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2011 Holiday Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our 2011 holiday giveaway–we have sifted through your e-mails and are ready to announce the winners!

Congrats to grand prize winner Josh Marler, who gets their top film list published next week. He also picks up the NFB’s new CANADA VIGNETTES: A LOVE STORY DVD, featuring 36 classic Canadian shorts from the 1970s and ’80s, plus Retro Films Entertainment‘s mob mockumentary THE NOTORIOUS NEWMAN BROTHERS: RUBBED OREGANO EDITION. Stay tuned for his picks in as a special reader edition of CanFilm Five!

Our runner-up is  Andrew Hovi, who also grabs copies of CANADA VIGNETTES: A LOVE STORY and THE NOTORIOUS NEWMAN BROTHERS. Andrew’s favourite film is  the seasonally appropriate BLACK CHRISTMAS:

“Bob Clark essentially created the slasher genre, while making a film that still stands up today. Suspense, tension, gore, Black Christmas has it all, and few films have been able to match it. Mandatory viewing for horror and film fans alike. “

Finally,  Matt Rauch will receive a copy of Barry J Gillis’ mind-bending WICKED WORLD . Matt’s pick is Michael Dowse’s latest, GOON, which hits theatres in the new year:

“I saw GOON at TIFF this year and it was fantastic. It was most likely the funniest movie I’ve seen at TIFF ever and it had great hockey action and mustaches! The chemistry between Allison Pill and Sean William Scott was sweet and the hockey players were all very funny stereotypes. The movie really involved you in the sport of hockey–not just the glossy NHL-type play, but the Men’s league. The beer drinking, old equipment, foul-mouthed hockey that I grew up with in rural Ontario.”

Special thanks to the NFB, Retro Films Entertainment and Barry J. Gillis for the prizes. Watch for more giveaways in the future!

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Holiday DVD Giveaway: We Want Your CanFilm Five

GIVEAWAY TIME! Since we launched the Canuxploitation blog in July, we’ve posted more than a dozen top 5 lists by filmmakers, writers, programmers cult film know-it-alls and all around cool people. But now here’s your chance to let other Canadian film fans know your personalized picks and score some awesome DVD prizes while you’re at it! 

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CanFilm Five: Cinema Sewer’s Robin Bougie

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

Vancouver, BC-based writer and artist Robin Bougie has been writing and drawing CINEMA SEWER magazine since 1997, a hilarious, incredible and unapologetically smutty film zine with
a gleeful handwritten focus on classic exploitation / porn / horror / weirdness. His brand new book, CINEMA SEWER VOL.3, is now available from FAB Press, and if you order this brand new 200-page collection directly from Robin before December 15, he will spend an entire hour drawing you a dirty original drawing on the inside front cover! Pure madness. Visit Robin’s (very NSFW) blog to see the personalized drawings he’s already done for others in their books.

For this edition of CanFilm Five, Robin selects CINEMA SEWER’S five favourite Canadian documentaries.

Robin: What with the NFB and the grand Canuck tradition of gritty independent cinema, Canadian documentary film making, especially that of the 1970s and ’80s (my most cherished moment in movie history) is absolutely in a class by itself. I find it to be something of a cryin’ shame that more people aren’t aware of how enthralling many of these movies are, and instead confuse Canadian documentaries from this era with those dull, washed out “Hinterland who’s who” shorts that played on CBC back in the day. I guess one can’t be too surprised, however, seeing as many of these gems are obscure, out of print, or have simply never been easily available on any home format.

Being as I publish CINEMA SEWER magazine, my list has a definite unashamed skew towards the more tawdry side of life. Prostitution, porn, nudism, crazy stuntmen and wacky comic books are present, accounted for, and ready to entertain your eyelids off.

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Book Review: Don Owen: Notes on a Filmmaker and His Culture

Finding a new home for older material — This book review originally appeared on Canuxploitation in 2006. Full disclosure: I have known Steve personally since about 2004.

Don Owen: Notes on a Filmmaker and His Culture
Steve Gravestock, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (2006)

Don Owen’s debut feature, 1964’s Nobody Waved Good-bye, is often credited as the first modern English-Canadian film. Although readers of this site know that a handful of films made before this landmark effort, there is no denying that the off-the-cuff juvenile delinquency tale of Nobody Waved Good-bye is in many ways a culmination of those previous low-budget movies, and one of the most important Canadian films ever made.

In his new book, a monograph of Don Owen, TIFF programmer Steve Gravestock traces the CanFilm pioneer’s lengthy career, from his early NFB shorts to his final 1987 feature, Turnabout. Focusing on the director’s iconoclastic stance towards the Canadian film industry and his exploration of the role of the artist in society, the book offers an in depth analysis of Owen’s entire oeuvre, right down to industrial shorts and TV episodes he shot for the CBC. It’s an exhaustively thorough read, but it’s also quite compelling, with special attention paid to his early masterpiece Nobody Waved Good-bye and Partners, an elusive film often considered to be his best work.

Because Owen made Canadian films for more than twenty years, his history mirrors the birth of the industry itself, and Gravestock is careful to connect Owen’s films to the overall state of the industry, providing fascinating details about the NFB’s infamous Unit B, the behind-the-scenes power plays that shaped Canadian film throughout the 1960s and the financial realities of making films in the tax shelter days. With six features and numerous shorts under his belt, Owen is one of the directors to survive the constant booms and busts of the industry to emerge as an unsung hero. As the first book-length critical assessment of Owen, Don Owen: Notes on a Filmmaker and His Culture is a well-written, long-overdue tome that finally gives the man and his films the respect they deserve. Recommended for all those interested in the birth of the current Canadian film scene.