Producer Jean Dansereau slipped away from us far too quietly. A resolute champion of Quebec independent cinema, he produced groundbreaking works like Gilles Groulx’s Au pays de Zom, Denys Arcand’s Le confort et l’indifférence, Francis Mankiewitcz’s Les beaux souvenirs, André Forcier’s Bar salon and Claude Jutras’s La dame en couleurs.
Dansereau joined the NFB in 1957 but left in 1965 to take the helm of Les Cinéastes associés, a production company he founded with filmmakers Groulx, Arcand, Bernard Gosselin and Michel Brault. In 1971, as director of Les Ateliers du cinéma québécois, he dedicated his energies to feature-length auteur film. In 1976, he co-founded the distribution company Cinéma Libre. Throughout his career, Dansereau rightly believed that the future of Quebec cinema lay in auteur films with a high level of cultural content. — Odile Tremblay
Fernand Dansereau will attend - Screening made possible by Éléphant, mémoire du cinéma québécois
At age 90, Jonas Mekas is in the prime of life — and he’s celebrating with a series of major events. These include a full retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, a DVD edition of his key films and the publication of the
first catalogue raisonné of his works. Born in Lithuania in 1944, Mekas was deported to a German labour camp during the Second World War before landing as a refugee in New York City in 1949. Today, he lives and works in Brooklyn. The founder of Film Culture magazine and a Village Voice columnist, he also co-founded the Anthology Film Archives, a bastion of avant-garde filmmaking. Throughout his career, Mekas has continually used daily life as his touchstone, amassing fragments of events as they unfold around him — a day-to-day endeavour that has been perpetually stimulated by his exploration of new techniques. This year’s FNC affords a look at some of the key pieces from his body of works made using a Bolex. In addition, a number of Mekas’ videos and multimedia works will be presented at the Phi Centre. Like his poems, his “diary films” form a hymn in praise of the ordinary. — Anna Kerekes, Curator
The Sixties Quartet short film series chronicles not only Mekas’s friends, key figures of the 1960s, but also the surrounding swirl of social and cultural ferment.
Scenes from the life of Andy Warhol: Friendships and Intersections (États-Unis | 1990 | 35 min | voa) Zefiro Torna or scenes from the life of George Maciunas (États-Unis | 1992 | 35 min | voa) Happy Birthday to John with John Lennon and Yoko Ono (États- Unis | 1995 | 24 min | voa) This Side of Paradise with Jackie, Caroline and John Kennedy Jr. (États-Unis | 1999 | 35 min | voa)
A great lady of subtle charm, a gentle beauty whose key strength was being able to tap into her emotions at will, she was pure instinct. She could play anything: a voice character in a radio drama, a witch on television (in the children’s program Fanfreluche), Clémence Vigneau in the series Cap-aux-sorciers. From Marcel Dubé to Réjean Ducharme to Michel Tremblay, from Shakespeare to Chekhov, Hélène Loiselle was first and foremost a creature of
the stage. For all that, her performance in Michel Brault’s great 1974 ensemble film Les ordres was unforgettable, one of the most moving of all. She was equally brilliant in Claude Jutra’s sublime Mon oncle Antoine, another masterpiece where she played alongside her faithful companion, Lionel Villeneuve. — Odile Tremblay
Irreverence, irony, violence and outrageous excess — in the mid-’60s, the Western was getting some rough treatment.
In America, it was appropriated by the counterculture. At the same time, it was undergoing a renaissance in
Europe. All bets were off. Far from the beaten path of mainstream culture, get ready for an orgiastic explosion of pleasure for your eyes and ears (Ennio Morricone features prominently). This is where pop art becomes political.
Presenting a journey for fans of leather and sweat, ugly mugs and wide-open spaces, and brutes and thugs of every stripe. Italy (which produced no fewer than 500 Westerns between 1964 and 1970), had Sergio Sollima and his unrelenting masterpiece The Big Gundown (1966), not to mention Sergio Corbucci and his cult films Navajo Joe (1966) and The Mercenary (a classic Zapata Western from 1968). The American counterculture produced the definitive (yet still obscure) Ride in the Whirlwind (1966) and The Shooting (1966), two legendary collaborations between the great Monte Hellman and Jack Nicholson. There was also Walter Hill’s perpetually cool rock & roll fable Streets of Fire (1984). A rare chance to discover important yet hard-to-find films, still as current and relevant as the day they appeared, all on film, in their full-length versions and/or restored copies. Required viewing! — Julien Fonfrède
He’s in the credits of some 200 productions as cameraman, director of photography, director and producer. To celebrate the work of Michel Brault, who died on September 21, the FNC is pleased to add two free screenings in his honour. On Saturday, October 12, his masterpiece Les Ordres, which took the award for Best Director at Cannes in 1975, will screen at the cinéma Impérial in a restored, digitized version courtesy of Éléphant, mémoire du cinéma québécois.
The actress Karen Black represented the gold standard for voluptuous vulnerability. In the renegade American cinema of the ’60s and ’70s, this lazy-eyed, regal cheekboned, whip-smart Midwesterner laid claim to tarnished and tattered women on the margins of marginal society.
Unforgettable as the guileless waitress Rayette Dipesto in Five Easy Pieces, she tripped the acid fantastic in Easy Rider, craftily sang her heart out in Nashville, steeled nerves for Airport ’75 and rocked a sexy jewel thief trench coat in Family Plot. Her later B-movie and TV credits — especially Trilogy of Terror — firmly established her punk cult status. An old soul, she endowed her roles with an earthy humanity. — Madeleine Molyneaux
American filmmaker Les Blank (1935-2013) was so much more than the sum of his passions and labels — ethnographer, documentary-maker, naturalist, storyteller, chronicler of custom, gesture, tradition, ritual, song and dance.
Fiercely prolific and steadfastly independent, Blank breathed life into more than 40 vibrant, poetic, lyrical and loopy films in as many years and collaborated with cultural icons — Werner Herzog, Ry Cooder, Clifton Chenier, Alice Waters — and unheralded heroes. His films about the characters and customs of the American South are authentic, unadulterated experiences, both sacred and profane. According to Blank, “I do what I do. I just film. I stick thingstogether in a way I think they should be put to make a picture of what it was I saw.” We pay tribute to a friend anda divine inspiration in the best way possible — by showing his films and toasting his memory. Let the good times roll! - Curator Madeleine Molyneaux
contact : Les Blank Films
Copie 16mm, courtoisie de l’Academy Film Archive et Les Blank Films 16mm prints, courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Les Blank Films
LES BLANK : CARNIVALS AND CAJUNS
LES BLANK : MUSIC LEGENDS + CULTURE
LES BLANK : TEA AND SYMPATHY
LES BLANK: LOVE ALL: CINEMA + FOOD + WOMEN
Exceptionally, filmmaker Arthur Lamothe will not be physically present for this screening, but his spirit surely will not be very far! Producer, director, scriptwriter and editor, Arthur Lamothe devoted most of his imposing filmography to the First Nations and in particular to the Innu and their heritage. Thanks to this production and his social commitment, he has been a figurehead of the Quebec cinema. — Nathalie Gressin et Jean Antonin Billard