Saturday, January 24, 2009


A couple of Canadian Icons collided in the public consciousness this weekend. First, the National Film Board of Canada put its massive archive of Canadian films online. And tonight, the NHL all-Star game will be played in Montreal in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the leagues most successful franchise, the Montreal Canadiens (French Spelling).

For most Canadian kids, films by the National Film Board are among the first movies we're exposed to. Their award winning animations are all over our Kids channels and pretty much any documentary we see in school comes from the NFB vault.

And similarly, most Canadians who've witnessed one of our home teams winning a Stanley Cup saw "Les Canadiens" do it. Because in those 100 years, they've hoisted the championship trophy an astonishing 24 times.

So, of course the paths of these two local institutions have crossed more than once. This week, I'd like to give you a taste of that mix of art and sport.

Two short films from the NFB are embedded below. For the full effect, click the "Full Screen" button.

The opener is Roch Carrier's "The Sweater", maybe the best reminiscence of a kid's relationship with a sports hero ever written.

And to close out this double feature, "Here's Hockey" a beautifully shot mini-documentary from 1953 narrated by Danny Gallivan, the voice of the Canadiens when I was a kid. For every fan of hockey's Golden era and any lover of film, the NFB archives have got goodies galore.

Enjoy your Sunday.

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