Beyond the toques, hockey, and those ever-rampant igloos, Canada houses a veritable smorgasbord of media talent. Unfortunately, much of it migrates to the States and becomes part of the "They're Canadian!?" contingent -- including game show host Alex Trebek, and actors from Michael J. Fox to Fay Wray. Heck, even Jack Warner, co-founder of Warner Brothers, was born in London, Ontario. Yet on the northern side of the 49th parallel, a lot of talent still thrives. This is the inaugural post of Northern Exposures, a monthly column that will highlight great Canadian films you should check out, and the wider-recognized work they are similar to.
Film: The Saddest Music in the World
Director: Guy Maddin
Comparable to: David Lynch
The Saddest Music in the World might not be the most accessible film to throw at wide-release audiences, being a grainy, 8mm black and white film blown up for the big screen, but being the indie side of Cinematical, I can't help but start off with my favorite Canadian film. Before he wowed audiences with Brand Upon the Brain!, Guy Maddin concocted the movie he'd been waiting years to make – one with recognizable, real movie stars and a $3.5 million budget. While it sounds like dreary fare, Saddest Music is actually a quirky, almost fantastical satire about love, greed, pain, and the undeniable allure of show.