La Dame en Couleurs

Alternative Title: 
Our Lady of the Paints

1985
112.0'
CA
Director: 
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Contributors: 
Producers
Les Productions Pierre Lamy
Distributor: 
  • Les Films René Malo
Synopsis

La Dame en Couleurs was the last film completed by mercurial Canadian director Claude Jutra (it was originally titled in the singular: "Couleur" rather than "Couleurs"). The director's rapidly deteriorating mental state-he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's--required him to take more time than usual in production. Despite his illness, Jutra was able to draw on his own memories as a medical intern to weave a credible tale of life in a Quebec mental institution. The film concentrates not on the patients but on a group of orphans who take refuge in the institution because they have no other home. As the story progresses, the catacombs beneath the hospital serve as a combination playground and "escape" for the kids. Perhaps being in close contact with mental illness had a profoundly injurious effect on Jutra: he retreated deeper into "himself" after the film's completion, leading to his ultimate mysterious death in 1986. La Dame en Couleurs was released in English-speaking provinces as Our Lady of the Paints.