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 ...
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Guy J. Louthan
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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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"Hollywood North" is an euphemism from the movie industry as they went to Canada to make movies because of tax breaks and cheaper costs in a civilized city like Toronto, in this case, later in Vancouver. Peter O'Brian, the director, probably saw a lot of the invaders from California that this movie seems to be the right way to deal with the arriving personalities trying to capitalize on the economics that Canada presented.
Needless to say, "Moon Lantern", the successful novel written by a Canadian author is turned into "Flight to Bogota", which has nothing to do with the original film. A great egotistical has-been, Michael Baytes, who is obsessed with what is happening in Iran, is offered the lead part, which turns to be a disaster.
The film seems to be saying that too many cooks have spoiled the broth, which seems to be the case with the ultimate product, which is saved by its producer, Bobby Myers. With the help of Sandy Ryan, who has been around making a documentary of the film being shot in Toronto, parts of the film are transformed into a cohesive movie at last.
The filming process is hilarious, and the acting, in general, is good.
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