Former lawyer Bobby Myers recounts his first foray in the Canadian movie business circa 1979, when the then burgeoning Canadian movie industry was going through some growing pains. He ... See full summary »
Former lawyer Bobby Myers recounts his first foray in the Canadian movie business circa 1979, when the then burgeoning Canadian movie industry was going through some growing pains. He wanted his first project as producer to be told by Canadians about issues close to the Canadian heart. As such, he acquired the rights to Lantern Moon, a beloved Canadian novel written by Lindsay May Marshall. He quickly realized that producing a movie in Canada, especially in acquiring financing, required much compromise, most specifically casting a big name Hollywood star in the leading role. The star he signs, Michael Baytes, comes with much baggage. Those compromises lead to many problems between the Canadian vision and the want by some to make the movie more "American", especially by ultra-patriotic and paranoid Baytes. Through it all, filmmaker Sandy Ryan films it all, good and bad, for a "making of" documentary. But Sandy has her own agenda as she concurrently films her own lower budget movie ... Written by
Despite the fact that the screenplay was one of the most famous ever to circulate among insiders of the *real* Hollywood North, the movie still took an incredibly long time to get filmed - the screenplay was originally written in the mid '80s. There was a serious attempt to film it in 1987, but the plans were ultimately scrubbed. See more »
If God were Canadian, he would come down and destroy you and this production in a fiery apocalyptic rebuke!
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There's no doubt that the Canadian tax shelter filmmaking era could be satirized, but this movie doesn't support that. The movie doesn't really go into depth about the system - I suspect that many viewers (even Canadian) won't know anything about the era, and will be confused by some parts of the movie. (I was fortunate enough to know about the era and the Canadian film industry, so I was able to understand these parts.) Part of this can be blamed on the frequent hurried and rushed feeling of the movie - there is long narration at the beginning instead of showing us what the narrator tells us, for one thing. Movie has a poor sense of time - you never feel this is 1979, and at one point, snow starts falling in the area but later the events of the movie are happening in the late summer! What really sinks the movie are the portrayal of most of the characters. They are thin, but for the most part they are so goofy we can't believe what they do. The few characters that stay serious are good (John Neville does well as the past-his-prime director character), and we see that a movie that would have been more serious and done things that COULD and DID happen would be more engaging (and would probably be a lot more funny.) The movie is also hampered by a low budget that gives the movie a murky and dark look.
From the closing credits, it appears that the Canadian government (via the Telefilm Canada film funding agency) financed this movie. This movie is just one example of the millions of dollars Telefilm has spent in financing bad movies no one wants to see. What the Canadian industry really needs is a movie that will savagely attack Telefilm and its questionable practices.
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