In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HUMANITIES 521 which, as Wees delicately puts it, 'implicitly [I] emphasizes the cultural significance that words are likely to give to the images they accompany' (p 13), and Denyse Therrien writes a bad-tempered polemic about the sad state of the sociolinguistics of Quebecois scriptwriting since Gilles Carle proclaimed the death of'quebecitude' in 1977 (streetlanguage has yielded to antiseptic international forms). It is a mixed bag indeed, and one which probably portrays the isolated nature ofmuch film scholarshipin Canada. Itis inthe columns of Canadian Forum and Opsis, the new Canadian avant-garde/political magazine of cinema, that the knives are being sharpened and polemics are being actively played out. Perhaps the annual rites of the Film Studies Association ofCanada run the risk ofrecapitulating F.R. Scott's inimitable account ofwhen 'The Canadianauthors meet.' Butthenagain, things may go differently this year. (DAVID CLANDFIELD) Peter Morris. The Film Companion Irwin Publishing. 335 Whena bookappears purportingtobeafilm companion, one'smind turns to others in the genre. There is Liz-Anne Bawden's compilation The Oxford Companion to Film (Oxford 1976). This presented a broad, international perspective ·on film, the collaborative effort of almost fifty scholarly contributors, and has been matched more recently by the more than forty contributors to Richard Roud's Cinema: A Critical Dictionary (Secker and Warburg/Viking 1980). Then there is Leslie Halliwell's more personal Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, now in its eighth edition (Granada 1984) with its emphasis on British and American cinema. This is much more ofa quick reference book for enthusiasts and TV-film viewers, and incorporates such features as trivia quizzes, compilations of quotations, and a 'Hall of Fame.' There has been no shortage of such companions to Canadian film. In 1970 and 1974, Peter Morris edited the first two volumes of a three-part chronological list of Canadian Feature Films 1913-1969 (Canadian Film Archives, Canadian Filmography Series nos. 6 and 7). This series was of course limited only to year-by-year thumbnail deSCriptions of all known features. Eleanor Beattie produced two editions of a Handbook ofCanadian Film (Peter Martin Associates 1973 and 1977)' These combined a selective, alphabetical encyclopaedia of filmmakers designed for students of film with a series ofchapters making up a kind oftrade directory for film users. Finally, in French, Michel Houle and Alain Julien produced their Dictionnaire du cinema quebecois (Fides 1978). This companion, with its purely encyclopaedic format emphasizing films and filmmakers, along with institutional and thematic categories, most closely anticipated Morris's latest work. 522 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 What marks Morrisl s version of a Canadian film companion off from some ofits predecessors is that it combines a selective, personal approach (assisted by only a small band of helpers) with a scholarly concern for useful reference material. The entries on cineastes, which include directors, writers1 and most of the influential technical contributors to filmmaking (but not actors or actresses), provide not only a discursive biography and filmography, but also an up-to-date bibliography. Similarly , for individual films, in which are also listed film series such as Au Pays de Neufve France (Bonniere/Perraultl 1959-60) or the films specially made for pavilions at Expo 167, such CDC productions as The Mills of the Gods, Vietnam (Fox, 1965), and such TV series as CDC'S For the Record (1976 to the present) and such serials as Empire, Inc. (Arcand/Jackson, 1982/3), traditional plot synopses and brief critical comments are combined with the leading credits and references to interviews, reviews, articles, and awards received. Thematic entries include Animation, the Canadian Cooperation Project, Cinematography, Experimental Filmmakers, Genies, 'Maple Syrup Porno,' 'Mountie Films,' (Films on) October 1970, 'Quota Quickies,' and Screenwriting. The book concludes with a brief general bibliography, and a list of recently published filmscripts (all ten of which are French). It is not surprising, in view of the magnitude of the enterprise, that some of Morris's entries on feature films are minimal rewrites from his earlier catalogues from the Canadian Film Archives, but wher~ there has been renewed critical interest the entries have been appropriately updated, although the most recent revival of interest in the films of the short-lived Quebec film industry of...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 521-522
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.