01 May 2008

Quote of the Day

There's a lot of talk in the media about the government's intention to scale back the funding it delivers to Canadian films. The Conservatives, being conservative, are naturally opposed to excessive violence, pornographic imagery, and other types of films that Canadians love to make and get paid by the government to make. The filmmaking industry is screaming censorship, an absurd charge when you consider that the Tories aren't talking about banning these movies; rather, they're talking about not funding them. If the films are such great ideas, surely these rich people can look to their rich friends to raise the money privately. I'm not overly supportive of government funding for any filmmaking, be it the most vile smut or your run-of-the-mill drama-comedy. The filmmakers are not doing any favours to their cause when they offer up blatantly contradictory statements. David Cronenberg has this gem of an offering:

"In essence, all Canadian filmmaking is independent filmmaking and we are very dependent on government money to have a film industry."

Nothing says indepedence like being heavily dependent upon the government to create something, eh?


Kate the Great said...

I thought this exact same thing when I heard Sarah Polley's arguments, but I had to hold off forming an opinion because I thought surely she wasn't saying what I thought she was. It just didn't make sense. As you said, there's a difference between actively stopping film makers from doing something on their own time, and just saying they aren't planning to fund it.

It almost seems as if the term "censorship" has taken on a much broader meaning to many people.

Glad you posted about this so I knew I wasn't just misunderstanding the situation.

RGM said...

It's either that, or we're both totally wrong. It's such a nanny state Canadian thing to say that if the government doesn't extend its financial hand, we can't make it. I realize that we're far removed from the alternate universe that is Hollywood, but you can honestly imagine Tom Cruise having to call up Washington to ask for some cash to make his latest movie? It's an absurd notion.
I'm firmly behind the notion that Bryan Adams put out a few years ago regarding the music industry: Canadian content is strong enough, or should be, that it can survive without government interference and/or regulation. He was referring to CRTC regulations mandating that a certain level (I believe 30%) of all music played on Canadian radio stations had to be Canadian. This is the reason we're saddled with terrible acts like the Barenaked Ladies and other truly mediocre music. If a product cannot survive on the market because it isn't strong enough to do so on its own compared to other products, that's the way she goes. The government should not have a hand in propping up mediocrity, and hopefully these restrictions being put in place will force Canadian filmmakers to examine what constitutes a quality product that people will want to watch so that we are treated to something with a little higher quality than what we currently get.

Kate the Great said...