Great memories of NFB (National Film Board of Canada) Films

The other day a friend of mine posted the “Log Drivers Waltz” on Facebook and it got me thinking about the other NFB films that filled my childhood.  Now if you are wondering what the heck this Log Drivers thing is, you didn’t grow up in Canada in the 70s/80s.  This along with a few others filled our televisions and, more likely, our film projectors in elementary school.  Yes, film projectors.  Not TVs with VCRs or TVs with DVDs.  Film projectors.

There were all kinds of great NFB films that we saw each year.  Some films we would see year after year.  Along with many other films, it was always a treat to walk into your class and see the film projector there.  Time for some great Canadiana entertainment.  Might not of thought like that at the time.  But, now you are reminded by these films of a great time in life.  Or at least I think so.

The Log Drivers Waltz is one that I, along with many, can just hearing the opening and know the words or at least the tune.  Plus, remembering the the story and how it’s told.  Pretty cool how they take film of real log drivers and morph it into a great animated piece.  I don’t any log drivers, nor is it something that I will come across in my life, but this is and will always be entertaining and remind me of my childhood.

The Railrodder was a 1965 film that has always stayed with me.  No I wasn’t around when it was first made, but it was one that played on a film projector in elementary school.  Or was it later in my schooling?  Either way, a great short film about Canada.  At the time, I had not seen more of Canada than parts of Toronto.  So, it was a way to see a view from coast to coast.

For those who don’t have a memory of this one like I do, here’s a summary, “after reading a newspaper advertisement in the London Times about touring Canada, an elderly Englishman decides to do just that. Following his long walk across the Atlantic Ocean, Keaton travels along the Canadian National Railway tracks in a motorized cart, performing a few stunts reminiscent of those in his younger days.”  I think that I only saw it once in school, but loved it.  It was simple film idea, show off this beautiful country.  And boy did it.  Plus put in a famous actor of the time, Buster Keaton.  This one is a bit more of a time commitment, about 24 minutes, but so worth it.  Check it out, for the first time or for a trip down memory lane.

The Sweater.  If you don’t know this film, or at least the story “The Hockey Sweater“, you are definitely not Canadian or at least from Ontario or Quebec .  Every single one of us must have read or seen this short film.  Especially us Leafs or Canadiens fans.  We’ve all tried to mimic the accent in the film and find our inner French self.  Saying things like the “Hockey Sweater” (with a kind of silent H) and “Monsieur Eaton”.  There’s another blast from the past.  Eaton’s, along with Simpsons and The Hudson Bay Company were the department stores of this country.  Either by catalogue or by going to the store, if you lived in the city, it was all that we really knew.  But, it is this story/film that speaks to the rivalries of Hockey in this part of the world.  It’s a fun one.

Hope that you’ve enjoyed my little trip down memory lane with the NFB.  Thanks for great films and memories of my childhood.