How did you come to shoot the feature film from the series of novels that author Pauline Gill has dedicated to the Dufresne family, also famous for the eponymous castle in the Hochelga-Maisonneuve neighborhood of Montreal? And in particular the story of Victoire du Salt?
Everything was done very simply, because Sylvain Gay’s script had already been written when the proposal was presented to me. Upon reading, I was totally moved by this woman’s story. I was not interested in the historical side as much as in the love story that she lived in secret, through a silent desire that she should not appear in the eyes of others. It is at the same time emotional, and disturbing, and annoying, and very painful. And because my greatest pleasure is working with actors, I knew that with this script, there was very good material.
She actually worked with Rose-Marie Perreault at the time of the series fell apartas well as on top Bolduc, where she played the eldest daughter of Mary Travers. with cobblerYou offer him his first leading role in a movie. I also chose Élise Guilbault to play the same character at a more mature age. How was this choice made?
When I read the script, I had barely read page two when I actually began to see Rose Marie as Victoire. And since the script is written in such a way that the narration is done by a sixty-year-old Victoire, I also begin to see and hear Elise. In my eyes, these two actresses are in separate classes.
If you had to find one thing they had in common, what would it be?
Their economy is in the game and within them. It is of extraordinary strength, in one as in the other. We could shoot a scene where all the other characters are talking but we only see them, their silence is so eloquent. It’s all in their eyes.
cobbler is a biographical historical drama, as it were Bolducyour previous movie. Is there a particular challenge to face when processing this type of production in Quebec?
The fun we have in making a period movie mainly happens during the preparation, because at that point we learn a lot of things. That said, once that’s all well established and the shooting days arrive, I focus on the actors and don’t see the sets anymore. In all of my films, working with actors has always been my main concern. The rest, to me, are technical details that serve to support the acting of the actors.
James and NovemberYour first feature film (directed by Jean Beaudry) will soon be 40…
Oh, my God !
Is the fun of filmmaking still the same?
The fun is the same, but I would say the conditions are becoming more demanding due to budgets that often force us to reduce the number of shooting days. We come to develop skills and find solutions by the power of circumstances, especially since I also work on TV series, where you have to work quickly. to cobblerWe had a good budget—over six million dollars—but we still had to cut about thirty scenes. It obviously hurt at the time, but once the movie was over, I put all of that aside because I think in the end, we all did pretty well. We can feel good and proud and feel like we did all we could.
Your two most recent feature films, Bolduc And cobbler, dedicated to two Quebec pioneers who, each in their own way, shattered a glass ceiling. Can we say that you are a feminist director?
You are a feminist director if you are also a feminist in life. I am sensitive to women’s concerns. The truth is, the story of these great women who built Quebec by paving the way for other generations is little known. Apart from Pauline Gill’s series of novels, Victoire du Salt’s life is sparsely documented. However, there are plenty of female stories to tell.
cobbler currently shown.
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