In this episode of the podcast, we discuss Anne Émond, one of the most exciting Canadian directors working today. Her films deserve wider international attention. Her films play with time and genre as they explore the connection between the physical and the emotional aspects of her characters.
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This episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, Executive Editor Orla Smith, Associate Editor Brett Pardy, and special guest Justine Smith (@RedRoomRantings).
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About Anne Émond’s films
Nuit #1 (2016) begins with two people, Clara (Catherine De Léan) and Nikolai (Dimitri Storoge) hooking up and then spending the rest of the night in a series of alternating monologues deconstructing both themselves and their limited perspectives of each other. The film’s limited setting of a small apartment over the course of a few hours forces us to confront the two’s uncomfortable intimacy – Brett Pardy
Our Loved Ones (2015) is an intimate family drama spanning decades. At its core, it’s about the close relationship between David (Maxim Gaudette) and his daughter Laurence (Karelle Tremblay), and how they are caught up in cycles of suicide and grief within their family. The film starts out in David’s perspective when his father commits suicide and follows him as he falls in love and has children, skipping seamlessly ahead in time without warning — we feel the quick passage of time in the same way he does. Once Laurence becomes a teenager, the film shifts to her perspective, and follows her coming-of-age story – Alex Heeney
Based on the life of Nelly Arcand (Mylène MacKay), Nelly (2016) is a gorgeous, tactile, stylized film about a woman who was in a constant state of performance, obsessed with how people saw her. She started out as a sex worker, then became a famous novelist, but remained incredibly insecure despite her success. Jumping around in time, Nelly is an impressionistic look at the life of a woman who played the part of many women – Alex Heeney
Jeune Juliette (2019) is an absolutely delightful and body positive teen comedy about 14-year-old Juliette, a smart and savvy outsider who is coming to terms with her own identity and how people treat her because she is plump. The film puts us inside Juliette’s headspace as she doesn’t just “hate the sport” but doesn’t even try in gym class, befriends and then alienates and then makes up with an autistic boy, deals with her best friend’s crush on her, and realises that the boy of her dreams is actually disappointing – Alex Heeney
Recommended reading about Anne Émond
- Read Justine Smith’s “Anne Émond: Exploring Identities Through Women’s Bodies” in Cléo: A Feminist Film Journal. The piece explores two of Émond’s films: Nuit #1 and Nelly.
- Read our interview with Anne Émond on her film Nelly
- Read our interview with Anne Émond on Our Loved Ones
- Read Alex’s review of Jeune Juliette from the Cinéfranco festival
- Purchase our 2019 Canadian Cinema Yearbook for Justine’s interview with editor Mathieu Bouchard-Malo (who edited Émond’s first three feature films), and more extensive coverage of Canadian film.
- Anne Émond contributed to our best Canadian film of the decade poll. See which film she selected.
- Purchase our ebook on Kelly Reichardt, Road to Nowhere: Kelly Reichardt’s Broken American Dreams.
Related podcast episodes to listen to
- Listen to our discussion on film portrayals of women artists, including Nelly
- Listen to Part One and Two of our discussion on the best Canadian films of 2018, also featuring Justine Smith, in which we discuss the landscape of Québécois cinema.
Lockdown Film School
- Watch last week’s Lockdown Film School, featuring Anne Émond and Wild Nights With Emily director Madeleine Olnek