Montreal by Night

The National Film Board of Canada has officially launched its new website, which includes hundreds of NFB documentaries, animations and shorts, including some that are iconic (The Sweater, which I must have seen at least half a dozen times in school) and others that have long been forgotten (like Paul Tomkowicz, Switchman, which I wrote about last fall). The beta version has been available for awhile, but many new videos have been added, which I shouldn’t need to say is pretty exciting.

One of these newly-added films is Montreal by Night, a fantastic 1947 short that I first glimpsed a few years ago and have been unable to find since. “Out of the fusion of two languages, two outlooks, has emerged a great Canadian metropolis with many moods,” declares the film’s introduction. It’s the first indication that the city you’re about to see is remarkably different from that of today — nobody would refer to Montreal in such grandiose terms anymore, even if it remains la métropole. The Montreal of the late 40s had the kind of swagger and hustle shared only by the most self-assured of cities.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Sunday January 25 2009at 01:01 pm , filed under Canada, History, Society and Culture, Video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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