While it may sound like a paradox to some, I have prepared a list of four outstanding pieces of Canadian media that you should watch as soon as possible.
Don’t worry, I’m not gonna talk about Schitt’s Creek (I haven’t even seen it)! I’m sure Schitt’s Creek is great, but my goal is to put you on to some Canadian content you may have never heard of before.
I won’t mention films from directors I’ve already spoken to (as much as I want to). Click my profile below to read conversations with Evan Morgan (The Kid Detective) and Yonah Lewis & Calvin Thomas (White Lie).
1. Nirvanna the Band the Show
I owe my friend and Toronto actor Thomas O’Neill for introducing me to Nirvanna the Band. Created by Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol, I can firmly state that this is the funniest Canadian show on the market.
The show is sort of a mockumentary, satire, and surreal comedy revolving around Matt and Jay’s antics around the city.
I consider it essential viewing for all my peers. It’s streaming on CBC Gem. You know what to do!!!!
2. Anne at 13,000 Feet
Ryerson grad Kazik Radwanski’s latest release should be a very compelling watch for my fellow students. Radwanski’s claustrophobic cinematography and second-hand embarrassment-inducing dialogue creates quite an experience in its 75-minute run time.
Deragh Campbell plays Anne perfectly, even when jumping out of a plane (you’ll see why). Matt Johnson, from Nirvanna the Band fame, also supports Campbell in a serious role.
You can rent Anne at the Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox.
I’d love to speak to Kazik and hear his advice for my RTA peers too (Mr. Radwanski if you’re reading this- please).
3. Hello Destroyer
Directed by Kevan Funk, Hello Destroyer tells the story of a junior hockey player in western Canada.
Unfortunately, it does drag on a little. That said, my high hopes for the film may have ruined it a bit for me. However, the nuanced performances and creative choices make it worth a watch for sports fans and other movie buffs alike.
You can give it a watch over at CBC Gem.
4. Sleeping Giant
This is a coming-of-age film set in rural Ontario along the Great Lakes. For homegrown Ontarians like me, I doubt I need to say much more.
It was writer/director Andrew Cividino’s feature debut, who later rose to acclaim as a writer on Schitt’s Creek. Cividino is a Ryerson grad too!
Stream this youthful odyssey on Amazon Prime or video-on-demand.
You may have noticed that I haven’t included any French-Canadian media. Quebec’s media scene is so diverse that it would likely warrant its own article, and that may very well be coming up soon.
A bonus for this list is Finn Wolfhard’s Night Shifts. The BC-native’s four minute directorial debut is sharp, and was crowdfunded by a $28,000 budget.
If you do end up giving any of these things a watch, let me know- I want all the credit for putting you on.