This week 10 Canadian directors got an early holiday present.
In a year that lacked big releases like Water or A History Of Violence, Cinematheque's Tuesday-night announcement of its Canada's Top 10 list for 2006 is, as usual, controversial.
The questionable choices include Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn's The Journals Of Knud Rasmussen, which managed to please nobody during its limited run last fall or as the prestigious opener at TIFF.
Another iffy choice is Trailer Park Boys The Movie, which came and went as quickly as the trio's unemployment cheques. Strangely, higher-profile films like The Rocket and Bon Cop Bad Cop are missing from the list. Beats me.
But good to include such brilliant docs as Jennifer Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes (still playing at the Carlton, as well as one night this week at the Fox) and Gary Burns and Jim Brown's Radiant City, which I hope gets a commercial release before its inevitable TV broadcast.
The Top 10 nod should also help Reg Harkema's Monkey Warfare, which reopens Toronto's Royal Cinema this week. (See our review, page 94.)
And it definitely won't hurt the tentative spring release of Sarah Polley's feature directing debut, Away From Her, which got people buzzing about major awards when it debuted at TIFF.
Here's the full list:
AWAY FROM HER - Sarah Polley
CONGORAMA - Philippe Falardeau
THE JOURNALS OF KNUD RASMUSSEN - Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn
MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES - Jennifer Baichwal
MONKEY WARFARE - Reginald Harkema
RADIANT CITY - Gary Burns and Jim Brown
SHARKWATER - Rob Stewart
SUR LA TRACE D'IGOR RIZZI - Noël Mitrani
TRAILER PARK BOYS THE MOVIE - Mike Clattenburg
UN DIMANCHE À KIGALI - Robert Favreau
Tickets for the Canada's Top 10 screenings, which run January 26 to February 4 and include panels and Q&As, are on sale now at 416-968-FILM.