Revisiting “The Subway”

For some time, there are talks between the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Montreal International Festival of New Cinema (FNC) about doing something special during the next edition to underline the release of the DVD edtion of my films. This is why I have been working hard on Herqueville so that it is ready for the festival. One of the hypothesis is to put up a performance that would somehow revisit my older work. At first I was not too excited by the idea of looking backward although I understand that it would be appropriate for this DVD set that will cover all of my carreer. But if I was to do a performance, I thought I should rather move forward to something new. Then I had the idea of using elements of my film Songs and Dances from the inanimate world – the subway (NFB, 1984, 14 min.) along with something new based on shooting and photographs done with a cell phone in Montreal subway.

This film was the occasion in 1984 of my very first performance with musicians, namely René Lussier and Robert Marcel Lepage. It was not a live animation performance, but the film was projected without sound and the music was improvised live by the two musicians and this became the soundtrack of the film. at the San Francisco International Film Festival in May, I was a documentary on Amsterdam homeless people shot with a cellphone. I was amazed by the rough quality of the image and I could not help constantly seeing a layer of animation over it. This is something I wanted to try and I realized that it would fit perfectly with the subway. So this became my proposal for the FNC performance project. This is currently being discussed. So this week I called up René and Robert to ask if they would agree to play together and perform with me for this revival of our 1984 performance and both of them agreed with enthusiasm which made me very happy. I really hope it will happen.

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