Full Blast

Issues & Themes: 
Subtitle Language(s): 
  • K-films Amérique

Rodrigue Jean’s feature film debut, Full Blast (1999, 92) was based on the prizewinning Acadian novel L’Ennemi que je connaîs by Martin Pître. A blast of fresh sea air when it hit mainstream theatres and queer festivals 1999, Full Blast is a downbeat art film with a pop feel about five hinterland characters whose lives are going nowhere. Blast was shot in Bathurst NB’s beautiful setting on Chaleur Bay, where the pulp and paper mill is closed and everyone smokes way too much (tobacco and pot). Three down and out buddies, Piston, Charles and Steph reunite and dream of starting up their old band again. Piston’s ex Marie-Lou is a superb singer, the only thing the band has going for it but she’s resisting, because Piston is a dealer, a pothead and a loser who won’t accept responsibility for their daughter. All is presided over by the bar owner, Rose, a wise and tough lady who can’t say no any better than anyone else in this town: she’s played by Louise Portal, whose involvement ensured Jean a generous budget and big names for this first feature (not that the producers didn’t end up balking when they finally saw Jean’s superbly directed, contemplative and sexually transgressive film–until audiences actually liked it!). It turns out the film revolves less around Charles the gay man returning to the setting from which he once escaped, than Steph, the beautiful bisexual who seems to have just a little more resilience and integrity than his pals and who fucks–and is fucked by–almost everyone else in the circle but can’t find what he’s looking for. Charles escapes again, but Steph and everyone else is stuck.(R of T)