December 2002 Archives

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John Cazale

John CazaleJohn Cazale. Ever heard of him? I'm willing to bet you'd recognize him if I showed you a picture. Never heard of John Cazale, eh?

I've always been facinated by the short career of actor John Cazale. Cazale died at 41 years of age and only appeared in five movies, but he managed to have what is clearly pound for pound the greatest career of any actor, ever. You'll know Cazale best by his role as Fredo in "The Godfather" and "The Godfather: Part II".

Fredo Corleone: I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
Michael Corleone: That's the way Pop wanted it.
Fredo Corleone: It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!

Poor Fredo. Cazale followed up his final turn as the doomed Fredo by playing Al Pacino's partner Sal in "Dog Day Afternoon". Another gem! And how would Cazale wrap up his career before succumbing to brain bone cancer? By playing Stan in a little flick called "The Deer Hunter".

Every movie the man appeared in was nominated for Best Picture. Every role Cazale played stayed with you long after you finished watching. The next time somebody asks you if you've ever heard of John Cazale, you'll be able to nod your head and whisper "five for five".

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Vimy Ridge

Vimy RidgeIf Vimy Ridge was an American success story, Hollywood would be churning out big budget epics on the subject on a regular basis. Vimy Ridge happens to be draped in red and white, and as a result, it's never received the celluloid documentation it so richly deserves. As Canadians, we're almost embarrassed of our successes. Why is that? Americans spin every event into a patriotic landmark of their history while we push the spotlight away from these proud accomplishments. The exception to this is hockey, but hockey is the exception to just about everything North of the 49th parallel.

I just read an article in the Saturday Star that claims our schools are now teaching that the War of 1812 resulted in a draw. Canadian youth are being taught that the United States of America had no choice but to attack, and although we held them off, we certainly were not victorious. The War of 1812 is full of excellent examples of Canadian pride, from Laura Secord to Tecumseh. Why can't we take a page out of the book of Americana and celebrate moments when Canada and Canadians shine brightest? Why aren't I hearing that great Canadian actors are currently filming a movie directed by Norman Jewison or Atom Egoyan based on that day in April 1917 when we as Canadians worked together and captured Vimy Ridge? The story of Vimy Ridge is begging to become a film in the vein of Saving Private Ryan. C'mon Canada. Celebrate the red and white. Make a movie about Vimy Ridge.

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