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The summer of the city

Toronto has been the most Canadian of cities — striving to be something, and quietly wary about trying too hard.

Knowing that, makes it easier to understand why it’s one of Hollywood’s most filmed cities, and one that rarely plays itself (even when the landmarks are painfully obvious).

But something happened this year. Toronto is shaking off its New York/Chicago/Anyplace, USA costume and reveling in its true self.

First off, Atom Egoyan got picked to direct Chole and proceeded to make his adopted city a defining backdrop to this French remake.

Now but a few months later, comes two summer movies that couldn’t have come from anywhere but “Toron’o.”

The marquee blockbuster is the new Michael Cera movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, directed by Edgar Wright (famed for Shaun of the Dead and/or Spaced). Toronto is so essential to the movie, they actually recreated a mid-nineties Lee’s Palace complete with all the grunge of the era. The action-romance graphic novels detailed the city even as they collected awards, and a lot of people are eager to see their onscreen transition this summer.

But to see the real Toronto, you'll need to seek out This Movie is Broken. Directed by Canada’s greatest rock-and-roll directors, it’s written by a man whose done more to capture Toronto onscreen than almost anyone, and stars the most Toronto of all bands: Broken Social Scene. As a result this is the movie to see to know Toronto. This is the movie that reflects the Toronto I love. And though this movie may be broken, to me, it looks absolutely perfect.