By William Beard, Jerry White
The essays in North of every thing research the nation of Canadian movie in the course of a interval of severe switch. Their concentration levels from the traditional cinema to the avant garde, NFB documentaries to DIY videotapes. This finished quantity provides essays on demonstrated and rising filmmakers and comprises discussions of Canadian movie associations, historical past, and coverage.
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The StatsCan figure of around 1877 screens for 1996/97 supports an article in the Globe and Mail, published on 17 January, noting that screens were between 1800 and 1900. To be conservative with the calculations, I will use the latter figure. Choosingjanuary additionally eliminates drive-in screens. " 12 Screen average $11,914 4 269 $7,147 $4,066 3 3 i 127 $7,641 I2O $3,932 5 5 4 5 117 $3,362 81 $3,598 55 118 148 $4,867 $2,233 $1,561 ACLAND rf SCREEN SPACE Adding up the Screens column in Table 6, the top ten films were in 1533 of the 1900 possible screens in Canada.
This, of course, was not what the StatsCan figure was saying. 6 percent of box office, again comparing a figure expressed in relation to total box office with one that is expressed in relation to total revenues for distributors. The point here is not to say that StatsCan's numbers are right, nor to create a more positive outlook on the state of Canadian theatrical performance, which in part was what Audley was quite rightly protesting. Instead, it is merely to show that, first, the foremost analysts of Canadian culture industries can conflate measures and, second, the way screen time appears as a sort of wild card, trumping other measures.
Such instances of taken-for-granted assumptions, after Antonio Gramsci, are precisely the fields upon which cultural hegemony operates. Contrary to the presumed ideological neutrality of statistics, figures are made to mean; they do not float around outside historical circumstances, despite their pretences to objective reality. The suggestion here is that one site for understanding Canadian critical discourse is to examine the fixity between the figures measuring screen time and their interpretation.