A&E » Arts

Weird Sex and Snowshoes author discusses Canadian film



Who: Katerine Monk

Where: Whistler Public Library

When: March 25, 7 p.m.

You can get your fill of Canadian film not once but twice.

Vancouver Sun movie critic, and author, Katherine Monk presents ideas from her latest book, Weird Sex and Snowshoes and Other Canadian Film Phenomena (Raincoast), next week.

"Canadian movies have a lot of style, and they put their own subversive message in films that absorb patterns of mainstream Hollywood filmmaking," says Monk.

"The films then re-create these patterns, in a larger circle of self-affirmation."

American film production, with its emphasis on fantasy and glammed up violence, tends to portray a different take on daily life.

She argues that it is this uniqueness that flavours Canadian films.

"The process of this book was gathering all kinds of like terms in researching and interviewing, and looking at the variables that were consistent," she says.

Part of that process constantly raised issues of identity.

"We all grew up with the Beachcombers and other wholesome, Canadian entertainment. Canadian movies don’t have guns in them – and that’s a testament to their strength!"

The book was conceived by Monk to answer a series of questions she saw raised by the Canadian film canon. These questions include what is Canadian identity and how do our films compare with those realities south of the border.

From the documentary tradition to features like Men With Brooms, Canadians continue to make films that represent aspects of our identity.

The complex issue of how identity is found in our national film productions constantly weighed on Monk’s mind.

She examines how from "the abyss, the black hole of creative space and filmmaking," a new fiction and reality emerges amid the Canadian context.

Monk completed the graduate film program at UBC alongside members of the current film community, including Bruce Sweeney and Lynne Stopkewich.

Her goal was to write "the best book on Canadian film ever!," as part of a "non-academic take" on Canadian film.

To hear more about the maple leaf and the moving image, drop by the chat with the author.

Monk also appears at the Pemberton Public Library on March 26 at 7 p.m.; and the Squamish Public Library on March 27 at 7 p.m.