Movie Night in Canada: Patterson's Wager director recommends Patricia Rozema's White Room

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      With Canada Day coming up on Friday (July 1), it's an appropriate time to get into gear by watching some Canadian cinema.

      You may have recently watched director Patricia Rozema's latest film Into the Forest, starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, in a tale of two sisters who must survive on their own in their house isolated in the woods.

      Of course, Rozema has quite a body of work, including her quriky 1987 dramedy I've Heard the Mermaids Singing.

      Former UBC screenplay professor Peggy Thompson highlighted that film for one of our Pride edition installments of Movie Night in Canada last year.

      This year, another person we consulted for a Movie Night in Canada chose another Rozema film, which speaks to the power of her work.

      Patterson's Wager writer-director O. Corbin Saleken

      O. Corbin Saleken previously gave us a recommendation for Bruce McDonald's Cancon classic Hard Core Logo.

      But Saleken, who directed Patterson's Wager (which just came out on VOD and streaming on June 7), had a tough time choosing just one film.

      He also chose Rozema's 1990 feature film White Room.  The film stars Maurice Godin, Kate Nelligan, and Sheila McCarthy (who also starred in I've Heard the Mermaids Singing).

      Patricia Rozema's White Room

      Here's what Saleken had to say about the film:

      Patricia Rozema’s White Room is an uncategorizable film that mesmerized me when I stumbled across it on VHS some time back in the '90s. It’s ostensibly about a voyeur (Maurice Godin) who witnesses the murder of a famous singer (played by Margot Kidder).  He decides to attend her funeral, and it’s there that he sees a mysterious woman—played by a magnetic Kate Nelligan—with whom he becomes enthralled. Honestly, though, no plot synopsis can adequately describe this beautifully stylized, cinematic oddity. It probably shouldn’t work, given all the seemingly disparate elements, but it does. I couldn’t turn away. Rozema’s wholly original world reflects its characters’ heightened emotions and places the viewer in a constant state of discovery.
      Patricia Rozema's White Room

      In the meantime, if you can't find a copy of White Room, there are plenty of Canadian films to check out at the First Weekend Club's Canada Screens website.

      Stay tuned for more as we rapidly approach Canada Day celebrations.