In The Devil’s Share, the follow up to his own film The Memories of Angels (2008), director Luc Bourdon continues to glean into the vaults of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) to find the source material to experiment a whole new narrative, turning it into a captivating series of glimpse from an era.
The Memories of Angels was a poetic symphony covering three decades of the Canadian province of Quebec, social and cultural background. It mainly focused on the city of Montreal, from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. The Devil’s Share continues where the earlier ended.
The quiet Revolution of the 60’s is at its heights and we slowly go toward the turmoil leading to the October Crisis of the 70’s. It’s a time of dramatic change and also of new projects (Expo 67, the 1976 Olympics) that shaped a completely different background. Images from a hundred of movies, re-edited, illustrate the dawn regarding issues as various as women’s rights, rural migration and new environmental awareness during the 1967-1980 period.
The digitally restored images from the NFB collections offer some crisp picture, an homage to the work of local pioneers of the likes of Denys Arcand, Pierre Perrault and various others. The only voice-over comes from the chosen clips themselves accompanied by the sound re-working of Catherine Van Der Donckt. Bourdon and editor Michel Giroux let the past images speak to the new generation. Their editorial choices may sound often politically charged, as a focal point, but their presence in the vaults was meant to be.
Words fly away, film clips remain.
The Devil’s Share (In French with EST) starts February 16 at Cinema du Parc