Discovering the Movies in New Brunswick: A History of Cinema by David Folster, edited by Marion Beyea

Even if you’re not totally into the topic, there are few things more enjoyable than a well-done passion project. The enthusiasm and care for detail in these types of work draw you in, even if you only had a passing interest in the topic. Discovering the Movies in New Brunswick: A History of Cinema by David Folster is one of those works where the author clearly enjoys the subject matter so much that the love with which the book is written makes you as enthusiastic as he was writing it. I confess to being mildly curious about this, and also a little skeptical – I was born in New Brunswick and so I’m cynical on these points – but Folster’s carefully researched story of the movies and all of their New Brunswick connections had me on board.

Folster died suddenly in 2010, leaving it unfinished. Through the work of friends and family, including editor Marion Belyea, who was also one of the librarians to assist Folster in his decades-long project to tell the stories of New Brunswick’s involvement with the movies. This book starts with the technology which led to the creation of video cameras, the rising movie industry, and all things technology, business, and acting which relate to New Brunswick. Folster also explores how the movies themselves came to New Brunswick, and how cinemas shaped communities. This book is chockful of interesting tidbits about movies and New Brunswick and is rich with stories ranging from the more well-known connections (Louis B. Mayer, one of the true architects of the film industry in North America as we know it now, grew up in New Brunswick) to the more obscure (Natalie Dunphy Kalmus, who was involved with Technicolor, and was the head of the Colour Advisory Service; born and raised in Douglas, NB).

Discovering the Movies in New Brunswick is a fascinating book and a true homage to the history of movies. Even if you aren’t interested in the New Brunswick connection, Folster’s book is still for anyone who is keen on the history of cinema. From the small towns of New Brunswick to the major studios in Hollywood, and everywhere in between, Folster follows the New Brunswick movie connection around the world, and to the pivotal moments where a New Brunswicker played a part in something which would change the course of history, such as William Herman Rulofson, a New Brunswicker who worked with Eadweard Muybridge, an early innovator in the realm of motion pictures. Rulofson’s work in photography influenced Muybridge, and he published Muybridge’s photographs. From small brushes to significant contributions, this is a love letter to the movies and to New Brunswick, and what could be more Maritimer than that?

David Folster (1937-2010) grew up in Grand Falls, NB, was a graduate of the University of New Brunswick and lived in Fredericton, NB. He had a long and distinguished career as a journalist. He got his start writing essays for Sports Illustrated about fondly remembered childhood baseball rivalries and hockey games in his hometown of Grand Falls. He went on to write for Time Magazine, the Globe and Mail, the Christian Science Monitor, Canadian Geographic and Macleans, among other publications. David was a reporter for CBC TV and Radio. His skilful storytelling earned him many listeners as host of CBC Radio’s NB Folio, Neighbourly News, and as a regular contributor to Information Morning and other CBC programmes. He had a deep and abiding affection for his home province and took every opportunity to promote its natural beauty and distinctive culture. He was the founding president of the St. John River Society and served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Forestry Association of New Brunswick. In this capacity, he established The Tree House, an environmental education organization that thrived under his leadership. The common thread of his work and David’s lifelong passion was telling the stories of New Brunswick and its people. He pursued this theme through meticulous research and with great skill, enjoying the hours spent talking to people and telling their stories. Researching and writing Discovering the Movies in New Brunswick was a decades-long project that exemplifies his skill as a cultural historian and journalist. Its publication stands as the capstone achievement of his career. David Folster is also the author of The Great Trees of New Brunswick (1987), The Chocolate Ganongs of St. Stephen New Brunswick (1990), shortlisted for the National Business Book Award, and Ganong: A Sweet History of Chocolate (2006), finalist for the Best Atlantic-Published Book at the Atlantic Book Awards.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chapel Street Editions (Dec 4 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 280 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1988299381
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1988299389
 -- Website

Alison Manley has ricocheted between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for most of her life. Now in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she is the Cataloguing and Metadata Librarian at Saint Mary's University. Her past life includes a long stint as a hospital librarian on the banks of the mighty Miramichi River. She has an honours BA in political science and English from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Master of Library and Information Studies from Dalhousie University. While she's adamant that her love of reading has nothing to do with her work, her ability to consume large amounts of information very quickly sure is helpful. She is often identified by her very red lipstick, and lives with her partner Brett and cat, Toasted Marshmallow.