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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/roydupui/public_html/templates/dark3/functions.php on line 571

Director :     Jocelyn Barnabé
Screenplay : Jean Barbe, Jocelyn Barnabé
Producer  :   Nathalie Barton
Locations:    Cinémathèque Québécoise city premises, 335 bvd de Maissonneuve Est, Montreal
Language :   French
Cast:           Roy Dupuis as The Archivist         
Official website: InformAction

Distributors: Delphis (TV), CinéFête (institutions)

Theatrical release in Quebec : n/a

Synopsis

 

Synopsis (from the InformAction website)

At the invitation of an imaginary archivist who embodies the spirit of the Cinémathèque Québécoise, four personalities from the world of Quebec filmmaking and an inquisitive child go in search of the treasures which have been stored in its vaults for 40 years.  They discover the industry of the cinema, the history of our stories, the recollection of our memories and also a little about themselves.  For without the Cinémathèque Québécoise, a whole section of our collective life would perish irretrievably under the dust of oblivion.

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This is a difficult work to categorise according to our simple Film/TV split.  Fundamentally it’s a documentary  marking the 40th anniversary of the film archive maintained by the Cinémathèque Québéquoise, apparently the 3rd largest film archive in the world.  Its aspirations appear to be primarily educational and self-promoting.  It is offered for sale to TV networks, and to institutions (media studies etc.), but not to members of the public. Since it was financed with funds allocated for TV productions and the Quebec TV channels are credited as participants, we have classed this as a TV programme.

The 52 minute film uncovers some of the contents of the archive acquired since 1963 through the discoveries of the five people who respond to the invitations they receive from the archivist.

  • A young director, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, finds a key film from her favourite documentary maker, Johan van der Keuken, and, to her surprise, footage of the first film directed by her mother, when she was her age.

  • The archive contains the early video shorts by seasoned director Louis Bélanger (Post Mortem, Gaz Bar Blues, and of course Timekeeper) which causes him to remember his feelings as a young enthusiast, determined to see films from different parts of the world.

  • Native American filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, who has made several films about the rights of the First Peoples, is infuriated by a Hollywood film depicting the massacre of her ancestors at Odanak.

  • Composer Yves Laferrière (Jesus of Montreal) explores the origins of sound through the archive's collection of early equipment, and recalls meeting his wife for the first time on set 25 years ago.

  • Young Arthur Therrien, the son of film-mad parents, finds the original designs for one of his favourite cartoon characters, and the machines for creating animation.

Throughout the documentary, various well-known figures such as Denys Arcand, Paule Baillargeon, Rock Demers, Atom Egoyan, Roger Frappier and Micheline Lanctôt describe what the Cinémathèque Québéquoise means to them.

The device of the film archivist is used to knit together the interviews with the film extracts, and this is the role that Roy plays.  The brief performance consists of some technical business involving loading, running and watching reels of film, while delivering a voice-over script in a rather ethereal voice. The job description requires Roy to be short-haired and clean-shaven (thus taking a few years off his natural appearance in 2003) and to speak in a very well-behaved French accent, which is a bit of a revelation.

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