Canadian cities are well known in the world of film for their ability to stand-in for other global cities. They rarely play themselves, which actually pisses me off. Because I take it as a sign that we’re not doing nearly enough to make Canadian cities the most beautiful and remarkable cities in the world. Canadian cities should play starring roles. Movies should want to feature them, rather than repurpose them.
That said, it’s an interesting phenomenon to explore. And that’s exactly what the Canadian pavilion will be doing this year at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition is called Impostor Cities and it will explore the various buildings and cityscapes that have been featured in films but that most people probably had no idea were Canadian.
It is perhaps a new perspective on Canadian cities, bringing our stand-ins into the limelight. And it’ll be available online and onsite (yes, real life) starting May 22. I’m sure it’ll be great. I just hope that it makes us realize how embarrassing it is that our cities aren’t being celebrated in the way that they should be. Let’s be bolder. Let’s build greatness.
And…let’s not be ashamed of where we fall short. If our cities are members of an extended family, Montreal is the glamorous older sister that fell short of realizing her potential. Toronto is the neurotic middle kid, striving for attention, often viewed as annoying by the others.
Thinking outside of familial relations, I also imagine that if Vancouver and Edmonton got together and had a child, the child would be Seattle.
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