Canadian Film Movie Marathons: Binge these great Canadian films (and snacks)!

June 19, 2018

Don’t limit yourself. Picking just one great Canadian film to watch is a mighty challenge. Put those bingeing skills to use and plan a marathon! We asked film critics and writers across Canada to give us their top picks for a marathon AND the munchies they suggest stocking up on.


Let’s kick it off with the Toronto Star’s Peter Howell and his diverse marathon, which includes documentaries, hard-hitting dramas and a classic hoser comedy:

  •      STORIES WE TELL (2012, dir. Sarah Polley)
  •      KANEHSATAKE: 270 YEARS OF RESISTANCE (1993, dir. Alanis Obomsawin)
  •      ATANARJUAT: THE FAST RUNNER (2002, dir. Zacharias Kunuk)
  •      STRANGE BREW (1983, dir. Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas)
  •      INCENDIES (2010, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

On snacks, Peter says: “Anybody who puts down ‘something healthy’ is lying, and should be forced to read old copies of Hansard.” Avoid that fate by grabbing Peter’s recommendations: caramel corn and Twizzlers.


The Globe and Mail’s Barry Hertz would screen these films, in no particular order:

  •      OPERATION AVALANCHE (2016, dir. Matthew Johnson)
  •      STORIES WE TELL (2012, dir. Sarah Polley)
  •      VIDEODROME (1983, dir. David Cronenberg)
  •      INCENDIES (2010, dir. Denis Villeneuve)
  •      MON ONCLE ANTOINE (1971, dir. Claude Jutra)

In an attempt to remix stereotypically Canadian food choices, Barry suggests nachos topped with poutine and popcorn mixed with Timbits. He said: “I’m sure that sounds disgusting, but you won’t know until you try!” We don’t know if anyone would be brave enough to, Barry!


Producer-in-Residence at The Canadian Film Centre, Greg Klymkiw, put together an all-female-directed marathon and proposes watching them in this order, with Ukrainian garlic sausage from Tenderloin Meats in Winnipeg:

  •      WHEN NIGHT IS FALLING (1995, dir. Patricia Rozema)
  •      AMERICAN MARY (2013, dir. Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska)
  •      MEDITATION PARK (2018, dir. Mina Shum)
  •      SUSPICIOUS RIVER (2000, dir. Lynne Stopkewich)
  •      STORIES WE TELL (2012, dir. Sarah Polley)


If you have trouble making decisions, well… The Coast’s Tara Thorne timed her marathon and selected a snack for each film! Just follow this guideline and you’ll be well taken care of:

  •      Noon – AWAY FROM HER (2007, dir. Sarah Polley) (tea and something maple-flavoured)
  •      3pm – HEARTBEAT (2014, dir. Andrea Dorfman) (poutine)
  •      6pm – DEGRASSI: SCHOOL’S OUT! (1992, dir. Kit Hood) (Chocolate Dipps granola bars)
  •      9pm – NEW WATERFORD GIRL (2000, dir. Allan Moyle) (barbecue chips)
  •      Midnight –  THE CARMILLA MOVIE (2017, dir. Spencer Maybee) (cream puffs)


Marc Glassman of POV Magazine had a little bit of a hard time narrowing down his choices. These great female-directed films could last straight through the weekend!

  •      STORIES WE TELL (2012, dir. Sarah Polley)
  •      WINDOW HORSES (2016, dir. Ann Marie Fleming)
  •      MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (2007, dir. Jennifer Baichwal)
  •      FORBIDDEN LOVE (2014, dir. Lynne Fernie, Aerlyn Weissman)
  •      KANEHSATAKE: 270 YEARS OF RESISTANCE (1993, dir. Alanis Obomsawin)
  •      KISSED (1997, dir. Lynne Stopkewich)
  •      DOUBLE HAPPINESS (1995, dir. Mina Shum)
  •      EMPORTE-MOI (SET ME FREE) (1999, dir. Léa Pool)
  •      GIRL INSIDE (2007, dir. Maya Gallus)
  •      THE RUSTLING OF LEAVES (1988, dir. Nettie Wild)
  •      WATER (2005, dir. Deepa Mehta)
  •      MANSFIELD PARK (1999, dir. Patricia Rozema)
  •      SABAH (2005, dir. Ruba Nadda)
  •      P4W (1981, dir. Holly Dale, Janis Cole)
  •      MOURIR À TUE-TÊTE (A SCREAM FROM SILENCE) (1979, dir. Anne Claire Poirier)

On the snack side, Marc’s choices are even more eclectic: salted sunflower seeds and, if you’re in Toronto, vegetable samosas from MotiMahal, vegetable pakoras from Banjara, falafel and hummus from Ghazale and. And lots of carbonated water! But if you’re looking for something fancier, his wine recommendation is Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand.


What’s going on with NOW Magazine’s Norm Wilner? He’s calling his marathon a “series on Canadian catharsis cinema”. Here are his picks:

  •      GREAT GREAT GREAT (2017, dir. Adam Garnet Jones)
  •      THE OTHER HALF (2016, dir. Joey Klein)
  •      DIM THE FLUORESCENTS (2017, dir. Daniel Warth)
  •      WEREWOLF (2017, dir. Ashley McKenzie)
  •      MARY GOES ROUND (2017, dir. Molly McGlynn)

His snack choices require no catharsis. He says maple leaf cookies and Humpty Dumpty party mix are mandatory – a box and bag per person (because sharing is overrated). He says you can follow your screening of DIM THE FLUORESCENTS with pizza!


The National Post’s Chris Knight has a marathon that hops, skips and jumps to a whole bunch of different genres from classic flicks to cult horror!

  •      GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD (1970, dir. Donald Shebib)
  •      MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES (2007, dir. Jennifer Baichwal)
  •      BON COP, BAD COP (2006, dir. Eric Canuel)
  •      AWAY FROM HER (2007, dir. Sarah Polley)
  •      PONTYPOOL (2009, dir. Bruce Macdonald)

These are his patriotic snack picks: poutine and one of Canada’s hundreds of great beers.


CBC Radio’s Metro Morning critic, Karen Gordon, picks feature classic Canadian films that are sure to delight everyone at your NCFD party!

  •      MONSIEUR LAZHAR (2011, dir. Philippe Falardeau)
  •      THIS TIME TOMORROW (2016, dir. Lina Rodriguez)
  •      POLYTECHNIQUE (2009, dir. Denis Villeneuve)
  •      CAFÉ DE FLORE (2011, dir. Jean-Marc Vallée)
  •      NO (2013, dir. Pablo Larraín)
  •      GINGER SNAPS (2001, dir. John Fawcett)
  •      ATANARJUAT: THE FAST RUNNER (2002, dir. Zacharias Kunuk)
  •      SIDDHARTH (2013, dir. Richie Mehta)
  •      FIRE (1997, dir. Deepa Mehta)

For snacks, Karen suggests popcorn but if the marathon goes well into the weekend, go to the nearest drive-thru and grab some burgers.


Carsten Knox, former critic for CTV Morning Live Atlantic, chose a couple of Nova Scotia–made pictures, and then went into key picks from the filmography of iconic Canadian directors.

  •      POOR BOY’S GAME (2007, dir. Clement Virgo)
  •      HEARTBEAT (2014, dir. Andrea Dorfman)
  •      THE DEAD ZONE (1983, dir. David Cronenberg)
  •      TRIGGER (2010, dir. Bruce Macdonald)
  •      CAFÉ DE FLORE (2011, dir. Jean-Marc Vallée)

Carsten’s snacks are her usually go-tos: popcorn and Twizzlers.


Feel a range of conflicting emotions with the funny flicks and experimental dramas on Jason Gorber of CTV News’ list:

  •      GOON (2012, dir. Michael Dowse)
  •      WEXFORD PLAZA (2016, dir. Joyce Wong)
  •      STRANGE BREW (1983, dir. Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas)
  •      CRASH (2005, dir. Paul Haggis)
  •      MY WINNIPEG (2008, dir. Guy Maddin)

Jason didn’t pick any munchies… which leads us to believe he’s one of those rare unicorns that doesn’t snack when he’s watching a film.


If you’re a documentary lover, then you’ll be feeling Adam Cook from Cinema Scope’s proposed marathon:

  •      LA RÉGION CENTRALE (1971, dir. Mark Snow)
  •      YOU ARE ON INDIAN LAND (1969, dir. Mort Ransen, Michael Mitchell)
  •      WORKING MOTHERS: OUR DEAR SISTERS (1975, dir. Kathleen Shannon)
  •      BRING ME THE HEAD OF TIM HORTON (2015, dir. Michael Kennedy)
  •      SHIVERS (1975, dir. David Cronenberg)

For snacks, he suggests a dangerous amount of coffee, popcorn and something boozy during the Cronenberg feature, SHIVERS.

Whew! We think you’ve got more than enough material here to plan your Canadian movie marathon, so start stocking up on those snacks!


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