Director, video maker, scriptwriter, producer. Trained at the NFB and the CFC, Jeanne Crépeau was the first openly lesbian filmmaker from Quebec to make the rounds of international queer community festivals with her prizewinning short films and videos. In them, urban gals are caught up in romantic relationships and peine d’amour: L’usure (By Attrition, 1986, 8), Gerçure, (The Flu, video, 1988, 18), and Le film de Justine(Justine’s Film, 1989, 45).
Reflected in these short works, Crépeau’s interest in lesbian romance, her skill at directing actors in both dialogue and gestural comedy, and her aesthetic taste for hybrid forms all resurface in her first feature Revoir Julie (Julie and Me, 1998, 92.). A whimsical and tender postmodern romance shot in the tranquil Cantons de l’Est, the bilingual, bi-zonal Revoir Julie is much more of the quintessential Montreal lesbian feature than Léa Pool’s entries into the stakes. Blonde Anglo twentysomething Juliet is recovering from a bad breakup, and goes to find her old school friend, brunette Julie, esconced in the pure laine heartland where birds sing and hammocks swing gently. Instead of sympathy Juliet discovers love, and brings Julie back to her funky Plateau apartment for a happy ending. A perennial presenter of her short films about stressed relationships since the 1980s, Crépeau was not able to cobble together a bare bones budget for shooting this first feature until the end of the 1990s, and then had to cut scenes and characters that might have sketched in a little more texture and context. But Crépeau made up for modest means with sparkling dialogue, resourceful intertextuality and spirited performances (especially by the Chaplinesque Stephanie Morgenstern). Crépeau is also a strong activist in the Montreal milieu for artisanal and independent cinema.