Okay, so we haven't run Movie Night in Canada as regularly as we wanted to, with things like covering the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival, and life basically getting in the way.
But here's a new installment since we're on the topic of Canadian film already. And it's seasonally appropriate.
The latest recommendation for an overlooked, underrated, or obscure Canadian cinematic gem is from Mark Leiren-Young, a Georgia Straight contributor in addition to being a screenwriter and playwright.
His cinematic pick is John Juliani's 1982 film Latitude 55°, which he describes as "a moody, broody, atmospheric Atom Egoyan-esque movie made before Atom was in high school".
In the film, a class-conscious government worker is on her way home from an assignment in northern Alberta when she becomes stranded on a highway during a blizzard. When a potato farmer saves her by taking her to a rundown shack, they spend two days and nights where they exchange stories and learn about each other and themselves.
Here's what he had to say about it:
It’s a Canadian Gothic two-hander about an Ottawa bureaucrat played by Andrée Pelletier who gets caught in a storm in Northern Alberta where she’s rescued by a farmer played by August Schellenberg. It’s directed by John Juliani, written by Juliani and Sharon Riis, produced by Donna Wong-Juliani, and won five Genie Awards back in 1982. True quirky Canadiana.
Andrée Pelletier also cowrote the 1985 film The Peanut Butter Solution while Schellenberg has starred in films such as Black Robe and Free Willy, as well as Leiren-Young's The Green Chain.
Unfortunately, there isn't much information or a trailer available for Latitude 55° online so aside from this being an intriguing piece of cinematic trivia or a memory-jogger, this is one you may have to go on the hunt for.
In the meantime, Leiren-Young also wanted to give a shout-out to the First Weekend Club's Canadian video-on-demand service Canada Screens, which he's a fan of. As luck would have it, they're offering a selection of 12 titles for only 99 cents for their 12 Days of Christmas seasonal promotion.
So that's all for this installment of Movie Night in Canada. Hopefully we'll have another one on the way…sometime soon.