Pour la suite du monde (For Those Who Will Follow)

Directors Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault
Year 1963
Run Time 105min
Genre Documentary
For centuries, the villagers of Île aux Coudres, a small island in the St. Lawrence River, hunted beluga whales by creating a sort of “fence” of saplings in shallow, muddy waters, trapping the mammals in low tide as they swim by.

In 1962, Michel Brault and a team of filmmakers travelled to the island to document the resumption of the practice decades after it had been abandoned, shedding light and wit on this “resourceful” tradition.

A balance of grace, humour, and up-close observation, Pour la suite du monde is known as a landmark achievement in documentary filmmaking and was screened at the Cannes film festival.

Directors

Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault

Writers

Michel Brault, Pierre Perrault

Producers

Jacques Bobet, Fernand Dansereau

Genre

Documentary

Interests

Classics, Environment, History

Original Language

French

Nobody Waved Good-bye

Director Don Owen
Year 1964
Run Time 80min
Genre Drama
Shot in just three weeks in Toronto, Don Owen’s film — which was originally intended to be a short documentary — quickly evolved into a fictional coming-of-age story that has enraptured audiences for decades with its honesty and emotional integrity.

Peter (Kastner) is an 18-year-old growing up in 1960s suburban Toronto who is totally fed up with his parents’ middle-class lifestyle. He’s on the verge of finishing high school but the thought of a conventional life climbing the corporate ladder is unbearable.

Peter yearns to strike out on his own with his girlfriend Julie, but a life of petty crime and poor decisions looms. Told in stark black and white, this tale of teenage rebellion is timeless and relatable.

One of the National Film Board’s first narrative features, Nobody Waved Good-bye is a cinematic treasure and a true Canadian classic.

Director

Don Owen

Writer

Don Owen

Cast

Peter Kastner, Julie Biggs, Claude Rae, Charmion King

Producers

Tom Daly, Roman Kroitor, Don Owen

Genre

Drama

Interests

Classics, Family Relationships

Original Language

English

La vie heureuse de Léopold Z (The Merry Life of Léopold Z)

Director Gilles Carle
Year 1965
Run Time 68min
Genre Comedy

On Christmas Eve, a snow plow operator (Guy L’Ecuyer) in Montreal is suddenly called upon to work in an unexpected snowstorm which becomes a problem as he has not finished his Christmas shopping. Determined to get all his gifts while continuing to clear the roads, Léopold has a series of comedic misadventures that become increasingly ridiculous as his time begins to run short.

Originally commissioned as an NFB documentary about snow clearing, director Gilles Carle creatively reframed it as a narrative film to create a unique blend of documentary and direct cinema that also cheekily comments on contemporary social and political issues. It won the Best Feature prize at the 1965 Montreal International Film Festival.

Director

Gilles Carle

Writer

Gilles Carle

Cast

Guy L'Écuyer, Paul Hébert, Suzanne Valéry

Producer

Jacques Bobet

Genre

Comedy

Interest

Classics

Original Language

French

Sitting in Limbo

Director John N. Smith
Year 1986
Run Time 95min
Genre Drama
In Montreal's West Indian community, Pat (Dillon) shares an apartment with two unmarried mothers on welfare and is naturally jaded on the subject of men. But she soon finds herself involved with the hopeless Fabian (Gibbs). A high-school dropout, Fabian doesn’t stand much of a chance in the job market. His work at a local warehouse lasts just long enough to launch them both on the road to economic disaster.

Boasting an infectious reggae score by Jimmy Cliff, the film was developed as part of the National Film Board’s Alternative Drama program, which placed non-professional actors in realistic situations. Issues including racism, poverty and teenage pregnancy are highlighted in what is also a very warm and pleasing film.

Sitting in Limbo achieved Honourable Mention for “its freshness and vitality” at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Director

John N. Smith

Smith’s credits include award-winning TV docudramas such as The Boys of St. Vincent, Dieppe and Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, as well as numerous feature films, including Dangerous Minds, A Cool Dry Place, Geraldine’s Fortune and Love & Savagery among others. Sitting in Limbo won the Best Canadian Feature Film award at TIFF 1986.

Writer

David Wilson

Cast

Pat Dillon, Fabian Gibbs, Sylvie Clarke

Producers

John N. Smith, David Wilson

Genre

Drama

Interests

BIPOC Stories, Classics, Discrimination, Global Experiences, Social Justice & Politics, Strong Female Leads

Original Language

English

Goin’ Down the Road

Director Donald Shebib
Year 1970
Run Time 90min
Genre Drama
Joey (Bradley) and Peter (McGrath) are best friends from a small town in Nova Scotia. With their seasonal work becoming scarce, they decide to pack up their meagre belongings and head west to Toronto, where they’re convinced better luck awaits them. Finding work at a soda bottling plant, the duo try to adjust to the decidedly different pace of life in the big city. A charming yet realistic portrait of a very Canadian experience, Goin’ Down the Road is known as one of Don Shebib’s finest films, and has landed on the Toronto International Film Festival’s Top 10 Canadian Films of All Time list for four decades in a row.

Director

Donald Shebib

Writers

William Fruet, Donald Shebib

Cast

Doug McGrath, Paul Bradley, Jayne Eastwood, Cayle Chernin

Producer

Donald Shebib

Genre

Drama

Interest

Classics

Original Language

English

John and the Missus

Director Gordon Pinsent
Year 1987
Run Time 100min
Genre Drama
The residents of a small town in Newfoundland are devastated when the local mine — their close-knit community’s only source of work — is closed. The government wants the workers to relocate, and without many other options to choose from, most accept the settlement they’re offered and prepare to move.

But one obstinate miner (Pinsent) refuses to accept this fate — or the meagre government payout — and with the support of his “Missus” (Burroughs), decides to dig in his heels and stay behind in a seemingly futile attempt to save his town… and his home.

Unfolding slowly with deep affection for life in this remote town, John and the Missus is a true Canadian classic and features a tour-de-force performance from Pinsent, who won a Genie Award for the role."

Director

Gordon Pinsent

Writer

Gordon Pinsent

Cast

Gordon Pinsent, Jackie Burroughs, Roland Hewgill

Producers

Jonathon M.B. Hunter, Peter O'Brian

Genre

Drama

Interest

Classics

Original Language

English

La femme de l’hôtel (A Woman in Transit)

Director Léa Pool
Year 1984
Run Time 89min
Genre Drama
Andrea Richler (Baillargeon) is a well-known director who returns to her hometown of Montreal to film a big-budget musical. At her hotel, she has an unsettling encounter with an elderly woman (Marleau). This encounter is forgotten until later, when we begin to realize that the events in this mysterious stranger’s life are somehow mirroring the fictional events of Andrea’s film.

Truth may indeed be stranger than fiction in this intriguing drama by one of Canada’s best female filmmakers. Winner of two Genies and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Best Canadian Feature Film award, this intimate and emotional film is sure to captivate.

Director

Léa Pool

Pool has earned three Genie Award nominations for Best Direction. Her films include Emporte Moi, Mouvements du désir, Lost and Delirious, La dernière fugue and the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. Her recent films include the doc Double Sentence and the features La passion d'Augustine and Et au pire, on se mariera.

Writers

Michel Langlois, Léa Pool, Robert Gurick

Cast

Paule Baillargeon, Serge Dupire, Louise Marleau, Marthe Turgeon, Gilles Renaud

Producer

Bernadette Payeur

Genre

Drama

Interests

Arts and Culture, Classics, Female Filmmaker

Original Language

French

The Great Toy Robbery

Director Jeff Hale
Year 1963
Run Time 6min
Genre Animation
On his annual Christmas journey, Santa Claus is stopped in the wild west by robbers looking to keep the toys for themselves.

Director

Jeff Hale

Genre

Animation

Interest

Classics

Original Language

English

The Big Snit

Director Richard Condie
Year 1983
Run Time 10min
Genre Animation, Comedy, Drama
A wonderfully wacky look at two conflicts - global nuclear war and a domestic quarrel - and how each is resolved. This classic animated short was nominated for an Oscar. 

Director

Richard Condie

Writer

Richard Condie

Producers

Richard Condie, Michael Scott

Genres

Animation, Comedy, Drama

Interests

Classics, Social Justice & Politics

Original Language

English

The Cat Came Back

Director Cordell Barker
Year 1988
Run Time 7min
Genre Animation, Comedy, Family
In this Oscar-nominated short, a humorous song tells the silly tale of a man who just can't get rid of an unwanted cat. 

Director

Cordell Barker

Writer

Cordell Barker

Cast

Richard Condie

Producers

Cordell Barker, Richard Condie

Genres

Animation, Comedy, Family

Interest

Classics

Original Languages

English, French