BY ISA MONTAGNESE
In general, we all need to see more Quebec and French Canadian-made movies because they’re great. Here is a mixed bag of movies you need to start with (with some honourable mentions of course). There’s a little something for everyone!
Les Boys (1997)
Well, according to Wikipedia, the most successful Quebec film series of all time (including Les Boys II, III, IV and a TV series), this movie is just a good ol’ time. All about hockey, dudes, dudes being dudes, the mob, pubs, love, teamwork, Quebec humour, Quebec culture and light-hearted fun for all.
J’ai Tué Ma Mère (I Killed My Mother) (2009)
Written/starring/directed by Quebec’s trendy superstar Xavier Dolan, this movie follows a young man as he figures out his complicated relationship with his mother. This film, and all his films really, are stylish, modern and intriguing. I’m excited to see all the things that come from him.
Mourir à Tue-Tête (A Scream From Silence) (1979)
This film is a documentary-style story about the rape of a young woman and the after-effects. The film focuses on how this issue is dealt with as a physical invasion, a political issue and a deeply personal/emotional issue. This film is hugely important to the issue but also an incredibly well-made film.
Les Ordres (Orders) (1974)
This one centres around the October Crisis in Montreal in 1970 and the mass arrests of people in the community. The film is really critical of the War Measures Act and the police violence that was in effect during the riots. I saw this movie years ago, and it’s still stuck in my brain because it’s so specific to Canadian politics and culture, but also seems to be relevant every few years when politics in Quebec reflect these times.
Les Invasions Barbares (Barbarian Invasions) (2003)
Probably Quebec’s biggest, most recognizable film, this movie is worthy of the hype. This is the sequel to the highly successful The Decline of the American Empire (1986) but with way more depth. The cast is reunited at a cottage to reconnect and share some memories before their friend dies.
Honourable mentions: C.R.A.Z.Y., No, Le Chat Dans le Sac, A Tout Prendre, Mon Oncle Antoine, Polytechnique