Five Favorite Foreign Filmmakers Part 4 of 5 (Oh Canada)

My five favorite filmmakers from five regions continues after a slight delay.

The list became difficult once I got back to North America being so close to home. It was hard to separate the Americans from the Canadians. And as it turned out there were a lot more Canadians than I thought. 

Francis

“Hey, what’s this guy got against Canadians?”

Lighten up Francis.

My original plan was to combine Mexico & Canada into one region but Mexico will just have to join South America because there were just too many Canadians.

Isn’t that always the way?

So part four is just Canada. And part five will be Latin America, I suppose. To the list… 

First up:

Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison is one of my earliest favorite directors. One of my original faves, as it were. The director of some of my favorite films from before I realized how much I loved films.

A fantastic storyteller and a director who elicits great performances from amazing actors. A true actor’s director. The great Canadian (who knew) filmmaker: Norman Jewison.

Here are five perfect films with superb performances.

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

In the Heat of the Night

Rollerball (1975)

Rollerball

…And Justice for All (1979)

And Justice for All

A Soldier’s Story (1984)

A Soldier's Story

Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck

Five fantastic films, but Rollerball (the original not the silly remake) is my personal favorite and is yet another one of those movies that I quote all the time.

“I love this game, Moonpie.”

The next director on the list will be familiar to readers of my blog. The very skilful

James Cameron

Envy Presents 5 by 5: My 5 Favorite Films by My 5 Favorite Directors (5/5)

What can I say about James Cameron that I haven’t already said here?

Nothing really. He is the man. He is a Canadian man. (again who knew?) And he is also number five on my all-time list.

Here are four perfect action films.

The Terminator (1984)


Aliens (1986)


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


True Lies (1994)

True Lies is still one of my all-time favorite Husband & Wife Spy Thrillers. Speaking of which, I miss The Americans on FX. I can’t wait for that show to come back.

"That's the fact, Jack."

“That’s the fact, Jack.”

That’s the fact, Jack.

Next up, and without any further ado, the patriarch of what some have called the first family of Canadian Cinema… and by some, I mean me.

Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman

Ivan Reitman has made many other comedies, but as it turns out my three favorite of his films are all Bill Murray hits. Ivan Reitman is one the best directors of the Action-Comedy genre and all that came after borrow from his brilliance. And he made Bill Murray a big star.

Also he has the rare distinction of fathering another of the directors on this very list; Jason Reitman.

*Side Note: His daughter, Catherine Reitman, used to produce an internet movie review show, called Breakin’ It Down.

Catherine Reitman and Harry The Sound Guy

A show that I would refer to religiously before going to the theater and paying 30 dollars to see a movie. But alas, Catherine has moved on to other things. All six of her.

Catherine Reitman

Besides his three kids, here are three other, damn near perfect, things Ivan Reitman has produced…

Meatballs (1979)

Meatballs

Stripes (1981)

Stripes

Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters

Needless to say, I quote all three of these movies constantly, Stripes especially. They are three of the funniest movies ever made, Stripes especially. And there is no quicker way out of a bad mood than by watching any of these movies but… Stripes especially.

"Whose idea was this?"

“Whose idea was this?”

Mine, Bill. It was all mine.

Next up the sublime beauty of…

François Girard

François Girard

François Girard is a magnificent film artist whose films I consider museum quality or even space time capsule worthy. Just exquisite works of art. The Red Violin is one of those rare films that makes my heart hurt in a good way. And Glenn Gould is not just an original take on the biopic but an experience.

François Girard hasn’t made a ton of films. But the films he has made are wonderful.

Here are two of the most beautiful stories you can see.

32 Short Films about Glenn Gould (1993)

32 Short Films About Glenn Gould

The Red Violin (1998)

The Red Violin

Each film is a love letter to music and love and death and life and sex and art and film and… breathing.

And lastly..

The young Jason Reitman who makes great films.

Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman

I put, the young Jason Reitman who makes great films, in the same category that I place Sofia Coppola. Both are the offspring of great directors but in my opinion, even though they do not garner the amount of respect due their artistic inheritance, they are better. They are both better filmmakers than their fathers.

Call me crazy, (you wouldn’t be the first) but after a handful of films each, I am keenly aware that they are both immensely talented. Just dripping with it. It’s awful. It’s disgusting.

I could have chosen any one of, the young Jason Reitman who makes great films’s films but, if you are not aware of his work, this is the best place to start…

Juno (2007)

Juno

Juno is the film best remembered for making Diablo Cody a recognizable name. And yes the dialogue and story are fantastic, but the pacing, the photography, the feel of the film, the subtle sweetness of the cinematography, the fly on the wall filmmaking that you get from directors like Jason (& Sofia) are what make this wonderful film.

This is not a film. You’re not simply watching a film. You’re watching someone’s life. And if you didn’t recognize the actors you’d swear it was some sort of illegal surveillance. Joyce, Kubrick, Renoir. To be that young a director (under 40 is young for a director) and to be able to do that. It’s… sickening. But it’s also amazing.

The kind of training you get growing up on film sets, I guess.

"Aaaarmy Training, sir." "ARMY TRAINING, SIR!"

“Aaaarmy Training, sir.”
“ARMY TRAINING, SIR!”

No, Bill, not army training.

We will meet again in Latin America, you and I.

Until then, hasta luego.

– Mel

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2 thoughts on “Five Favorite Foreign Filmmakers Part 4 of 5 (Oh Canada)

  1. Pingback: Five Favorite Foreign Filmmakers from Five Regions 5/5 (Latin American Edition) | Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

  2. Pingback: Five Favorite Foreign Filmmakers from 5 Regions (Part Six: The Rest of the World) | Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

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