Canada Cinematography Part III

By | December 25, 2021

In particular, the French-speaking cinema of Québec was an authentic pole of renewal, which also had an influence in the other territories of the Confederation, and a real local nouvelle vague was being formed, characterized by a peculiarity of contamination between fiction and documentary, which kept in mind the experience of direct cinema, and which reflected the demands of individual and community emancipation, also of political liberation, of which Canadian youth were the bearers. A desire to transform customs and mentalities that proceeded from the so-called quiet revolution in Québec, when in the first half of the Sixties an innovative wind swept through the reality of the country, and found confirmation in the films of Groulx, Lefebvre, Brault and Perrault. A long wave that went up to the seventies, bringing the novelty of Canadian cinema to international attention. In Québec, the creation, in 1964, of the Société de développement de industrie cinématographique canadienne (SDICC), operational only from 1967-68, proved to be fundamental for the birth of the new course. Thanks to the loans granted to small private industries, the SDICC allowed the production of over 170 films, about eighty of which were French-speaking in Québec in the decade 1968-1977. The new ferment led to the signing of the first co-production agreements, with France and Italy, and that a group of cinema lovers gave life, in 1960, to the Festival International du Film in Montréal, which from the beginning showed new authors and new trends in world cinema and over time consolidated its importance. it proved to be fundamental for the birth of the new course. Thanks to the loans granted to small private industries, the SDICC allowed the production of over 170 films, about eighty of which were French-speaking in Québec in the decade 1968-1977. The new ferment meant that the first co-production agreements were stipulated, with France and Italy, and that a group of cinema lovers gave life, in 1960, to the Festival International du Film in Montréal, which from the beginning showed new authors and new trends in world cinema and over time consolidated its importance. it proved to be fundamental for the birth of the new course. Thanks to the loans granted to small private industries, the SDICC allowed the production of over 170 films, about eighty of which were French-speaking in Québec in the decade 1968-1977. The new ferment meant that the first co-production agreements were stipulated, with France and Italy, and that a group of cinema lovers gave life, in 1960, to the Festival International du Film in Montréal, which from the beginning showed new authors and new trends in world cinema and over time consolidated its importance. For Canada 2003, please check computerannals.com.

Emblematic films of the new cinema in Canada were: Pour la suite du monde (1963) by Brault and Perrault, which deepened the interaction between word and image in the context of cinéma direct and introduced politically courageous nationalist and independenceist demands, as well as the documentary (blocked by censorship until 1976) 24 heures ou plus (1971) by Groulx. The latter had already made Le chat dans le sac (1964) and Où êtes-vous donc? (1968), films bordering on provocative experimentalism, which traced the ‘revolutionary’ mood of the Québécoise youth of that period, as well as on a more intimate side, Lefebvre’s proposal with Le révolutionnaire (1965).

The documentary tradition was giving way to a free construction of stories that combined everyday documentation, socio-political reflection in the form of the film-essay and a return to fiction. New narrative solutions were also experimented in the English-speaking Canada, between fiction and document, as in A married couple (1969; A married couple) by Allan King, while in the French-speaking area an independent cinema was developed that aimed at the market with the activity of director-producers like Carle or Pierre Pattry, and in Brault’s Entre la mer et l’eau douce (1967) emerged an actress like Geneviève Bujold who would soon become famous abroad. The confrontation with the market and even commercial ambitions produced some examples of genre cinema, above all erotic comedy. The excellent commercial results achieved by soft-core films such as Valérie (1968) by Denis Héroux or Deux femmes en or (1970) by Alain Canada Fournier nevertheless allowed the reinvestment in films of greater qualitative commitment. After all, it was in the field of genre cinema, and with excellent results also on foreign markets, that prominent personalities such as Carle, skilled storyteller of bittersweet or fantastic comedies, between ecology and libertarian exaltation of sexuality, turned out to be prominent personalities, in films like La vraie nature de Bernadette (1972; A woman with lots of love) and in those played by the charming Carole Laure (L’ange et la femme, 1977; Fantastica, 1980), or D. Cronenberg, one of the most famous Canadian filmmakers, who began in the 1970s directing and producing low-cost horror films imbued with a disturbing visionary (e.g., Rabid, 1976; Rabid – Bloodlust). His works, while following a very personal linguistic research, were able to attract the public, and Cronenberg continued his activity as a producer and director in Canada.

The historical re-enactment and the social fresco, such as the detective plot, supported by a vein of political criticism, are the characteristics of two French-speaking directors like Arcand and Jutra, whose ability to build solid narratives emerged, for the first, since Réjeanne Padovani (1973), and then in the international successes of the corrosive and bitter Le déclin de l’empire américain (1986; The decline of the American empire), by the apologue Jésus de Montréal (1989; Jesus of Montreal – Jesus of Montreal) and the curious thriller about sexual mores in times of AIDS, Love and human remains (1993; The ambiguous nature of love). Jutra, less known abroad but rated by critics and cinephiles in the seventies with a film like Mon oncle Antoine (1971), was able to mark an important stage in Canadian cinema, for elegance of workmanship and intensity of story, recalling a piece of the country’s social history. A central and very personal role played in that period by Lefebvre with his subdued and intimate style, in films divided between the social portrait, interior reflection, symbolic abstraction and characterized by the delicate trait of the characters (Les maudits sauvages, 1971; Les dernières fiançalles, 1973; Avoir 16 ans, 1979). The daily newspaper and the sober tones of Jacques Leduc in Tendresse ordinaire (1973) and in the series of films entitled Cronique de la vie quotidienne (1977-78) are privileged. inner reflection, symbolic abstraction and characterized by the delicate trait of the characters (Les maudits sauvages, 1971; Les dernières fiançalles, 1973; Avoir 16 ans, 1979). The daily newspaper and the sober tones of Jacques Leduc in Tendresse ordinaire (1973) and in the series of films entitled Cronique de la vie quotidienne (1977-78) are privileged. inner reflection, symbolic abstraction and characterized by the delicate trait of the characters (Les maudits sauvages, 1971; Les dernières fiançalles, 1973; Avoir 16 ans, 1979). The daily newspaper and the sober tones of Jacques Leduc in Tendresse ordinaire (1973) and in the series of films entitled Cronique de la vie quotidienne (1977-78) are privileged.

Canada Cinematography Part III