The best way I can define the documentary form, to keep it as simple as possible, would be the art or craft of presenting reality in an entertaining format through an audiovisual production. Aufderheide explains in her own words that documentaries are about real life, but are not actually real life, and I agree with that claim, as there is no doubt that there is still an active process of manipulation done to a documentary to be properly watchable and entertaining (p. 23). …


Canadian horror cult-classic Ginger Snaps (2000) artwork.

The path that lies ahead for many aspiring Canadian filmmakers can be a harrowing and confusing one to embark upon, and perhaps is only increasingly more challenging as we move forward in time. Although Canadians have an unbelievably large variety of urban and natural landscapes to shoot in, plenty of historical narratives to draw upon, and an open minded and globally connected society that one can feel confident and free to express themselves in, sadly the film world can be much more complicated than a matter of simply creating art for art’s sake.

Of course, if a filmmaker wishes to…


“No Country For Old Men” (2007) promotional poster.

The frequent expectation or common assumption that “the movie is never as good as the book” is one that cannot be true, simply because no blanket generalizing statement can ever be completely true in regards to any topic, generally speaking. The film No Country For Old Men directed by the Coen Brothers, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name, is a strong example of a film that was successful in expanding on cultural dimensions of the original text, to the extent that it is fully deserving of further exploration. …


English-Canadian actor, writer, director and producer Sarah Polley.

Of the many complications that occur in deciphering whether a film can truly be considered “Canadian Cinema” or not, what might cause the most confusion is perhaps the general moviegoing audience’s disengagement with national cinema. English Canada has fallen such a victim to Americanization in many social and cultural aspects that many English speaking Canadians are completely unaware of the commercial and critical success of French language Quebecois films. …


(Originally written in October, 2018 — Updated May, 2021)

Raul Julia as Valentin Arregui Paz (Left) and William Hurt as Luis Molina (Right)

The 1985 Brazilian-American film Kiss of the Spider Woman (Portuguese: O Bejia de Mulher Arenha), is a passionate period piece that reveals the nature of the human spirit in isolation, and the power of escapism under authoritarian control. The film was directed by Hector Babenco, an Argentine born, Brazilian raised writer, director, producer, and actor. …


The novel The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a text that has been adapted to the screen six times since it was published in 1925, with the first ever film version produced and released in 1926 with The Great Gatsby, a silent film, directed by Herbert Brenon. This film technically no longer exists, and it is considered “lost” (Auger 46), which is something that has happened frequently to films from this era according to Auger in Representations of Gatsby: Ninety Years of Retrospective (Auger, 2015).


At the start of the film, Grizzly Man, I was very intrigued and excited to see Werner Herzog’s name appear on screen, credited as the voiceover narrator for the film. When I first watched it fully in May of 2020 I was somewhat familiar with Werner Herzog already, as I knew he was associated with the New German Cinema era of the 20th Century, and I had recognized that he was also a producer for the documentary film The Act of Killing, one of the greatest documentaries I had ever seen. This excited me, as I was very impacted by…


At the start of the film Train to Busan, the viewer is introduced to contemporary South Korean society through the prototypical individualist, Seok-woo, the film’s protagonist. Seok-woo initially appears as the stereotyped “success story” through the modern, capitalist society’s lens, that is until pieces of his personal life start to come together and reality reveals itself in a brutally honest fashion. …


Photojournalism, specifically in conflict ridden landscapes, throughout history, has been looked at as both an act of heroism, and has also been treated with suspicion, in particular towards the photographer capturing the image. Many people who praise these photojournalists point out that without exposing these events to the rest of the world, it would be too easy for the world to ignore and shrug off the events through word of mouth alone. …


In November, 2020 I took part in a participation exercise for a Natural Science class in university, and tasked myself with not driving a vehicle for 14 days as my challenge. You might be wondering how much of an impact one person can have on combatting climate change and global warming, and although its true that to truly prevent catastrophic results it requires a complete societal, structural and systems change, individuals are still vital in the fight to protect our planet from dying. …

Dainéal MacLean

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