Canadian films don't just waltz into your local megaplex theatre; they usually sneak in the back way, often to your video store, if at all.
International film festivals offer a brief glimpse into films from across the world, and Canada. Even within international film festivals, Canadian films don't get a whole lot of light on them.
This year's Chicago version is a great example. You could find films from around the world, but only 2 true Canadian films. Well, maybe 3 if you count one that dealt with immigration and cultural clashes from their previous country.
"Heartbeats" is the second film from Xavier Dolan. Ironically, the Chicago festival carried Dolan's first one. Gay and Montréal play heavily in Dolan's work. In "Heartbeats," the love triangle meets at the apex, a young man been pursued by Dolan (gay) and his female friend (straight).
We don't know through the film which way the person of their desire goes, and that is part of the story. The movie is cute enough; we don't get to see enough of Montréal, but what little we see is cool.
"Twice a Woman" is also shot in Quebec in French (yes, both movies have English subtitles). But after starting in Montréal, the movie shifts to rural Quebec. The basic story is that a woman is in an abusive marriage. She runs away with her teenage son to a distant town, much smaller and more laid-back than their Montréal home.
This was a powerful movie that conveys a wide variety of emotions. Of the two movies, this one was better.
I am hoping to make up for the lack of Canadian cinema but taking in the Windsor International Film Festival. "Trigger" (with Molly Parker) and "Daydream Nation" (with Kat Dennings) have a lot of buzz from the Toronto International Film Festival, and both will play in Windsor. I hope to have a report on these and other Canadian films when I get back.
The Windsor International Film Festival takes place November 4-7.