Atlantic Canada has a rich tradition of storytelling and creativity that has extended to critical and audience praise for films from the region’s four provinces. Until now there has been no comprehensive history of this diverse body of work.
In Shooting from the East, Darrell Varga traces the emergence of art cinema in the 1970s and ’80s, and subsequent rise of a contemporary commercial feature film and television industry by way of representative examples of a great range of titles, including The Adventure of Faustus Bidgood, Life Classes, The Disappeared, and Trailer Park Boys. He provides analysis of documentary filmmaking to emphasize concerns such as the establishment of the regional National Film Board studio and the influence of broadcast policy, but also considers significant recurring themes including the environment, the body, race and First Nations, and the North. Through critical analyses of key films and interviews conducted with filmmakers from all corners of the region, Varga uncovers patterns of meaning across diverse productions and interrogates the concept of region in relation to prevailing notions of national cinema and transnational media culture.
With a focus on short films and an extensive history and analysis of the filmmaking production co-operatives located in each province, Shooting from the East sheds light on the creative processes and local economic and cultural conditions for making images on the edge of the Atlantic.
About the author
Darrell Varga is Canada Research Chair in Contemporary Film and Media Studies at NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design), where he teaches courses in film history, documentary film, and Canadian cinema. He has published widely on Canadian cinema and is the co-editor of Working on Screen: Representations of the Working Class in Canadian Cinema.