Contemporary Candian Film and Literature (Fall, 1999)

Polly Vandersma (Sheila McCarthy); 

Patricia Rozema (1958- )
Leading Questions   Relevant Links

Left: Gabrielle St-Peres  (Paule Baillargeon);Right:  Mary Joseph (Ann-Marie McDonald)

Leading Questions:
  • Intertexts: 
    1. T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock": "In the room, the ladies come and go, talking of Michaelangelos." 

    2. Polly, not belonging to the artsy group, "people talking and laughing, ligh a ping pong game."
    3. the mermaid's song--
      • natural, beautiful, not heard by Prufrock
      • in between two worlds
  • Individual and Social Institutions:
    1. Polly: organizationally impaired; incompetent in 
      • typing, eating manners, feminine pose, party and presenting her gift; 
      • expressions -- admire the curator and her language
      • Polly's photography: a bricoleur
      • Polly's fantasies -- make up for her incompetence and express her desire
    2. Gabrielle: 
      • Her dress and earrings, language  ('whimsical sociological references,' 'half life, half lived,' 'trite made flesh'), style, her negotiating skills
      • Her inner discontent; her work was once rejected by 'an adult class' 
      • Her secret love
  • Artistic Creation and Relativism:
    1. Experience of being rejected shared by both Gabrielle and Polly (both regarded as simplistic)
    2. G's standard: "trite made flesh" 
    3. the photos on G's wall vs. Polly's
    4. Polly's speech on Freud; Mary's speech to Polly; Polly's defense of G

  • Sexual Orientation:
    1. Polly's speech on Freud's polymorphous perversity; Polly's name
    2. the name of Mary Joseph
  • The differences between film camera and video camera, and the ending
Relevant Links: 
Reviews:  Background information: