir: Peter Kendall. - partial female nudity, sexual content.- 99 min.

(2009) Christopher Plummer, Nikki M. James, Diane D'Aquila, Peter Donaldson, Timothy D. Stickney, Steven Sutcliffe, John Vickery.....Shaw's comedy about the aging Julius Caesar (Plummer) and the impulsive teenage Cleopatra (James) during Caesar's occupation of Ancient Egypt. Filmed before a live audience of the Stratford Festival production, it does a good job of capturing both the live theatre experience (the audience is clearly seen in the background) yet with camera work that allows for close-ups and a (slightly) cinematic feel. It's a good, energetic production, especially anchored by its leads. Plummer, a quintessential lion of the theatre, is well suited to the iconic role. But the scene stealer arguably is American actress James, whose character undergoes the most significant character arc, from a naive child to a regal queen, alternately selfish and alluring. The play itself can be a slightly problematic affair (even fans often admit they're not really sure what the "point" of it is) never quite realizing any underlining gravitas it hints at. But it's enjoyable and this stands as a good production of it and worth a look both for long-time fans and for those looking for a little easy-to-digest "classic" theatre. This would make an appropriate half of a double bill paired with the subsequent stage-to-screen production of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. sc: the play by George Bernard Shaw. dir: Des McAnuff, Shelagh O'Brien. 115 min.

CAFÉ DE FLORE   * * 1/2   setting: P.Q./other
(2011) (/France) Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent, Evelyne Brochu, Marin Gerrier, Alice Dubois, Evelyne de la Chenelière, Michel Dumont.....Two stories intercut: in 1960s Paris a single mother (French actress Paradis) devotedly raises a boy with Downs Syndrome, while in contemporary Montreal it chronicles the relationship triangle formed by a man (Parent), his new girlfriend (Brochu), his ex-wife (Florent) and their kids. The connection between the two stories is kept a mystery till the final act. Drama is very well acted, and visually sumptuous and stylish, full of mood and striking imagery -- perhaps almost oppressively so, like you're watching the world's longest TV commercial for some high end product. It's a long time before we even get a hint of how the two tales connect, but in order to demand such patience, it needs to hold your attention as it goes. And despite great performances and some good scenes, it's rather slow-moving, and long, and repetitious, as though too focused on the revelation it's building toward, rather than on how it gets there. Still, with all its strengths, another few rounds in the editing room and it would be pretty good. As it is, it's on the fence, but worth sticking with if you start. Received Genies including for Best Actress (Paradis). In French. sc./dir: Jean-Marc Vallée. - female nudity, sexual content.- 120 min.

CAFE OLE  * * 1/2  setting: P.Q.
(2000) Andrew Tarbet, Laia Marull, Stephanie Morgenstern, Dino Tavarone, Harry Standjofski, Macha Grenon, Sheena Larkin, Dorothee Berryman, Michele Barbara Pelletier, Arthur Grosser.....Affable man (nicely played by Tarbet) drifts through life, hanging with eccentric, and sometimes troubled, friends and acquaintances, looking for love, eventually falling for an illegal Chilean refugee (Marull). Likeable romantic comedy-drama, slickly put together and boasting ingratiating performances. But a movie like this runs the danger of being as aimless and rambling as its main character (even if the writer keeps consistent themes throughout the sub-plots). It's often wryly amusing, without being laugh out loud funny, romantic, without liable to become a staple of Valentine's Day, serious, without entirely grappling satisfactorily with its issues -- including a kind of Pollyanna ending. Spanish actress Marull delivers a fine peformance, and is attractive and appealing, but in a movie like this she should be the stand-out (so the audience wants the hero to end up with her), but the movie is kind of top heavy with attractive, appealing actresses! Ironically, the most memorable scenes are those dealing with Tavarone as a widower making a self-help video for widowers. a.k.a. Café Olé. sc: Emil Sher. dir: Richard Roy. - sexual content, brief female nudity.- 93 min.

CAFE ROMEO  * * 1/2
(1991) Catherine Mary Stewart, Jonathan Crombie, Michael Ironside, Michael Tiernan, John Cassini, Joseph Campanella, Stephanie Ciccone, Denalda Williams.....Story of an extended Italian-American family and friends, focusing on a love triangle involving a guy (Crombie) in love with a wanna-be fashion designer (Stewart) who's married to a small-time hood. Good cast and ambience in this romantic drama, with some nice scenes, but as a dramatic whole it just limps along and finally fizzles out at the end. Too bad. Suitable music score by Amin Bhatia. Ironside has just a small role. sc: Frank Procopio. dir: Rex Bromfield. 93 min.

CAGED TERROR  a.k.a. Golden Apples of the Sun

CAIRO TIME  * * 1/2   setting: other
(2009) (/Ireland) Patricia Clarkson, Alexander Siddig, Elena Anaya, Amina Annabi, Tom McCamus.....A Canadian diplomat's wife (Clarkson) arrives in Cairo to meet her husband, but when he is detained out of town, explores the region without him, including striking up a friendship with an Egyptian co-worker (Siddig) of her husband's. Gentle, understated drama (it's a kind of romance...but a chaste romance) has likeable leads and beautiful scenery (particularly the natural regions outside the city) but isn't really about plot, per se. And even for a "character drama" it's not like the characters have layers that need to be peeled back -- and Clarkson tends to play a lot of scenes with the same vague expression. An idyll as much as a movie, for when you're in an undemanding mood, wanting to just sit back and mellow out -- there's no sex, or violence, or profanity, but with just enough occasional low-key tension to keep from being completely innocuous. A travelogue for those who can't actually afford to visit Egypt -- though even then, it can sort of give you a peak in on things you were unaware of, even as it doesn't give you much true insight (occasional conversations that start to veer into social or political debates...veer out again almost immediately). Heck, a couple of years after this, Egypt experienced a huge political upheaval...but there's barely a hint of any friction here! Ironically, in the DVD "making of" featurette, the filmmaker relates some real anecdotes that, in a way, sound more interesting than some of the fiction! Of the cast, only McCamus (as the husband in a small part) is actually Canadian. sc./dir: Rubba Nadda. 90 min.

CAKE * * setting: Ont.
(2005) (/U.S.) Heather Graham, David Sutcliffe, Taye Diggs, Sandra Oh, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Cheryl Hines, Bruce Gray, Sarah Chalke, Sabrina Grdevich, Reagan Pasternak.....A commitment-phobic freelance writer (American actress Graham), who measures relationships in terms of weeks, assumes the editorship of a fluffy weddings magazine to help her ailing publisher father (Gray) -- and she begins to develop feelings toward a staid co-worker (Sutcliffe), while also being attracted to a fellow hedonist (American Diggs). Romantic comedy is decidedly old fashioned in so many ways (save for modern profanity and sexual innuendo). Generally good-natured and sprightly, it's nothing you can dislike with any enthusiasm, but it's more light-hearted than out-and-out funny, and is just way too fluffy and conventional throughout. Movies about people analysing their life decisions and relationships can make for telling insights into the human condition...or they can make for movies about shallow narcissists who need to get over themselves. And this leans a little toward the latter. Still, it has some pluses, like sort of admitting it's set in Canada, a pluralistic cast, passing references to gay marriage, and Graham wears a very low-cut dress for a large section toward the it's got that. The supporting cast is frequently under-utilized, including the likes of Ron White (briefly as Chalke's father) and Amy Price-Francis who appears as Sutcliffe's ex...with nary a single line of dialogue! Ultimately, insatiable romantics will probably enjoy it...but for others, it isn't quite romantic, comedic, or compelling enough to quite score. sc: Tassie Cameron. dir: Nisha Ganatra. - sexual content.- 94 min.

CALENDAR  * * 1/2  setting: other/CDN.
(1993) (/Armenia/Germany) Arsinee Khanjian, Ashot Adamian, Atom Egoyan.....Canadian photographer (Egoyan) and his translator wife (Khanjian) grow apart while in Armenia shooting churches for a calendar. Atmospheric, minimalist drama benefits from the exotic location and a nice use of rock and traditional music, but it's repetitive and thin. Still, Egoyan's most human film to date...and his on-screen debut. The genesis came from Egoyan winning a Soviet film festival prize that had to be spent somewhere in the former Soviet Union. sc./dir: Atom Egoyan. 84 min.

"California Aunts" , a short story by Cynthia Flood, was incorporated into the anthology movie Martha, Ruth and Edie

(2010-2014)  * * * 1/2   Jason Priestley ("Richard Fitzpatrick"), Ernie Grunwald ("Larry"), Peter MacNeill ("Ken Fitzpatrick"), Brooke Nevin ("Sonja"), Donavon Stinson ("Josh"), Kathleen Munroe ("Ali Devon"), Tracy Dawson ("Meghan Fitzpatrick"), Gillian Ferrier ("Kara").....Comedy about an amoral, hedonistic used car sales man (Priestley) who, while trying to cover up his involvement in a car accident, and dealing with his dysfunctional relations, finds that a newly arrived, mysterious co-worker (Grunwald) announces he's his conscience made flesh, determined to redeem him. MacNeill plays his bad tempered father, and boss. Nevin the receptionist who wants to be a sales person; Stinson the stoner mechanic. Munroe plays the daughter of a woman left in a coma by the car accident, determined to prove "Fitz"'s involvement...but then became romantically attracted to him. Dawson plays "Fitz"s sister. Ferrier plays a maniacally precocious girl guide also determined to get the goods on "Fitz". Essentially an "Anytown, North America" series, though leaning toward being set in the US with occasional terminology and flashes of currency (which is ironic -- a series selling itself as edgy and fearless, but is scared of admitting it's Canadian!)

This is a dark, profanity laden comedy, that follows on the heels of a lot of modern (particularly made-for-cable) sitcoms, of being about an amoral anti-hero (in Canada begat, arguably, by The Newsroom). Sometimes such series don't work, seeming too often just a chance for filmmakers to sophomorically indulge in a lot of four letter words and "politically incorrect" gags that are supposed to seem edgy, but don't. But this time out -- they pull it off. It's bitter, it's coarse, but it's also funny, outrageous, off-kilter, alternately sly and biting, anchored by crackerjack performances all around (including guest stars like American import Joanna Cassidy as Fitz's estranged mother). Priestley is well cast as the tightly wound Fitz, and Grunwald endearing as his self-declared conscience. There's a no holds barred approach to the concepts, from the quirky to the surreal, yet with just a hint of a dramatic underpinning, that Fitz really is a damaged soul (with parents like that, it's no wonder!) and with the funny, yet sweet, idea of the eternally optimistic conscience attempting to heal all those around him. Created by Sheri Elwood. Half-hour episodes shown in Canada on HBO Canada.


(2000)  * *  Nick Mancuso ("John Thornton"), Shane Meier ("Miles Challenger"), Rachael Hayward ("Adoley Thonton nee Challenger"), Kathleen Duborg ("Mercedes Levant"), Crystal Buble ("Emma"), Ben Cardinal ("Charley Jimmy"), Bill MacDonald ("Swede"), with Mark Hildreth ("Stanton").....Family drama set in the Yukon in the late 19th Century in the fictional frontier town of Forty Mile about a teen (Meier) and his pet wolf-dog, Buck. Mancuso plays his stepdad, a guide and owner of the local general store, and Hayward his mother, a photographer. Duborg worked at the local saloon, as did Crystal Bublé (whose family owned it) -- and the latter was also a sort of love interest for "Miles". Cardinal played a local Indian guide and friend, and MacDonald another local. Hildreth cropped up occasionally as "Miles'" snooty, city bred cousin. 

This family TV series, though not terrible, was a touch dull, with plots that often seemed to take their time getting where they were going...and then kind of resolved weakly anyway. It suffered from an overall grimness that managed to make its northern milieu, far from being a place of escapist adventure, seem rather dreary; none of the characters were especially interesting and no one seemed particularly happy, and it was unlikely to win any friends at the Yukon tourism department as a result. Inspired by the novel by American writer Jack London, it was nominally set in the Canadian north...but rarely so that you would know it. There didn't exactly seem to be a plethora of Canadian flags (which, in the 19th Century, would've actually been the British Union Jack) or Mounties, or much that actually bespoke Canada, and most of the characters were identified as transplanted Americans (though the actors were all Canadian). Cancelled after one season (I believe) the final episode ended with "Miles" leaving town...a plot that was, presumably, intended as a cliffhanger, but, instead, serves as the series' finale. a.k.a. Jack London's Call of the Wild. Hour long episodes, show in Canada on Showcase.

CALL THE COPS a.k.a. Find the Lady

CALLING THE SHOTS * * 1/2  setting: USA./CDN./other
(1988).....Documentary about women directors in the male-dominated film industry, featuring interviews with directors from America, Canada and other places. Memorable anecdotes, but it has trouble finding real dirt, making it more a film about filmmaking rather than something specifically about gender. Nor does it distinguish much between here and the States, robbing it of an interesting topic (is it better for women here? there? no difference?). dir: Janis Cole, Holly Dale. 118 min.

(2011-2012)  * * 1/2   (/U.K./Irish/U.S.) Joseph Fiennes ("Merlin"), Jamie Campbell Bower ("Arthur"), Eva Green ("Morgan Le Fay"), Tamsin Egerton ("Guinevere"), Claire Forlani ("Igraine"), Chipo Chung ("Vivian"), Sinead Cusack ("Sybil"), Peter Mooney ("Kay"), Philip Winchester ("Leontes"), Clive Standen ("Gawain"), Lara Jean Chorostecki ("Bridget"), others.....Historical drama/fantasy retelling -- and re-interpreting -- the Arthurian legend. Although an international co-production, it's primarily a U.K. production, with little direct Canadian participation, with about the only Canadians in the regular cast being Mooney and Chorosteck. (A fact which acquires an additional irony when, over at the Camelot entry at the Internet Movie Database, there's a whole discussion thread about whether Canadian Mooney would've made a better Arthur than Bower!)

The King Arthur legend has been re-told, re-interpreted, and re-imagined throughout the centuries, including for TV (an unrelated, more youth-aimed U.K. series -- "Merlin" -- had started airing a few seasons before this!) Co-created by Michael Hirst (of The Tudors) this follows a similar gimmick to The Tudors (and other recent "edgy" historical dramas) of doing it as an "adult" series with sex and nudity. Unfortunately, beyond the periodic flashes of flesh (including, perhaps unusually, even from regulars Green and Egerton), there's not too much that stands out here. Frankly, one could imagine the creators were simply fishing around for a premise to join the band wagon of R-rated historical dramas (including, in addition to The Tudors, everything from "Rome", to "Deadwood", to "Spartacus", to The Pillars of the Earth and The Borgias) more than because they had any burning passion to visit the Arthur saga. That may not be entirely fair, and certainly they tweak the mythos here and there for a new spin (here Morgan and Arthur share the same father, while traditionally it was their mother they had in common; and the Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot triangle is turned on its head by having it be that it is Arthur and Guinevere who are the illicit lovers, while Guinevere is married to the loyal knight Leontes). Yet often such changes can just feel as though they were changes...for the sake of changes, rather than representing a bracing artistic vision. And in other can just feel like they're going through the motions, not necessarily committed to any deeper themes or philosophies. Arthur periodically launches into supposedly profound, stirring speeches about freedom and rights...without much sense in the narrative of how he, otherwise a rather callow young man, came to such epiphanies. In one episode, he (rather anachronistically) defends the rights of the next, happily allows his men to indulge themselves with a bunch of dancer/prostitutes; he talks of high ideals...then happily tortures POWs!

It gets better as it goes, but like a lot of modern series, often the episode of the week plots can seem thin or short changed, as if merely chapters in the on going soap opera...without the long form arc being that enthralling or complex. Nor do "Arthur" and the gang necessarily come across as that bright or cunning...kind of prerequisites of heroes! It's villain Morgan who strategizes and schemes, and the heroes who just blunder into her traps. More a talking head drama, with occasional sword fights, than an adventure series, it also seems torn between being an Arthurian high fantasy (with occasional magic and mysticism)...and flirting with historical realism. And primarily it suffers because too many of the central characters remain rather bland -- the actors are okay, but don't rise above their material. Ultimately the most interesting, charismatic figures remain "Merlin" (& Fiennes) and "Morgan" (& Green...and Forlani in one episode where "Morgan" magically disguises herself as "Igraine"). It had aired elsewhere -- and been cancelled -- before it was even shown in Canada, meaning its long term fate was decided before Canadian viewers even had a chance to decide for themselves. However, though clearly intended as an on-going series (and the Arthur legend itself encompasses many years) certain threads climax in the final episode, making it something that can be viewed, in a way, as a self-contained arc (indeed, I think it has subsequently been re-labelled a "mini-series"). Created by Chris Chibnall, Michael Hirst. One season of 10 hour long episodes, shown in Canada on the CBC. - sexual content; partial female and male nudity; violence.

CAMILLA  * * 1/2  setting: USA./Ont.
(1994) (/U.K./U.S.) Jessica Tandy, Bridget Fonda, Elias Koteas, Maury Chaykin, Graham Greene, Ranjit Chowdhry, George Harris, Hume Cronyn.....Story of two displaced Torontonians in Georgia, an aspiring musician (Fonda) and an aging violinist (Tandy, in one of her last roles), who decide to take a road trip to a concert in Toronto...unbeknowst to their husband (Koteas) and domineering son (Chaykin) respectively. Slick, charming comedy-drama, reminiscent of the directors's previous effort, Sam & Me (or "Thelma and Louise" minus the murder and mayhem), benefits from a good cast and eccentric supporting characters, but it lags too often to really be a total winner. Look fast for director Atom Egoyan (as a director on a film set) and Don McKellar as a security guard. sc: Paul Quarrington (from the short story by Ali Jennings). dir: Deepa Mehta. - brief female nudity.- 93 min.

(1985-1989) (/Scotland)  * * 1/2  Malcolm Stoddard ("Dr. James Campbell"), John Wildman ("Neil"), Amber-lea Weston ("Emma"), Eric Richards ("John"), with Cedric Smith ("Capt. Sims"), others.....Family drama about a Scottish family emigrating to rural Canada in the 1800s. Stoddard played the widower father, a doctor and farmer; Wildman, Weston and Richards the kids. Smith played the neighbour, initially hostile toward them with an eye on their land, but becoming friendlier as the series progressed.

Uneven but passable family TV series. Half-hour episodes, originally on CTV.

CANADA-RUSSIA '72  (TVMS)  * * 1/2  setting: CDN/other
(2006) Booth Savage, Judah Katz, David Berni, Gabriel Hogan, Sonia LaPlante, Mark Owen, Mike Dopud, Jeff Roop, Hugh Thompson, Louis-Philippe Dandenault.....Story of the now-legendary, increasingly bitter 1972 "friendship series" when Canada and Russia staged an eight game hockey championship series. CBC mini-series tackles a high profile historical event...but just because it's famous, doesn't necessarily make it automatically a great story. But the filmmakers play with expectation a bit. Instead of just being a jingoistic tale of plucky Canucks, it's a story partly about hubris, as the Canadians go into the series smugly arrogant...and discover the Russians are a better team than they thought, the Canadians only becoming the underdogs partly through their own initial cockiness. There's a frank, feet-of-clay approach to the characters. As well, the mini-series does the whole thing as a pseudo-documentary -- complete with actors glancing at the camera and abrupt cuts between scenes -- as if to say "what if...someone had thought to document the behind-the-scenes stuff at the time?" It's a clever technique, giving the thing a raw vitality at times, and the writing, direction and great performances generate real authenticity, including nice use of period rock music (mostly by Canadian bands). But it's a technique that doesn't quite lend itself to a lengthy mini-series format, and one suspects that the filmmakers settled on it because even they knew it would be hard to get a straight, human drama out of the material. The recreated hockey games are a particular problem as they take up a lot of the program...but aren't enough of the game just to be enjoyable as hockey games. Basically, hockey fans will enjoy it more than drama fans. The result is another mini-series hurt by its very format: as a tighter movie, this could've been quite a lengthy mini-series it lags a lot, though still has its moments. Nice to see Savage (playing the coach) back in centre stage (Savage who, coincidentally, starred in one of the best hockey-themed movies made in Canada); Hogan plays goalie Ken Dryden as, basically, the most thoughtful, least boorish of the players -- in real life, of course, Dryden went on to be a successful sports writer and even a member of parliament! Four hours. sc: Barrie Dunn, Malcolm MacRury. dir: TW Peacocke.

CANADA'S SWEETHEART: The Saga of Hal C. Banks * * *  setting: CDN. (1985) Maury Chaykin, R.H. Thomson, Colin Fox, Sean McCann, Chuck Shamata, Jonathan Welsh.....Film about the life of notorious union boss, Hal Banks (Chaykin), that blends interviews with people who were there and re-enacted scenes. Well done with a fine performance from Chaykin. sc: Donald Brittain, Richard Nielsen. dir: Donald Brittain.

(1986) Eugene Levy, Lorne Greene, Margot Kidder, Dave Thomas, Anne Murray, many more....."Documentary" by an imaginary American TV station about a Canadian conspiracy to take over the United States through Canadian celebrities who are really government agents. More an excercise in back-patting over how many internationally famous actors are Canadian than the comedy it's supposed to be, but still very funny. Filled with famous cameos. sc: Robert Boyd, Mark Achbar, Michael Short. dir: Robert Boyd.

A Canadian Tragedy, the book by Maggie Simmins about the murder of JoAnn Thatcher, was turned into the CBC mini-series Love and Hate

THE CANDIDATE (TVMS) see Si la tendance se maintient

CANDY MOUNTAIN  * *  setting: USA./CND.
(1987) (/France/Switzerland) Kevin J. O'Conner, Tom Waits, Bulle Ogier, Leon Redbone, Wayne Robson, Tantoo Cardinal, Harris Yulin..... Down-on-his-luck, would-be New York rocker (O'Conner) sets out to find a legendary guitarmaker who's hiding out in the Canadian maritimes. Along the way he encounters some unusual characters. Some good, individual scenes but uneven, listless and not as weird as it thinks it is. Filled with musician cameos. Robson and Cardinal stand out. sc: Rudy Wurlitzer. dir: Robert Frank, Rudy Wurlitzer. 91 min.

CANNIBAL GIRLS * 1/2  setting: Ont.
(1973) Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Ronald Elrich, Alan Gordon, Allan Price, Earl Pomerantz, Randall Carpenter, Bonnie Neilson, Mira Pawiuk, Bob McHeady.....Young couple (Levy and Martin) stop in a weird small town, are told a folk story about three cannibal sisters, then visit the local restaurant... Confusing low-budget horror flick is admirably quirky in spots and makes nice use of the rural Ontario winter landscape, but ultimately it's slow and unfocused. Its main novelty is just catching the early work of Levy (in afro and walrus mustache), Martin and Reitman. Canuck Reitman's only film to actually be set in Canada! sc: Robert Sandler (story Sandler, Daniel Goldberg, Ivan Reitman). dir: Ivan Reitman. - extreme violence, partial female nudity.- 84 min.

CANVAS  * * *
(1992) (/U.S.) Gary Busey, John Rhys-Davies, Vittorio Rossi, Nick Cavaiola, Cary Lawrence, Jonathan Palis.....To pay off his brother's debt to a gangster, a painter (Rossi) reluctantly goes to work for a couple of art thieves (imports Busey and Rhys-Davies). Poor supporting performances hurt an otherwise decent film noire suspenser. Nice gritty, hip, urban feel. Rossi, Rhys-Davies and Lawrence (as the romantic interest) are fine but it's Busey who adds a touch of class. sc: Alain Zaloum, Brenda Newman. d: Alain Zaloum. - female nudity and casual male nudity, violence, sexual content.- 95 min.

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