There’s an old saying that Hollywood is a place where they tear down the house to build a parking lot. But in Toronto, Canada, there’s no parking problem: it’s a city of high-rises and underground parking.

The Toronto New Wave cinema movement is largely considered to begin in the 1980s and run through most of the 1990s, when Canadian filmmakers started making movies without government funding or Hollywood support.

While they didn’t have access to the big studios and stars in Hollywood, they did have something better: freedom.

Toronto filmmakers such as Atom Egoyan made bold, personal films with little money and few restrictions.

These quirky, independent films weren’t always seen outside of Canada initially, but they went on to have a huge impact on the world of filmmaking.

Toronto New Wave Cinema

What Is Toronto New Wave Cinema?

Toronto New Wave Cinema is a term that loosely describes the wave of filmmakers that entered Canada’s film scene in the 1980s and 1990s.

Toronto New Wave Cinema refers to a small group of Canadian filmmakers who emerged with a bleak, relatively experimental style that was very different from the largely Hollywood-influenced feature films that were being made in Canada at the time.

Though they shared certain stylistic traits — long takes, natural light, hand-held cameras, improvisation — the Toronto New Wave directors had little contact with each other. They included Atom Egoyan, Patricia Rozema and Bruce McDonald.

David Cronenberg is considered to be a central influence for Toronto New Wave filmmakers.


What Is Toronto New Wave Cinema?

The Toronto New Wave is an umbrella term used to describe a group of young independent filmmakers in Toronto in the early 2000s.

Unlike the French New Wave of the ’60s, Toronto’s wave was not tied to any one style or filmmaking technique.

Each of the filmmakers had their own unique approach, but they were united by their shared DIY mentality, sense of community and love for local film culture.

In this article,  we will explore the early history of Toronto’s New Wave movement and its impact on Canadian film culture.

Toronto New Wave Cinema was born in the early 1990s. This kind of film production also appeared in other cities all over Canada such as Vancouver and Montreal.

There are many reasons for this emergence, but one important reason is the change in government policy for Film Industry at that time.

The Canadian Government started to support Film Industry more than before through different kinds of subsidies.

Nowadays, we can see many successful films from this period created by these young.


History Of Toronto New Wave Cinema

In the late ’70s, a group of young filmmakers in Toronto first gave the world a glimpse of something new. Fusing flashy visuals with dark, satirical humour and obscure subject matter, they created a style that became known as “new wave cinema.”

This movement was born of economic necessity. Canada had traditionally been a Hollywood colony, with American studios shooting their productions up north to take advantage of the country’s tax breaks.

But when Quebec introduced its own incentives in 1971, the balance shifted.Suddenly, English-speaking Canadian filmmakers had to scramble for funding.

According to Norman Jewison, who directed The Thomas Crown Affair, this is how he sold Universal Studios on making his film in Toronto: “I simply told them I  did not need all those tax rebates if I did it here.”It was also easier to find cheap talent.

When producer Ivan Reitman looked for someone to write his first feature, Cannibal Girls, he put out an ad offering $500 a week.Harold Ramis (Animal House) answered the ad and spent several months writing the film while living on $40 a week and feeding his girlfriend with leftover food from the set.

The resulting film was one of two released in 1977 that would help define this new movement.

Essential Filmmakers Of The Toronto New Wave Cinema

The Toronto New Wave is the name given to a group of feature films, made primarily in and around Toronto, during the late 1960s and early 1970s.It was an important period in Canadian cinema.

The films of the New Wave influenced Canadian filmmaking into the 1980s, and many of its directors are still active today.Hi Def Movie/Videomakers- A list of important hidef movie/video makers  would be incomplete without including these men (and woman):David Cronenberg is a filmmaker from Toronto who has a special place amongst the greatest filmmakers  of our time.

Many people know his movies like Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, Naked Lunch and A History Of Violence etc… David Cronenberg has become one of the world’s greatest hidef movie/videomakers through his unique blend of horror, sci-fi and drama.He is often compared to other great hidef movie/videomakers such as David Lynch or Stanley Kubrick and holds a very high rank amongst them with his dark mind and twisted sense of story telling.

David Cronenberg is widely known for his not so mainstream movies like Crash or Crimes of the Future but yet he also made such popular movies like A History Of Violence.

Importance Of The Toronto New Wave Cinema

The Toronto New Wave Cinema refers to a style of filmmaking that was influential in English Canada from roughly 1979 to 1984. The term “New Wave” was coined by Peter Pearson in his review of Denys Arcand’s film Les Invasions barbares (1978) in the magazine Take One.

There are many reasons why the Toronto New Wave Cinema was important. First, it helped open up Canadian cinema to new themes and styles, particularly with its broadening of the subject matter of films.

Secondly, it served as a training ground for many future Canadian film-makers and industry professionals who would go on to make feature films such as Bruce McDonald’s Roadkill (1989), Atom Egoyan’s The Adjuster (1991).David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers (1988) and Denys Arcand’s Jesus Of Montreal (1989).

Thirdly, it contributed to Canada’s cultural identity, helping create a sense of Canadian-ness in film and also opening up the door for greater funding for films from this period.Including the creation of Telefilm Canada and the Ontario Film Development Corporation.

Lastly, it led to an explosion in filmmaking in Canada and helped make a career in filmmaking more viable than ever before.

Toronto New Wave Cinema Theory

I was once told that not many people like to read about movies. I  do not know if  that is true or not, but this is a blog all about film and cinema, so  we will find out together! 

I have been watching movies since I was a little kid.

My first movie memory off the top of my head is seeing The Land Before Time at my best friend’s house when I was five years old. I was mesmerized by all the colors and the dinosaurs (even though I had only just seen Jurassic Park a year prior)After that, my parents told me that they would take me to the theater every week, usually on Sunday afternoons.

The theater they chose was always either playing Pixar films or Disney films, and it seemed like I had seen them all by the time I turned seven.My parents and aunt even took me to see The Lion King on opening night and we got to see it in 3D! 

That was back in ’94 when 3D technology  was not a big thing yet, so it made for an amazing experience for me.

As the years went on, my taste in movies slowly started to develop into what it is today: a weird combination of everything from animated kids’ films to arthouse dramas to experimental horror.

Toronto New Wave Cinema – Wrapping Up

As the fall has given way to winter, I have been reflecting on the New Wave cinema that shuttled past my eyes for three months at the Toronto Underground Cinema. While it is too soon to pass a final verdict, there are a few films that stand out as exceptionally interesting, and some that have yet to reveal their true worth.

If  you have  been following this blog,  you will know that I have talked about The Overnight.  previously.

It has made quite an impression on me and I am eager to see it again before my thoughts solidify into any sort of concrete opinion. As I mentioned before, I am very intrigued by the concept of “overnight” cinema.

I am sure that this format could be used in a variety of different ways; The Overnight is simply the most unusual example so far.It also seems to be a good example of how “overnight” cinema can achieve its goal of being interactive and participatory: everything in The Overnight – from its narrative structure to its soundtrack – is designed for maximum audience engagement.

When Paul gets beaten up by Christine’s husband, he accuses her of being a bad influence on him (in an earlier scene she coaxes him into taking off his clothes). This accusation makes me think.