Volume 15, Issue 7 / July 2011

Canadian (Mainly) Non-Narrative Cinema

In this issue Offscreen looks at a potpourri of (mainly) non-narrative Canadian cinema, partly inspired by the upcoming Hors Champ sponsored retrospective homage of the works of animator, documentarist, director and technical visionary extraordinaire, Colin Low. The issue features interviews with three Montreal-based directors, the most prolific with four feature films, Philippe Falardeau (interviewed by newcomer to Offscreen François Nadeau), Luc Bourdon (with one feature length documentary) and Frank Sanna (with two shorts to his credit). Falardeau’s interview deals exclusively with his latest fiction film, Monsieur Lazhar, although he has tread the waters of non-fiction with his excellent debut mockumentary, La Moitié gauche du frigo (2000). David Hanley covers Luc Bourdon’s equally stunning debut film La Mémoire des anges across two complementary articles, an interview and an analysis. In his analysis Hanley mirrors the film’s complexity by contextualizing it within the tradition of the city symphony film, the found footage film, and the postmodern film. Although there is some overlap between the interview and his analysis, the full interview has enough choice bits of insight from Bourdon to warrant running it alongside the essay. Hanley also contributes an interesting study of the Direct Cinema classic, Lonely Boy, by Roman Kroiter and Wolf Koenig. Hanley contrasts Lonely Boy to some more positive and less critical (of the subject) American contemporary variants of Direct Cinema (Primary, Don’t Look Back and What’s Happening. Concluding the issue is an interview with Frank Sanna about his experimental narrative short, The Edifice. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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