Continuing in the tradition of the AATF Book Club and in preparation for the annual convention in Montréal, President Ann Sunderland has authorized the establishment of a Québec cinema club, whose objective is bringing French teachers together through viewing common films throughout the year, opening a window on the world of Québec society through its cinema. Throughout the next year we hope to view five films, perhaps in an on line discussion forum but certainly culminating in a summary workshop at the 2011 Annual Convention in Montréal.
The films selected will offer insight on traditional and modern Québec culture and society, language issues, sovereignty, as well as more universal themes such as employment, happiness, good vs. evil, childhood and coming of age. All films except C.R.A.Z.Y. are suitable for showing in high school classes. All include English subtitles and are easily via mail-order obtainable through Archambault in Montreal: http://www.archambault.ca
Many, if not all are also available through Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.
Synopses of the film are included below and are taken form the Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com
C.R.A.Z.Y. - It's a story of two love affairs. A father's love for his five sons. And one son's love for his father, a love so strong it compels him to live a lie. That son is Zac Beaulieu, born on the 25th of December 1960, different from all his brothers, but desperate to fit in. During the next 20 years, life takes Zac on a surprising and unexpected journey that ultimately leads him to accept his true nature and, even more importantly, leads his father to love him for who he really is. A mystical fable about a modern-day Christ-like figure, "C.R.A.Z.Y" exudes the beauty, the poetry and the madness of the human spirit in all its contradictions.
La Grande Séduction - St. Marie-La-Mauderne is a tiny fishing village in what some may call the middle of nowhere. For eight years the locals have stood in line for weekly welfare checks, wearing patched sweaters and glum expressions, and remembering the good old days when the catch was good, the fishermen were proud, and life seemed a lot more magical. Then one day, a chance at salvation: a small company wants to build a factory on the island, but only if a full-time doctor lives in St. Marie. The situation seems hopeless until a young doctor in Montreal has an unfortunate incident with a traffic cop and finds himself on a boat to the faraway village. But how to convince handsome, young, urbane Dr. Lewis to stay in this dreary little spot on the map? As it turns out, the answer lies in just a bit of seductive subterfuge--along with a tapped phone, a hastily assembled cricket team, and something called Festival de Beef Stroganoff. Written by Sujit R. Varma
Mon oncle Antoine - French Canadian director and actor Claude Jutra enjoyed his greatest critical success with this evocative and loving (but unsentimental) look at a few memorable days in the life of a boy on the verge of manhood in a small Québec mining community in the 1940's. Benoit (Jacques Gagnon) is an orphan just edging into his teens. He works part-time for Antoine (Jean Duceppe), his uncle who owns the local general store and moonlights as an undertaker; Antoine takes the boy under his wing for a few days while the shop is busy during the holiday rush. … But when Benoit joins his uncle to collect the body of a boy who has recently died, he confronts mortality for the first time and comes to realize what sort of a man his uncle really is. Mon Oncle Antoine won eight Genie Awards (the Canadian Oscar) and was honored at seven international film festivals, but it wasn't until the film was broadcast on Canadian television that it was widely seen in its home country; since then, a poll of Canadian film writers named it the Best Canadian Film of all time in 1984, and similar polls in 1994 and 2004 found Mon Oncle Antoine still at the top of the list. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
The Rocket: Maurice Richard - In the late 1930s, a young machinist named Maurice Richard distinguished himself as a ice hockey player of preternatural talent. Although that was enough to get him into the Montreal Canadiens, his frequent injuries cost him the confidence of his team and the fans. In the face of these doubts, Richard eventually shows the kind of aggressive and skillful play that would make him one of the greatest players of all time as "The Rocket." However for all his success, Richard and his fellow French Canadians face constant discrimination in a league dominated by the English speaking. Although a man of few words, Richard begins to speak his own mind about the injustice which creates a organizational conflict that would culminate in his infamous 1955 season suspension that sparks an ethnic riot in protest. In the face of these challenges, Richard must decide who exactly is he playing for. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Un été sans point ni coup sur - It’s the summer of ’69 and Martin is 12 years old and dreams of making the neighbourhood baseball team, emulating his new heroes, the Montreal Expos. When he gets cut, his father steps in and together they spend a summer full of hope and disappointment, line drives and foul balls. A summer to remember for both of them - and not only because a man walked on the moon.
Moderator for the Cine club du Québec will be David Graham AKA Monsieur Québec. Mrquebec@gmail.com