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Quebec, 1965

Production : ONF / NFB

Programmed by Jason Burnham


Two teenage girls go to winter carnival in Quebec City for the first time. Their ambiguous, tentative relation with a young boy brings both of them the sweet intensity and disillusionment of first love.

A word from Tënk

The short film Geneviève is taken from a French, Italian, Japanese and Canadian co-production, an anthology film (La fleur de l’âge ou Les adolescentes) that sought to represent a “typical” young womanhood in each of those countries. At the time, the filmmakers participating in the project were in the clutches of a powerful desire to break with conventional narrative techniques. They wanted to celebrate, each in their own way, the authenticity and spontaneity of adolescence with the motto: “Affirm nothing, judge not, simply present.”
Asked by the NFB to film the Canadian episode, Michel Brault imbued this segment (which was also his first “real” fictional work) with all the evocatory power he’d learned from direct cinema. The mobile and expressive camerawork embraces the characters’ sweeping gestures and turbulent emotions with an unpretentious lyricism stripped of all bombast, while also allowing the location and the winter to shine through. We’re captivated by the sledding scenes on the Terrasse Dufferin and nighttime wanders through Québec City’s Carnaval in February of ’64, with the pleasant impression that life is unfolding naturally before our eyes. This style perfectly complements the offhand energies of Geneviève Bujold and Louise Marleau. Both young actresses were getting their start at the time and loaned their first names to these free and resolutely modern young characters, captured in the moment between the twilight of childhood and the dawn of adult life.

Jason Burnham
Tënk’s programming assistant

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Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4