Own the Box Office

There’s a lot being made these days of the Olympics in this country. Canadian sports organizations got together a few years back and created the “Own the Podium” initiative to, among other things, give us a sense of pride or ownership, if you will, over our top athletes. It’s been enough to make a few visiting nations bristle a little bit during these 2010 Winter Games so all signs point to it working so far.

My question is, can we hire these guys to do the same for the Canadian film industry? Would that be possible? Could we Own the Box Office?

It’s okay, it’s okay… This is not a rant. Not at all actually. It’s a battle cry.

I was driving into town today to one of our blessed socialize film industry functions when I spied something poke itself out of the car in front of me. Amid the blowing snow and splashing slush the passenger in the car ahead of me was rolling down their window and erecting a full sized Canadian flag at the end of a sturdy pole. No doubt a symbol, at that moment, of support for our athletes. What would it take, I thought to myself, to see that kind of dedication, enthusiasm and obscene patriotism for a Canadian movie?

I found the answer over muffins and juice at the film thing later that morning. So allow me to take you inside the hallowed halls of today’s Canadian cinema glitterati. Behind the curtain. Into the mindscape of this country’s next generation of filmmakers… The answer is: We have to make better movies.

Wait! Let me rephrase!

We have to make movies people actually want to see.

Okay, that actually sounds even more insulting to our forefathers of cinema but, please, don’t shoot the messenger. It’s the truth. It’d be really easy just to blame the public. Try to argue that if they’d just blindly wave a flag to support us the same way they support… speed skating or whatever, then we’d be getting somewhere. Do more people really want to watch speed skating than see a Canadian film?

Yes! They do! Why? Because it’s fun. It’s got excitement and tight clothing and it’s shot in HD - it’s the whole package.

Last weekend I saw a new film. A new Canadian film but not a Canadian film if you know what I mean. It’s called The Wild Hunt. It’s a crazy, funny, shocking, twisted and dare I say thought-provoking movie. Okay forget I said that last part. That part’s not important right now. You want to be entertained, I want to be entertained, this movie will entertain the hell out of you. And that’s what’s been lacking. The Wild Hunt comes out in a limited release in April.

Go see it. It is the beginning. Forget what you know. There’s a storm brewing in the Great White North. Own it.

T

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