NFB's Log Driver's Waltz

Concept: 5 out of 5
Execution: 4 out of 5
Yeah, but: The word is "birling".

The Long Version: There are a few things that always make me feel Canadian: American attitudes towards firearms, their Republian party, and my fond memories of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. When I was a kid in the `80's, CBC-TV would play the Log Driver's Waltz, a short film from the National Film Board, in between my saturday morning cartoons. I loved it then, and still smile when I see it today.

Watch it on the NFB's web site here.

Seeing it now – as an adult – I have a better appreciation for its opening cheekiness, and I wonder what sort of reaction it received in 1979. ('If you ask any girl … what pleases her most from her head to her toes, she'll say "I'm not sure that it's business of yours…') The now-classic animation is playful and fun, and I can't imagine any way that the latest computer technology would make it any better.

Something that would benefit from modern technology is the NFB's store; they sell their collection on DVD instead of allowing digital downloads. I'd happy buy a high-resolution digital copy even though it's streamed for free, but I just can't bring myself to pay the premium for yet another plastic disk. Instead I've had to make do with downloading just the song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, which is good but not quite the same thing.

last updated 1 July 2011


  1. The LDW was an essential part of my childhood as well, but I've made a recent discovery of "Blackfly" a slightly more modern variation on the theme: http://www.nfb.ca/film/blackfly

    On the subject of the NFB website, it's worth a visit to the CINEROBOTHEQUE in Montreal, for a view of the "Future" before we knew the internet was coming.

    You sit at a pilots seat with your own CRT touch-screen, where the catalog is browsed. You make your viewing choice and a giant robotic arm inside a glass room plucks a 12" laserdisc from a drawer into a player, like a massive jukebox (juke-bar?)



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