Queer AutoCinema from Quebec: MediaQueer @ Queen Mary Unversity London (UK)
MediaQueer.ca + the Queen Mary University of London Visual Cultures Forum Present:
Queer AutoCinema from Quebec: from the Vaults of the Sexual Revolution and the AIDS Pandemic
À tout prendre (Take it All, Claude Jutra, 1963, 99 min) + Le Récit d’A (Esther Valiquette, 1990, 19 min)
Thursday, 15 June, 6:30PM
The Hitchcock Cinema, room G.19 (ground floor), Arts One Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road London, E1 4NS.
This screening and panel is presented by the Queer Media Database Canada-Québec in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London’s Visual Cultures Forum. Hosted by Dr. Anna Kemp, Lecturer in French, the screening will be followed by a panel on queer Canadian and Québécois film.
Presenters: Thomas Waugh (Concordia University), José Arroyo (University of Warwick), and Andy Bailey (PhD candidate, Leeds)
À tout prendre – Claude Jutra, 1963, 99 minutes, black & white | Cinémathèque québécoise (in French with English subtitles)
Pioneer director Claude Jutra's "semiautobiographical experimental narrative shows a privileged young filmmaker named Claude who is passionately involved with a black model named Johanne, who suddenly guesses that he likes boys. He strolls with Johanne up Montréal’s Mont-Royal, the famous gay cruising area, where he fantasizes that the couple is attacked by a leatherman biker. Johanne gets pregnant, Claude dumps her, and the relationship dissolves in narcissism, rejection, and bitterness."(T. Waugh) But before the dénouement, Québec’s most iconic filmmaker of the 20th century takes the viewer on a dizzying tour of 60s counterculture in a rarely screened work that won festival prizes at Karlovy Vary and Knokke-Le Zoute. Canada's first explicitly gay-themed feature film is a nouvelle vague masterpiece, with a fitting cameo by none other than François Truffaut. We are showing the vintage English version subtitled by Jutra’s friend, the late, great Montreal poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen, courtesy the Cinémathèque québécoise.
Le Récit d’A – Esther Valiquette, 1990, 20 minutes, colour | Vidéographe, (In English and French with subtitles)
Perhaps the first work in world cinema by a woman living with AIDS, this experimental autobiographical video essay combines animation techniques with medical scans, metaphorical deserts, beefcake nudes, and pills, pills, pills. The pun in the title (the "Story of A" sounds like "the Story of AIDS" in French) discreetly references Valiquette's own battle with the virus (she died in 1994), as well as that of Andrew Small, her San Francisco interviewee, whose voice is heard throughout.
This screening is made possible with the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Concordia University’s VP of Research, and the Visual Cultures Forum of QMUL.