Thursday, February 13, 2014

Purple Mountains

One of my good friends, Cree troubadour Art Napoleon, just released a new video and I’m sharing it around.

Sharing it, not just because I think most of the people who drop by The Legion will like it.  But passing it around as an example of one of the rich motherlodes of talent in this country that is virtually ignored by Canada’s mainstream broadcasters.

Yeah, I know there are ghettoized services available for those who are LGBT or spiritually inclined or Aboriginal –- or even just female. But I’ve never understood exactly why.

It can’t be because people who share those traits are the only ones who want to watch that stuff. Because that’s not true of either the audience or the programming.

Maybe it’s because they attract small audiences, although they still quite often exceed the numbers for the early evening hours on CBC or every major network’s dedicated news service.

And with almost none of our specialty cable channels pretending to adhere to the subject matter that qualified them for their licenses anymore, it strikes me that there’s got to be room for that now closeted surfeit of talent in what’s considered the mainstream.

At least it would be better than the endless re-runs on platform after platform or using them mostly as dumping grounds for B-Grade American series and movies instead of original work.

When “The Unbundling” comes, those niche channels could well be the first to fall. Maybe CBC too if Strombo and that Q guy continue to spend most of their time hyping talent that isn’t homegrown.

As Art says, “time to burn those wagons down” –- and start doing what our broadcast industry was built to do –- tell Canadian Stories to Canadians. Which means including all of us…doesn’t it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Take Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises". Please.

Jason Reitman may very well be considered biased, but as he said comparing "Juno" with "Eastern Promises":

"Why aren't we eligible for a Genie when David Cronenberg's film (Eastern Promises), which was about Russians living in London and shot in England with a British crew and British cast, is eligible?"

Apparently, its all about funding.

According to my intellectual superiors (just ask them), American money paying for a Canadian movie is bad, but Canadian money (i.e., taxpayers, i.e, mine) paying for a British movie is good.

Jim, let me know the next time you're up in Muskoka, I can show you Robert Lantos' island on Little Lake Joe...