Yesterday, a small Twitter back-and-forth ensued between Sam McCosh and myself over how we found the time to read. When she suggested that she watches a few less films, I said “Yeah, me too”…which prompted her to point out that I still watch an ungodly amount of films.

Funny, I’m on-pace with last year at the moment – which was a down-year for me. “Ungodly” is relative, it would seem.

#52FilmsByWomen continued this week with Sandy Wilson’s MY AMERICAN COUSIN.

This movie marks a pair of firsts for me in the series: It’s the first coming-of-age story I’ve watched, and the first Canadian entry into the series.

The story is a pretty simple one; in the late 1950’s, a tween is spending the summer at a family cottage in British Colombia. It’s the sort of vacation children dread because nothing exciting ever happens in a spot so remote. Into this adolescent ennui arrives her dreamy American cousin and his flashy red convertible.

The plot of the film was deeply engaging, since it illustrates that sort of fascination and attraction so many of us experience young in life. Often it’s inappropriate in one way or another, but all the same it’s very real. I get the feeling it’s even more real and intense for girls…and perhaps even more frightening, because it stands a higher possibility of actually materializing.

It’s not a feeling that one really wants to celebrate exactly…but illustrating it on film has great value, and to that end, Sandy Wilson’s deft touch is even more valuable.

The funny thing is, as a Canadian feature from 1985, it’s a film I’d actually like to see remade – even by Wilson herself.

At the risk of uttering something treasonous, “Canadian Film” was a bit of a joke for a long time. The budgets weren’t there, the talent pool wasn’t there, the production value wasn’t there. So where a film like this is concerned, you get things like a low soundtrack budget causing songs to be played over and over and over again, and never in a natural way (“Let’s listen to it again!”). Likewise, some of the actors felt stiff coming out of their scenes, like they were in a high school play.

The last ten years or so has seen a boon for Canadian film – similar to what we’ve seen on American television. Technology has improved, the talent pool has deepend, films like this can shine through a little bit more in artistic ways that they couldn’t before.

It will never happen, of course, but I’d love to see this story given its due. After all, it’s one that is truly poignant no matter what era it is watched from.



Here’s the week at hand…


PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE AND ZOMBIES – I’m surprised this film wasn’t better marketed.
THE WITCH – Look for a podcast on Monday


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Never Seen
LITTLE DARLINGS – Ah, the mayhem of teenage girls trying to get laid in the 80’s
THE ROSE – I liked a few things about this, but this film’s reputation might have been a little too off-the charts for me.
MY AMERICAN COUSIN – The copy of this I tracked down was brutal. If TIFF ever screens it again, I’ll have to go about seeing it proper.


Streaming/Blu-Rays/DVD’s I’ve Seen Before
THELMA & LOUISE – “We don’t live in that sort of world, Thelma…” In several ways I think we still don’t


Boxscore for The Year
28 First-Timers, 28 Re-Watched
10 Screenings
56 Movies in Total

How’s about you – seen anything good?