by Daniel Jones
AT PRESENT, when Canadian films receive only three per centof all available screen time, "it is clear that in large part the problemsthat confront Canadian filmmakers are structural," Michael Posner writes in his introducftion to Canadian Dreams: The Making and Marketing of Independent Canadian Films (Douglas & McIntyre, 212 pages, $19.95 paper).By way of illustration, Posner offers detailed histories of the writing,funding, production, Sales, and screening of 10 recent Canadian films, fromPatricia Rozema`s I`ve Heard the Mermaids Singing to Denys Arcand`s The Declineof the American Empire.
The problem, Posner contends, is not theavailability of funding for Canadian films, but rather a lack ofcorrc.spondence between the agendas of government funding agencies and thecomniercial realities of distribution and marketing. In the words of StephenFoster, producer of The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick, Canadian filmmakingis "just an artificially constructed, govcmi-nentfinanced hobby."
While Posner does not, for the most part,consider the quality of the films he discusses or whether there is in fact anaudience for them, he ha,, nevertheless compiled a fascinating informativeaccount of the ways films are made and shown in this country. Canadian Dreamsis necessary reading for all students of film and for anyone with an interestin Canadian Cultural policy.