Documentaire sur le peintre et sculpteur Marcel Barbeau, l'un des plus irréductibles signataires de Refus global. Pionnier d'un art multiforme et pluridisciplinaire, ce passionné de danse et de musique contemporaines n'a cessé d'accumuler les audaces. En témoigne une œuvre majeure qui aura tardé à recevoir la reconnaissance qu'elle mérite. Mais voici que l'artiste obtient un atelier de la Ville de Paris et qu'un musée lui consacre une rétrospective. C'est pour nous l'occasion de suivre un Marcel Barbeau revigoré, d'admirer ses œuvres aux éclatantes taches de couleur ou de l'observer au travail. Autant d'éléments assemblés par la réalisatrice des Enfants de Refus global pour brosser ce portrait riche et chaleureux d'un artiste indomptable qui est aussi son père.
A veritable demolition artist, Alain saves what he can from the wrecking ball, salvaging disused and discarded items and magically infusing them with new life. The scrap yard is his treasure trove. Based only on his fertile imagination, eschewing any kind of preconceived plan, he creates wondrous objects and edifices. An old warehouse becomes his home. A mothballed shipyard serves as a gigantic movie set, further feeding his dreams... until his lease is up and the authorities insist the buildings must come down. But Alain is already off searching for another abandoned structure vast enough to accommodate his soaring vision.
In 1948, Paul-Émile Borduas' Refus global manifesto proclaimed the end of the "reign of fear" embodied by the Duplessis regime. Fifty years later, all the history books mention this document which laid the foundations of modern Quebec. Daughter of one of the signatories, filmmaker Manon Barbeau takes a fresh look at this period. She went to meet the sons and daughters of Barbeau, Borduas, Mousseau and Riopelle, "children of Refus global" who, like her, suffered the consequences of their parents' revolutionary gesture. None of them emerged unscathed from a childhood made up of worries and abandonment, but also of a richness that only art can bring. Especially when it appears to us, as it does here, in the light of emotion.
This short documentary from 1956 catches up with several talented Canadians who have found a home in the entertainment or arts scenes of London and Paris. Among them are Toronto-born Beverley Baxter, a baronet and MP who claims that London has a history of being invaded (first the Romans, now the Canadians), and then-aspiring novelist Mordecai Richler, who feels he has a better chance of making a living in England than he does back home.
This documentary is about Canadian artist Deryk Houston, who in 1999, had a life-altering journey to Baghdad. Unable to remain an outside observer of the crisis in Iraq, Deryk travelled to witness first-hand the impact of international sanctions on the Iraqi people. Compelled to speak out, the artist embarked upon a unique nature art project designed to call attention to the situation of the children of Iraq. Using rocks, gravel and hay, Deryk began to create large-scale art installations in the image of a mother and child against diverse landscapes around the world.
In this follow-up to his 2003 film, Totem: the Return of the G'psgolox Pole, filmmaker Gil Cardinal documents the events of the final journey of the G'psgolox Pole as it returns home to Kitamaat and the Haisla people, from where it went missing in 1929.
An impressionistic live-action study by Norman McLaren of art school activities from morning to night. This silent film was the first film of the Glasgow School of Art Film Group. It won first prize in the Second Amateur Film Festival in Glasgow, 1934. Film without words.
This short animation mixes traditional and computer animation to explore one of M.C. Escher's most famous works, the woodcut Sky and Water I (1938). Accompanied by a stunning soundtrack, this mesmerizing film playfully explores and deconstructs the optical illusion within one of the Dutch artist's most recognizable pieces. This film has no dialogue.
This Colin Low documentary from 1959 depicts Venice in all its splendor. In the tradition of Venetian painter Canaletto, the film captures the great Italian city’s elusive beauty and fabled landscapes, where spired churches and turreted palaces soar into a blue Mediterranean sky. Narration by William Shatner.
This feature-length documentary follows naturalist Bill Mason on his journey by canoe into the Ontario wilderness. The filmmaker and artist begins on Lake Superior, then explores winding and sometimes tortuous river waters to the meadowlands of the river's source. Along the way, Mason paints scenes that capture his attention and muses about his love of the canoe, his artwork and his own sense of the land.
Mason also uses the film as a commentary on the link between God and nature and the vast array of beautiful canvases God created for him to paint. Features breathtaking visuals and exciting whitewater footage, with a musical score by Bruce Cockburn.
For more background info on this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This short film introduces us to the "automatistes," followers of an abstract art form that developed in Montreal. The movement, initiated by Paul-Émile Borduas, is explained by the artists themselves when narrator Bruce Ruddick drops in at their cooperative studio. The film also captures painter Paterson Ewen at his home and joins the crowd at L'Échouerie, the artists' rendezvous spot. Dr. Robert Hubbard, chief curator of the National Gallery of Canada, comments on non-objective art in general and automatism in particular.