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September without the 11
By Elyzabeth Walling 

September morning

 It's now been five years since Quebec filmmaker Michel Brault died at the age of 85 while he was in Toronto to present one of his films. He's among the filmmakers credited with originating ‘cinéma vérité' in Quebec. To this day, he's the only Quebec filmmaker to have won the best director's award of the Cannes Festival for his film Les Ordres

Born in Montreal on June 25, 1928, Michel Brault made his film debut as a lighting engineer at the National Film Board. Throughout his work, we feel the importance he bestows on light. It was then that he developed an approach hitherto unseen: the handheld camera! His vision greatly contributed to the blossoming of our cinema. Michel Brault's approach was so interesting that his lifelong friend Claude Fournier, then at the NFB as screenwriter, decided to also move behind the camera. In an interview for an article published in the Journal de Montréal on September 21, 2013, he told journalist Marie-Claude Simard: "We would practice climbing up and down stairs minimizing camera jolts. We wanted to observe the world as it is, do cinema vérité. We no longer wanted to organize what happens in front of the camera." Even when Michel Brault edged his way from documentary to fiction in the 70s, he managed to retain this "true" vision which characterized his entire work. 


Such authenticity is typical of Le Son des Français d'Amérique, a documentary series directed by Michel Brault and André Gladu between 1974 and 1980, now included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. The series comprises 27 30-minute episodes describing the traditional music of America's French-speaking people. In the part Réveille!, shot in Louisiana in 1976, a young Zachary Richard talks with emotion about the forced Anglicization of Louisiana's Cadiens (Cajuns), and his generation's determination to restore the French  heritage. "The French were ashamed. They were derided if they didn't speak English (...) We realized we were losing our culture and our heritage. We were shocked!" 

It's only the second Quebec title included in UNESCO's heritage. The first was Norman McLaren's The Neighbours. It's an acknowledgement of Canada's direct cinema. The ‘father of cinéma vérité' has left us, but he's still here! As we write, Elephant is working on the restoration and calibration of the image and sound of Le Son des Français d'Amérique, digitized by the NFB from the negatives stocked at the Cinémathèque québécoise to make that work accessible to every generation of film buffs! UNESCO requires that the works included in Memory of the World be distributed. Is it not what Elephant does so well?
It can't be winter, we haven't had summer yet

Ça peut pas être l'hiver on n'a même pas eu d'été, released in 1980, was the first feature film directed by screenwriter-producer Louise Carré. That year, at the Festival des Films du Monde, Louise won the International Press Award for the best Canadian feature film. 

The plot relates Adele's journey. The day after the sudden death of Albert, her husband of nearly 40 years, Adele, 57 and the mother of eight children, finds herself alone, feeling short-changed and betrayed. In danger of falling into depression, she finally manages to overcome her sorrow and open the door to the world around her. Through that race for survival, she discovers friendship, analyses her past, legitimizes her life and justifies her frustrations without bitterness.

Louise Carré confided to Michel Coulombe in the pages of Ciné-Bulles magazine  (vol. 5, n° 4, 1986, p. 4-9): "There's an autobiographical part in that film. But I covered my tracks. It's not necessarily Madeline, the mother, who's like me, but more Renée, her daughter. In a certain way, Madeline is the woman I would have wanted to be." Watch the interview presenting the film.

Don't miss this inspiring movie to be shown as part of Elephant on the Big Screen at the Cinémathèque québécoise, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. 
Auditive memory

François Dompierre is a one-man band! Author, composer, interpreter and producer, he wrote and produced numerous albums, from classical music to popular songs for Félix Leclerc, Monique Leyrac and Pauline Julien. He's also signed a number of advertising jingles, including the popular campaign ‘We're 6 million, we need to talk,' produced for Labatt 50 in 1975 and winner of a Golden Rooster at the Montreal Publicité Club contest. Above all, he composed multiple soundtracks! In 2016, he received the Homage Award for his life's work at the Gala du cinéma québécois. He earned, among others: in 1985, the Genie Award for the soundtrack of  Jean Beaudin's Mario; in 1986, the Genie Award for the soundtrack of  Jean Beaudin's Le matou; in 1997, the Gemini Award for the soundtrack of  André Melançon's series Cher Olivier and, in 1998, the Genie Award for the best song in a feature film (Georges Mihalka's L'homme idéal).

The 2018 exhibition at Sutton's Communications and History Museum is devoted to the music of François Dompierre, who lived in Sutton for some eight years. This year also marks François's 75th birthday and a career of more than 50 years! 

Through that exhibition, you'll discover and especially measure the range of his talent thanks to countless excerpts from his musical work, including the soundtracks of Délivrez-nous du mal, IXE-13, O.K. … Laliberté, YUL 871, La gammick, Bonheur d'occasion, Mario, Le matou, Jésus de Montréal,Le sang des autres, Le déclin de l'empire américain, Les portes tournantes and many others. You'll also see the trailers of those films restored by Elephant. The exhibition François Dompierre, 50 Years of Music, at Sutton's Communications and History Museum will be on until October 8. 

Finally, don't miss Dompierre in Cinemascope, a concert that will pay homage to François Dompierre's music. The McGill Chamber Orchestra and pianist Serhiy Salov will interpret his work in the composer's presence at Bourgie Hall, September 22, at 7:30 p.m. 
Dear André...

Director André Brassard will soon celebrate his birthday. Marie-José Raymond and Claude Fournier directed an intimate, moving film on the mythical theatre director.  Our Summer With André will premiere at the NCF... For further details, don't miss our October newsletter dedicated to the New Cinema Festival! 
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