This film would become arguably the most well-known NFB production of all time, boasting more than 77, theatrical bookings worldwide by In the late s, Munro departed from the NFB again, this time to pursue an animation career in England. McLaren and Munro also collaborated on Canon in Munro made the trick film Toys in and the anti-smoking comedy Ashes of Doom in , for which he once again played the leading role. He collaborated with McLaren again from to , on the Animated Motion series, a five-part introduction to basic film animation techniques. Douglas Roche The Strength of Peace.
Adam Symansky Donald Brittain: Writer, filmmaker, storyteller. Working with Brittain Working with Donald Brittain was an adventure. You never knew what each day would bring, and he was a man who believed in the gods of documentary. He knew that on the days when those gods were smiling down on him, magic would happen. But he was also a man who loved to play games. With his love of the military, he would assign rank to his crew and send them off to battle. He recognized the value of games in the creative process.
He was a generous filmmaker and was confident enough to accept suggestions from anybody. It's not that he wouldn't be critical, but if you came up with a good idea, he'd use it.
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And give you full credit. Donald understood that documentary films are made in the cutting room. Every day, he'd go into the editing room and attempt to create structure for his vast amount of footage. And while he was open to suggestions, no one ever knew what direction he planned to take. In those days, all the cutting was done on actual negatives. He'd constantly be going back over his work, and with the most sincere apologies to his cutter, he would insert and remove frames up until the last minute to get the best possible film.
Brittain was a diehard Canadian and that coloured all of his work. He knew every stop the CP line made from Montreal to Vancouver. He loved to tackle Canadian history, but only through biography. He wanted to mythologize Canada, and he understood that the best way to do that was through character. He also felt it was his responsibility to punch holes in self-inflated people. So much so that it became a running theme in his films. Writer first, filmmaker second Brittain was a writer first and a filmmaker second.
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While a shot was being set up, he'd wander off and mumble lines of narration under his breath. He was always trying to work out how to tie everything together, constantly writing the script in his head. He used to spend late nights in the office, working at his typewriter until the words came out just right. And they had to be his words.
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Heaven forbid he should open a thesaurus. And even though writing didn't always come easily to him, he was good at it. He could paint a scene with words to the extent that you could hear it, smell it. Filmmaking didn't come as naturally to him. In fact, it took 8 or 9 years at the Board before he made a good film. He was hired at the NFB to write the narration for the Canada at War series, and that's where he learned his craft.
After that he made Fields of Sacrifice, which is just a brilliant set of poems. Once he got into the groove of making good films, he had a process that was all his own. He would do tons of research, but in the most bizarre way possible. He'd take out books having to do with the period he was filming, but never on the actual subject itself. He was after the surrounding aspects of the story, the historical context in which his story played out.
The catch? He rarely did his own research. Rather, he had trusted colleagues and friends do it for him while he read the sports pages… or the comics. Personal favourites One of Brittain's favourite films was Volcano, not only because it got such a big reaction, but because he could identify with Malcolm Lowry. He understood alcoholism. Brittain drank. Sometimes he tried to hide it, but sometimes he was quite open about it. One time, he walked into his hotel room, pointed to a table in the entranceway that housed two bottles of scotch and said, "That's the sign of an alcoholic.
You always want to have an unopened bottle, just in case. Paperland was his way of exacting revenge on an executive producer here at the NFB, while On Guard for Thee, he felt, said something profound about Canada.
- Memories of a Farm.
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It was a cautionary tale about loving your police force too much and giving them too much power. As he says in the film, "When everything's secure, no man is safe. Despite the many years, and many films Brittain directed for the NFB, he never took a job here. He felt if he was tenured, he'd be less creative. He loved baseball, cards and the track too much. He felt that if he had a salary, he would disappear easily into the sidelines of life and never make another film.
He had seen it happen to his friends, and he didn't want to follow in that path. So instead, he trudged on and made film after film after film. And as film lovers, we're all the better for it.
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With the launch of the book Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada, as well as this continually expanding online playlist, we, the editors of the book, are delighted to connect works such as The Ballad of Crowfoot, The Children of Fogo Island and VTR St-Jacques with literature that examines their artistry and politics. He left the National Film Board shortly after I arrived but I wish I had had the chance to talk to him about his magnificent films.
My first contact with his work was the film Cry of the Wild, which I saw over 30 years ago at a movie theatre in Montreal. I remember the word of mouth for it was incredible. There were television ads promoting it, and all the kids in my neighbourhood were dying to see it. But Bill Mason is so much more than Cry of the Wild, even though it is the film that he is most often associated with. Born in Winnipeg, Mason worked as a commercial artist before joining the staff of Crawley films in Ottawa, where he contributed to the animated TV series Tales of the Wizard of Oz.
In the early s Mason photographed several sequences of an adaptation of Holling C. Holling's children's book Paddle to the Sea. The NFB saw this footage and invited Mason to make a film. The rest, as they say, is history. Mason worked at the NFB for 20 years he would occasionally take a sabbatical to paint , creating a multitude of films that highlighted his love of the outdoors.
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Il supervisa et cautionna l'assassinat de Juifs et le viol de femmes juives [H 38]. Reitlinger ou de R. Collaboration juive sous le nazisme. Travaux de recherche en histoire. He received his B. Yale awarded him the Henry Fellowship for graduate study at Cambridge University , where he received his M.
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