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Manufactured Landscapes

Canada On Screen: Documentaries
Canada 2006. Dir: Jennifer Baichwal. 90 min. 35mm

FREE SCREENING | Jennifer Baichwal’s devastatingly beautiful film, lensed by the gifted cinematography Peter Mettler, was named Best Canadian Feature at TIFF and won the Genie Award for Best Documentary. It profiles celebrated Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, known for his large-scale studies of industrial vistas, as he works on a project in China, shooting slag heaps, a massive factory, and the epic disruption caused by the Three Gorges Dam. “The film is far more than a straightforward portrait of an artist. Landscapes is as much about the aesthetic, social, and spiritual dimensions of industrialization and globalization as it is about Burtynsky and his work. The film focuses on the human cogs in the machine, the tedium the workers endure, the something toxic and alienating impact on the people these efforts are supposed to benefit ... Manufacture Landscapes is a truly unsettling look at contemporary existence” (Steve Gravestock, Toronto I.F.F.)


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Canada On Screen: Documentaries

Canada 1954. Dir: Colin Low. 11 min. DCP

FREE SCREENING | A milestone in Canadian cinema, Colin Low’s rule-breaking actuality film, produced by the National Film Board as part of its “Canada Carries On” series (presenting stories of Canadian life to Canadians) is one of NFB’s most honoured works. Shot at the Alberta ranch where Low, then 27, was raised, Corral offers a lyrical portrait of a cowboy “breaking” a horse. Its lovely images are set to a gentle, evocative guitar score; in a radical break with NFB documentary orthodoxy at the time, there is neither narration nor a didactic message. Wolf Keonig’s fresh hand-held cinematography itself departed from familiar Hollywood depictions of cowboys. Tom Daly, another NFB legend, edited.

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