Contemporary Candian Film and Literature (Fall, 1999)
Montreal vu par... (1991)
1."Desperanto" (or "Let Sleeping Girls Lie" Patricia Rozema)
2.La toile du Temps ("The Canvas of Time" Jacque Leduc)
3.La derniere partie ("The Last Game" Michel Brault)
4.En Passant ("Passing Through" Atom Egoyan)
5.Rispondetemi  (Lea Pool)
6.Vue D'Ailleurs(Denys Arcand)
1."Desperanto" (or "Let Sleeping Girls Lie" Patricia Rozema) 讓她安臥 羅芝瑪
"My experience of Montreal is closely lilnked with my relationship with a foreign language.  In general it's a city where the smallest sound that comes out of your mouth is a political act, and if you don't speak French well, which is the case with me, you appear infantile, in trying to break through that barrier.  ...

It is no accident that I titled my film Desperanto, a play on Esperanto, the name of the universal langauge whose promoters hope could be spoken and understood by everyone in a linguistic utopia.  In my film, subtitles are, in a way, the missing link which guide the main character (Sheila McCarthy) and langauge becomes an object which can be manipulated.  It's only thorugh the bias of fiction--music, film and dreams--that she is able to enter this 'other' world." (Rozema)

2.La toile du Temps ("The Canvas of Time" Jacque Leduc) 時光畫布 樂笛客
note: Jacques Viger, the first mayor of Montreal (1833-1836)
French-Canadian antiquarian and archaeologist, b. at Montreal, 7 May, 1787; d. 12 Dec., 1858. He studied at the Sulpician college of Montreal. During the war of 1812 he served as captain in the "Voltigeurs" under de Salaberry. He was elected the first Mayor of Montreal (1833), and strove to improve its sanitary condition. Although he wrote little, his reputation as an archaeologist was universal, and the greatest contemporary historians of France and the United States have drawn from his collection of MSS., the fruit of forty years research. He compiled a chronicle under the title of "Sabretache" (28 vols.), wherein he gathered plans, maps, portraits, with valuable notes illustrating many contested historical points. He was the founder of the "Historical Society of Montreal". Pius IX honoured him with the knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.  (source: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV)

The Director's Words:
"What interested me was to take the city as a subject, rather than as a setting.  I quickly realized that, like most Montrealers, I didn't know the history of my city, which can be really fascinating.  One thing led to another, and, along with Marie-Carole de Beaumont[co-script-writer with Leduc), I became interested in Jacque Viger, Montreal's first mayor.  A film is often a number of coincidences.  This one came about with the discovery of Jacque Viger, who seemed to be a fascinating character.  We also wanted to make the viewer smile.  I've mostly made 'serious' films, and I felt as though a change of tone was in order."  (Leduc)

3.La derniere partie ("The Last Game" Michel Brault) 最後一賽 柏哈特
"I've made something in the neighborhood of one hundred short films in my life, so it's a structure that I'm familiar with. Jean Rouch once said, 'we should be making ten minute long features. . . '  Also, I enjoy working with rules, within certain limitations.

As far as Montreal goes, it is a place where we tear everything down to build from the ground up, where we're progressively killing the city.  The destruction of the couple in the film is a parable for the city I once loved.  Montreal has lost its soul.  Montreal no longer exists. .  .That's the reason I don't show it and why I use what might be seen as the most 'Montreal' of activities--hockey"

4.En Passant ("Passing Through" Atom Egoyan) 旅途一瞥 伊格言
"The voice in the film is conceived as a poem.  I had originally written it two years ago in a hotel room in Japan.  I loved walking through the streets of Tokyo, just letting my feelings take over.  But I knew that when I got home I would have to share my impressions of my trip with everyone.  My way of seeing the city had been altered as a result of the experience.  This became the starting point for the film, although, of course, it was adapted to Montreal. .  .

I was also very attracted by the interest shown by my two characters in visual representation.  For him, the pictogram is a form of maximum simplification for certain emotions or feelings which normally demand a much more detailed approach.  For her it's the opposite.  She captures extremely fleeting instants and tests her faculties of observation.  She is testing her ability to reproduce these faces in the hopes of creating an intimacy that, in reality, doesn't exist."  (Egoyan)

5.Rispondetemi (Lea Pool) 失去記憶的城市 雷而璞
"It's the route of an ambulance, which is, obviously, very fast since it's a question of saving a life.  But I wanted to show all the shots of Montreal in slow motion, in contrast to the actual speed of the vehicle.  These places seem to be out of sync, their rythm has no relationship with real life.  This is the concrete city, downtown, where the architecture is impressive, but also cold and unknown.  The areas I show are not the areas where people live.  The are places without memory.  Usually in my film it is my characters who have no past.  Here it is the city, while my character is able to remember.  .. .

The state of urgency that exists in the film is linked to my impression that others always have 'time,' as if there was no hurry, as if we could live forever.  There's an extremely agonizing contrast for me between my desire to live as fully as possible and the slowness, the weight, of existence.  In this film, you can see this idea with the ambulance rushing through the night carrying a woman hanging between life and death contrasting with shots of a city that stretches on forever.  I find the resulting distortion interesting.  Between the two, memory can be born.  A series of sequential images retrace the most intense moments from this woman's life.  It's the first time in my career that I tap into memories like this, very autobiographical, even if everything is transposed and adapted for narration.  ..." (Pool)

6.Vue D'Ailleurs(Denys Arcand) 另類視角 阿坎德
Script: Paule Baillargeon

"It was the first time I'd come across such a precise and detailed description of a passionate love written by a woman.  Why does this elderly lady begin to talk after thirty years of silence?  It's a bit of mystery, although she's talking more to her husband than to the young woman.

For me, the city of Montreal was a pretext.  The result allows us to see the innumerable possibilities inherent in the same subject.  It's like a very revealing exercise on style.  The contrast is absolutely fantastic." (Arcand)