This visual love letter crafted by filmmaker Luc Bourdon uses clips from 120 NFB films to pay tribute to the city of Montreal in the '50s and '60s, with hat tips to its famous figures, places and residents.
This short film is a series of vignettes of life in Saint-Henri, a Montreal working-class district, on the first day of school. From dawn to midnight, we take in the neighbourhood’s pulse: a mother fussing over children, a father's enforced idleness, teenage boys clowning, young lovers dallying - the unposed quality of daily life.
Part 2 of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque covers the years between 1967 and 1977, a colourful decade that saw Trudeau win three federal elections, the 1970 October Crisis and the sweeping rise to power of the Parti Québécois.
In Part 1 of this 3-part documentary series, director Donald Brittain chronicles the early years of Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque. From their university days in the 1950s to 1967 when Lévesque left the Liberal Party and Trudeau became the federal Minister of Justice, Brittain attempts to get at the heart of what makes these men so fascinating.
More than buildings, more than people, a city is a total expression of purpose and aspiration, past and present. This is a multi-image look at the conglomerate city, composed of a whole stream of visual and auditory impressions presented without commentary. Often the screen subdivides--two, three, a dozen images appear at the same time, creating a counterpoint of the turbulence and discord, the harmony and sophistication of the big city.
The final instalment of this 3-part documentary series about Pierre Elliott Trudeau and René Lévesque spans the decade between 1976 and 1986. The film reveals the turbulent, behind-the-scenes drama during the Quebec referendum and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. In doing so, it also traces both Trudeau's and Lévesque's fall from power.
After the Ballot is a full-length documentary portraying the gruelling everyday life of two Members of Quebec's National Assembly who, although at opposite ends of the political spectrum, share the fact that their sole power lies in their convictions. One is Daniel Turp, the PQ Member for Mercier. The other is Charlotte L'Écuyer, Liberal MNA for Pontiac. The film aptly illustrates that ordinary MNAs have very little authority since the real power is held by ministers who are subject to the ups and downs of a globalized economy. Meanwhile, their fellow citizens keep asking for the impossible…
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.
This short film from director Gerald Potterton (Heavy Metal) stars Buster Keaton in one of the last films of his long career. As "the railrodder", Keaton crosses Canada from east to west on a railway track speeder. True to Keaton's genre, the film is full of sight gags as our protagonist putt-putts his way to British Columbia. Not a word is spoken throughout, and Keaton is as spry and ingenious at fetching laughs as he was in the old days of the silent slapsticks.
For more background information about this film, visit the NFB.ca blog.
This full-length documentary from the Challenge for Change program addresses housing issues affecting Montreal in the mid-1970s. As the city is restoring older apartments through direct action and government subsidies, new, low-rent housing is being integrated into old neighborhoods.
A collaborative work made in the spirit of cinéma-vérité, St-Henri, the 26th of August was directed by Shannon Walsh and16 fellow documentary filmmakers. Chronicling life in a former working-class Montreal neighbourhood over a 24-hour period, St-Henri, the 26th of August follows several compelling stories and characters. The film is an homage to the 1962 Hubert Aquin classic À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre.
Ages 11 to 17
History - Canada 1946-1991
History and Citizenship Education - Modernization of Quebec Society (1929-1980)
What was Montreal like in the 1950s and 1960s? What were its distinguishing features? What was the role of the Catholic Church? What kinds of transportation were most common? Did cultural life seem to play an important role? What were the working-class neighbourhoods like? This film is an ideal tool for studying the structure and dynamics of life in Montreal on the cusp of the Quiet Revolution.