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Pierre Perrault and the Poetic Documentary

Pierre Perrault and the Poetic Documentary
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David Clandfield
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 252
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 0968913237
ISBN-13: 9780968913239

About the Book:

Pierre Perrault was one of Québec's most significant and celebrated artists, both a major literary figure and one of Canada's most important filmmakers.

One of the great exponents of the direct cinema style, Pierre Perrault (1927-1999) began his documentary career in radio before joining the more traditional René Bonnière filming life in the lower St. Lawrence. In the 1960s he joined the National Film Board of Canada to shoot films in the new direct style, taking a small two-man crew into communities to reveal their beliefs and allegiances as they coped with social change. His legendary trilogy on the Ile-aux-Coudres opened with his most famous work, Pour la suite du monde (1963). Ostensibly a look at the local people's effort to revive a traditional beluga hunt, it is actually the beginning of a lifelong inquiry into the relationship between community and national identity. This relationship emerges most clearly in the highly poetic Un pays sans bon sens! (1970), which brought Perrault into conflict with the NFB. The film was sidelined for many years.

After a trip outside Québec to Moncton to document francophone student unrest, Pierre Perrault made a second trilogy, this one in northwestern Québec, showing the collapse of traditional farming communities relocated to the Abitibi during the Great Depression. Further explorations took Perrault to the northern interiors of Québec, the hunting woods of Maniwaki, and to the tall ships retracing Jacques Cartier's voyages of discovery. The triology culminated in the desolate arctic landscapes of the mysterious muskox, and two of his most haunting creations.

The first major publication on Perrault in English, Pierre Perrault and the Poetic Documentary discusses not only the world that Perrault's cinema revealed but a revolution in film-making from a great poet.

Co-written and edited by David Clandfield, the book Pierre Perrault and the Poetic Documentary also features contributions from scholar Jerry White, as well as translations of some of Perrault's writings on film.

What people say:

"Clandfield is especially skilled at explaining Perrault’s singular position in Quebec culture.... An afterword by... Jerry White makes a cogent argument for Perrault’s importance in the wider stream of international documentary filmmaking, so in closing this elegantly designed volume, you feel as if you’ve just been whispered a secret you absolutely must pursue." — Globe and Mail

About the Author:

David Clandfield is Professor Emeritus of New College and Department of French in the University of Toronto. He is the author of several books, including Pierre Perrault and the Poetic Documentary.