Robert Lepage

Robert Lepage – Le Confessionnal (1995)

In 1995 a then well known Québec theatre director named Robert Lepage made his first feature film, Le Confessional which, to my mind, remains one of the most impressive debut Canadian films ever. An intellectual and polyglot, Lepage carried his theatrical self-assurance over to the sphere of cinema without compromising cinematic language, and in fact expresses his ideas through formal means in the manner of an assured auteur. Thematically the film is not much of a stretch for a Québec film, centering on one of the constant themes in Québec cinema: sibling-parent tension. In this case, as in many other important Québec films, the tension revolves around an estranged father-son relationship [to name just a few Québec films dealing with troubled mother/father and daughter/son relationships, Les Bons Débarras (Francis Mankiewicz, 1980), Un Zoo la Nuit (Jean-Claude Lauzon, 1987), Les Invasions Barbares (Denys Arcand, 2003), and La Vie avec mon Père (Sébastien Rose, 2005)]. What makes the film impressive is not the story but its formal treatment across two time frames, weaving the past and the present and the personal and the historical. Read More »

Robert Lepage – La Face cachée de la lune AKA The Far Side of the Moon [+extra] (2003)

Synopsis:
Forty-something Quebeçois Philippe Roberge is floundering in his life. He believes that no one listens to him or takes him seriously. A graduate student in Philosophy of Scientific Culture, he has just failed his Ph.D. dissertation for the second time, his theory of interest in outer space being a narcissistic response from man being widely rejected throughout the community. To make ends meet, he works selling newspaper subscriptions. And he has a cordial but basically non-existent relationship with his ex-wife. Philippe examines his life in response to the recent death of his mother coupled with his dissertation beliefs. Although she lived in a care home, he acted as her primary caregiver. Read More »