Thank you for checking out our
first issues. The Rabbit Review is designed to promote
critical thinking and analysis on contemporary film.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the journal is
our contributing writers-- our reviews represent
the best student work submitted for Writing 412:
Topics in Film at the University of Victoria. We
of the work presented herein. Take a look around
and tell us what you think.
A Message From The Editor
Can Con Blues
Oh, the conundrum of Canadian film! Why does the
average Canadian show disdain and often complete
ignorance when it comes to Canadian Cinema? Perhaps
I should be more specific: the challenge is English Canadian
Cinema. Québec has never had a problem
finding an audience for local films and, I’d
argue, the best Canadian Cinema is, in fact, Québecois
(Mon Oncle Antoine, Les Invasions barbares).
Last year, the Quebécois film C.R.A.Z.Y. was
neck and neck at the Québec box office with Harry
With American media conglomerates controlling over
95% of Canadian screens it’s no surprise that
the average Canadian never watches homegrown movies.
It’s not that there aren’t critically
acclaimed and even fun Canadian films out there— I’d
argue that per capita, our batting average is as
good as, if not better, than Hollywood’s. We
just need an audience.
Though US ownership of Canadian screens is a challenge,
distribution and promotion lie at the core of the
current dilemma. The marketplace is never blind to
the power of the dollar— if Canadian films
turn a profit, Cineplex Odeon will screen them. But
with the pittance spent on marketing local cinema,
English Canadian films are doomed to gather dust
in the corner of your local Blockbuster.
Many argue that the phenomenal global success of
Canadian recording artists can be traced back to
Canadian Content regulations. Could screen quotas
help our ailing English Canadian film scene? The
idea of quotas surfaces every decade. This time around
Coalition for the Protection of Canadian Films is at the helm,
but it seems the time for quotas has come and gone.
The Canadian government should
have taken action back in the 1920s when England
instituted a 20% quota on domestic screens. In the
era of soft wood lumber woes, screen quotas are unlikely
to be tolerated in the global (read US) marketplace.
In 1987, US interests loathed the idea of tariffs
and quotas so much that
the Film Products Importation Bill (from the
desk of Federal Communications Minister Flora MacDonald)
was seen as a potential NAFTA deal-breaker— and
promptly squashed with help from MPAA president
Instituting quotas without a massive increase in
the successful marketing of Canadian films will backfire.
Unless we promote these films, nobody will go see
them. Canadian culture shouldn’t be bad for
Perhaps there are modest, more Canadian solutions
that can tip the balance. What if you saw a friendly
red maple leaf on the marquee of your local Cineplex?
Would you consider buying a ticket for an unknown
Canuck film if Lord of the Rings was sold out? Production
is booming in Canada thanks to federal and provincial
tax credit incentive programs. How can we use similar
incentives to boost promotion of Canadian films?
How about tax credits for theatres and broadcasters
airing Canadian trailers?
The Rabbit Review Issue #2 explores the best in recent
Canadian film. Though the box office numbers are
dismal, these writers contend that it may just be
a matter of time before English Canadian Cinema stands
its ground alongside Can Lit and the Canadian music
And if you’ve made it this far, then join the
First Weekend Club
to keep abreast of the latest Canadian releases.