Wednesday, November 18, 2009 – 7:30pm
Canada 2008. Director: Philippe Falardeau
Cast: Antoine L’Écuyer, Suzanne Clément, Daniel Brière, Catherine Faucher, Gabriel Maillé
Directed by Philippe Falardeau, one of Canada’s funniest and most astute young filmmakers, this fresh, fast-paced seriocomic gem is set in the summer of 1968 in suburban Montreal, where 10-year-old hellion Léon (newcomer Antoine L’Écuyer) embarks on a spree of destructive and self-destructive behaviour as his parents’ marriage crumbles. “Léon’s favourite hobbies include failed suicide attempts, vandalism, theft, running away and breaking and entering. The cause of Léon’s behaviour is fairly obvious. His parents are a truly horrific match, prone to ear-splitting domestic squabbles that begin with smashed plates and conclude with paintings being ripped apart. As their relationship deteriorates, Léon’s actions grow increasingly outrageous and self-destructive (a ‘visit’ to a vacationing neighbour’s house is particularly memorable), and the situation is only exacerbated by his father’s remoteness and his mother’s liberal, conspiratorial approach to child-rearing . . . A touching and amusing meditation on changing mores and family structures” (Toronto I.F.F.) Falardeau’s film offers a highly pleasing mix of humour and pathos, and impresses with its stylish period re-creation, fine performances, and assured, energetic direction. Colour, 35mm, in French with English subtitles. 105 mins.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Myles Blank, an infant psychiatrist who works at BC Children’s Hospital and with a community mental-health team. He also has a private psychotherapy practice in Vancouver, seeing both children and adult patients. Dr. Blank utilizes poetry, music and film in his teaching, especially with regard to post-traumatic stress disorder and attachment issues.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
“Director Philippe Falardeau explores detention-worthy existentialism.”
Eye Weekly | full review
“The film elicits a wonderful mix of emotions …. a poetic tale of an outrageous artist-as-a-young-boy.”