One of the most obvious applications is that the USA is funding the production of the films. They do a good job of funding them, although they only fund US productions and not Canadian ones. However, the Canadian Film Centre does not seem to think that the Canadian film industry merits its funding; as one Canadian Film Centre spokesman told me, “There is not even enough for a Canadian film.”
Canadians often complain that the USA has a strong bias against Canada, but why would it? The main reason, apparently, is that most movie-makers are reluctant to work in the USA. They are also concerned about American influence and a sense of national isolation. But why?
The truth is that the USA has always been a very poor market for Canadian film-makers, and has only recently increased its market share in the industry (particularly as Canadian film-makers were encouraged to go overseas after the movie-makers complained about the US-imposed “blockbuster” film quotas in the 1970s and have gone abroad since). More significantly, Canadian film-makers see the USA as a poor producer of movies in general, where they are not likely to have any direct commercial impact, while American film makers see it as their only viable market for film-making. The USA tends to have a much more active government than Canada does, whereas Canadian films are often subsidized by the government (to an extent) and have to compete on a wider scale than American films without getting support or being permitted to produce their own films.
In short, Canadian filmmakers usually look to an inferior market place for the production of films such as “The Great Canadian Steampunk Adventure,” a film made during the early 1980s and distributed in the USA only on VHS.
Is “The Great Canadian Steampunk Adventure” a better movie than “American Horror Story” but for the USA’s own reasons? That would seem not. Even if we accepted that a Canadian film is not an American movie, is it a bad movie? After all, it has to have some Canadian elements in order to be considered an “American movie.” What we seem to be witnessing is a “great Canadian cinema.”
Is “American Horror Story” a better movie than “A Very English Nightmare” from 1987, but for the USA? Does “American Psycho,” a film from the 1970s, make any sense at all for the USA at present (although it did at one time seem to be an excellent movie)? Is “Dirty Harry” a good movie
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