A Canadian producer buys the film rights of a famous Canadian novel, Lantern Moon and wants it to reflect his home country. But he soon realizes that once Hollywood becomes involved, his Canadian vision has to take a back seat.
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 to circulate amongst 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 1980s. 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!
See more »
A mock documentary about a pair of Canadian producers, Bobby Myers (Matthew Modine) and Paul Linder (Saul Rubinek), trying to make their first film in the late 1970s. Hollywood North is the comic tale of their struggle to pull everything together, despite a number of conflicting threads.
Hollywood North works as a film in a way very similar to why This Is Spinal Tap (1984) works so well. Namely, although exaggerated in some ways, it is very close to the truth, and the truth consists of "behind the scenes" facts that are very different than the public face of the industry. It isn't easy to make a film, and it must have been especially difficult in Canada in the late 1970s. Films involve tens, if not hundreds, of people. Many have incompatible desires, motivations and personalities. Especially crucial are the financiers and the on-screen talent, as if either drops out or becomes undependable at any stage while the film is in production, it could jeopardize the whole affair, either necessitating extensive reshoots or abandoning the film altogether.
So it's not surprising that Hollywood North focuses on those kinds of relationships. The result is an excellent film that is both hilarious and tragic at the same time. The script is flawless and the performances are top notch. This is a must-see for any budding filmmaker and anyone with a serious interest in the craft of film-making. It should also be more than entertaining for any viewer with a modicum of intelligence and a sense of humor.
A 10 out of 10 from me.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this