Those of you who were intrigued by Andrew Potter’s post of some while back about the Slap Shot-style league play in Quebec that’s taken hold of his heart thanks to the NHL players strike won’t want to miss “The Chiefs” — opening today. And remember the precepts of our Film Club. Tell everyone you know. Your calipigious behind can save Canadian cinema. Here’s the entry direct from the Film Club newsletter.
THE CHIEFS DVD Launch & Free Screening
Monday, March 14, 2005
The Pilot Tavern (Stealth Lounge, 2nd Floor, http://www.thepilot.ca), Toronto
Come for dinner downstairs! The doors for Stealth Lounge open at 7:00pm; the first screening is at 8:00pm and the second screening is at 10:00pm. Admission is FREE!!
THE CHIEFS: A REVIEW FROM THIS MAGAZINE BY DEVON BABIN
Les Chiefs is a classic Canadian movie and not because it involves hockey, beer, and the occasional gap-toothed smile – although it has all those things. No, it is a classic Canadian movie because it was made with a small budget using amazing people most of us have never heard of.
Inspired by the 70s cult classic Slap Shot, this documentary by Montreal’s East Hill Productions focuses on a rag-tag team of hockey players from Laval, Quebec. Les Chiefs are known less for their hockey skills, and more for their ability to fight and stir up a crowd, and that is where the heart of the movie begins.
Following five main characters, the film documents each player’s battle with his own limitations, and the decision of whether to remain a big fish in the small pond of Laval, or try to move on.
Through interviews with the players, family and friends, and scenes of their living and working environments, the filmmakers do a great job at convincing the audience that the characters could be any number of wannabe pro hockey players, in any of Canada’s small hockey-obsessed towns.
The movie is real, and unlike Hollywood cookie-cutter productions, the ending isn’t necessarily happy for all the players, just as the ending isn’t always happy for many of the failed pro hockey players around the country.