Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sarah Polley / The Tragically Hip

Continuing on my trend of writing about people you may or may not know about - this entry features a film actor and a rock group from Canada.  There's a lot about Canadians we Americans don't know about, so this is my small part in trying to change that.

First up, actor/director/singer Sarah Polley.  Not yet even 35, she's directed and acted in 2 outstanding films.  The first film I saw her in was "The Sweet Hereafter" (1997), directed by Atom Egoyan, one of Canada's best.  Ms. Polley's directorial debut came in 2006, "Away From Her", starring Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie.  For me, this is one of the best films on Alzheimer's effect on loved ones.  Ms. Christie received an Academy Award nomination for her performance.  In Canada, the film won 7 Genie Awards (nominated for 8).

In "The Sweet Hereafter", we see the aftermath of a tragic school bus accident in which most of the students are killed.  Sarah's character, Nicole, is one of the few survivors.  Nicole was an aspiring country music singer before the accident.  One of the songs Nicole sings is "Courage".  Here is a video featuring clips of the film and Sarah Polley's vocals:

Next up, the artists who sang and wrote the song (full title is "Courage (for Hugh MacLennan)") are one of Canada's immensely popular rock groups, The Tragically Hip.  My first exposure to the band was their 1998 song "Poets", which is one of two of their songs that have become personal favorites.

Here is The Hip's original version of "Courage":

And to close out, here's the video for "Poets":

***UPDATE: August 10, 2016***
While replaying my favorite Tragically Hip song "Ahead by a Century", I learned from recent YouTube comments that lead singer Gord Downie has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Gord and the rest of the boys (Rob, Gord Sinclair, Johnny and Paul) are currently on their Man-Machine-Poem summer tour in Ontario. Dates and locations can be found on their website.

I send thoughts and best wishes to Gord. His songs will always hold a special place in my heart.

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