Hot Docs: The National Parks Project [2011, 2 Many Directors]

national parks project

Toronto – 2011 marks the centennial birthday of Canada’s National Parks. In order to celebrate this birthday, 13 filmmakers were commissioned to create short films that captured Canada’s majestic landscapes in art form. The directors in question were Louise Archambault, Keith Behrman, Daniel Cockburn, Hubert Davis, Sturla Gunnarsson, Zacharias Kunuk, Stéphane Lafleur, Peter Lynch, Catherine Martin, Kevin McMahon, Scott Smith, Jamie Travis and John Walker. Each of them would represent a province or territory and create a vignette about that particular landscape that was to incorporate both visual and if need be, audio elements. Sarah Harmer, Sam Roberts, Melissa Auf Du Maur (who I always seem to see at airports) and Casey Mecija were among the artists involved in the project, which is also featured on Discovery television.

Seeing how this entire film was based on collaboration, I decided to do the same, and collaborate with my fellow twitter and facebook friends on this review. I guess the only difference is that I don’t have their consent. HAHAHAHA. So without further delay, here are some twitter reactions:

Much like a fourteen year old teenager, twitter overreacts to everything and so I think the criticism of the film were a bit harsh. With a running time north of two hours, The National Parks Project runs long, and when you give 13 different artists free reign to produce something to their liking, you have to expect a mixed result. I found the National Parks Project to be an uneven collaboration that created a roller coaster ride of a film. There were some exceptional moments, filled with great music, great footage and astounding shots that showed just how beautiful Canada is. However, these exceptional moments were bogged down by seemingly pretentious vague artsy moments by some directors trying to be overly creative. With nothing to drive the film besides music and imagery, these moments weigh down the film significantly and given it’s two hour running time, seem to extend the film even longer. It’s sad to say, but these moments are ones that will dominate the conversation in the end. Perhaps the discovery channel portion of this project, which see it broken down into different episodes, is a better outlet for this type of collaboration.

Posted on by Ricky in Hot Docs

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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