Version Web
Juin 2018
Summer pleasures

By Elyzabeth Walling 

The wind is blowing!

 In this early summer, it warmed my heart that André Forcier was awarded the Iris Prize for the whole of his work. I have a deep affection for his films. When we saw a short retrospective edit of his films, it was a trip on the wings of nostalgia, not that of ordinary time, but that of the uncommon poetry that makes us live a wide range of emotions. It was made up, among others, of excerpts from films restored by Elephant, including  Bar Salon, Kalamazoo , Une histoire inventée, La comtesse de Bâton Rouge, all available on illico and iTunes!  
 Another title will be added to your list of films to see this summer. It's confirmed: Le vent du Wyoming is now being restored! We will rediscover Forcier's universe, as colourful as usual... And perhaps a little more, thanks to the magic of new technologies! Le vent du Wyoming won the International Critic Award and the Best Canadian Film Award at Montreal's 1994 Festival des Films du Monde.
Like the wind, Forcier's stories blow on our heads without fluff. Their plots wind in our imagination. Strong and light like air, his universe raises many questions. He'll shoot this summer his next movie, La beauté du monde

Blundering Gaston!

Pourquoi l'étrange monsieur Zolock s'intéressait-il tant à la bande dessinée? (Why Was the Strange Mr. Zolock So Interested in Comics?) This film had a start worthy of the comic strips it praises!  Elephant's co-founder Claude Fournier, jury chairman at Banff's Television Festival, had to do a simultaneous translation so English-speaking members of the jury can grasp the importance of comic book artists like Bilal, Bretécher, Gotlib, Moebius and Garnotte, who are all part of the film!  Mr. Fournier was convincing:  Yves Simoneau's first feature film was awarded the Festival's Grand Prix in 1983!

Yves Simoneau talks to us about his passion for comics.

Watch the interview

In this docudrama on comic strips, the late Jean-Louis Millette plays a power-hungry monster determined to conquer the world. Michel Rivard plays a detective who informs him about the growing popularity of comic strips. It is a unique opportunity to finally meet those artists who enthralled our childhood: not only Peyo with his Smurfs, but also those like Reiser, who revelled in vicious humour... He took part in the creation of Hara-Kiri, a jewel of the 1970s underground culture. In 1966, he joined the Journal Pilote along with Gotlib. After Hara-Kiri Hebdo was banned in 1970 following the impudent announcement of General de Gaulle's death, he contributed to its successor, Charlie Hebdo. We found out how comics could influence the world...
Sitting discreetly at my table at the Québec Cinéma Gala, Éric Warin was nominated for his animated film Ballerina, which he co-directed and drew. His film was a huge hit of the 2017 Quebec and world box-office.  
Born in France in 1969, Éric Warin graduated from the École des beaux-arts de Nantes. Settled in Montreal in 1999, he took part in the design of Sylvain Chomet's highly-prized animation film Les triplettes de Belleville. "I was hopeless at drawing," says Éric Warin. "In Mr. Zolock, cartoonist Frankin was unbeknown to him my mentor. I practiced drawing by reproducing his character Gaston Lagaffe. When I arrived in Quebec, Sylvain Chomet made me realize the difference between comics and film: in film, you must understand movement beyond what you see. And now with 3D, accuracy must be irreproachable. Artists are the products of their time."  
With Astérix et Obélix, Goscinny criticizes the 60s France and also the place of women, just like Claire Bretécher. We can see what was happening at that time. We are the heirs of those artists! It's extraordinary to be able to hear them talk about their creative processes!   

Why Was the Strange Mr. Zolock So Interested in Comics? The millions of tickets sold for summer blockbusters, often based on old comics, are surely part of the answer.... Come and form your own opinion of the film when it is screened at the Fantasia Festival on Monday, July 30, at the Imperial Cinema.
Cinema is live!

 Claude Lelouch likes to establish a direct connection with his actors! "The director has all the advantages being behind the camera," he said in an interview with Elephant. "I can get closer and zoom in like when I'm talking to you. It's like a conversation. It enables me to edit live! (....) You can't play tennis if you don't hold the racquet!" 

In June, as part of Elephant On The Big Screen, you will be able to see his film, À nous deux, at the Cinémathèque québécoise. Make that trip in the company of two great French movie actors, Catherine Deneuve and Jacques Dutronc. 
Françoise, an alcoholic pharmacist, extorts money from adulterous husbands. Running away from the police, she meets Simon, a small crook who escaped from prison hiding inside a piano. While on the lam, they fall in love with one another.

The director had written this letter in his script introduction: 
"In arithmetic, one plus one equals two. In love, from time to time, they also equal two. Very often, it equals zero and, in most cases, minus two... The mysteries of the addition or subtraction of two human beings are ultimately the only thing I like to think about. I'd like À nous deux to be my most optimistic film for those who still believe that two persons together can achieve twice as much. (...) I constructed it like an adventure movie. Love can also be entertainment... Especially when many people around stick their noses into other people's business!"  
À nous deux:  A Lelouch with suspense and two fabulous actors who represent their time well. A must see! 

I leave the final word to Claude Lelouch in his interview with Elephant on film restoration. 
"Future generations will tell us what were masterpieces! In the meantime, we need to have the courage to restore everything!"
Elephant is not lacking for energy and courage: nearly 225 Quebec films are now digitized, restored and available! Take advantage of the summer to watch those movies that will make you travel in time!   
Good viewing! 
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