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To put an end to films about generations

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The film Lines of escape will arrive on our screens soon. It would be a shame to present it as the decline of the American empire des Y. What misfortune it would be seen as a “generational film”.

Posted at 7:15 am

The film Lines of escape will arrive on our screens soon. It would be a shame to present it as the decline of the American empire des Y. What misfortune it would be seen as a “generational film”.

I tell you this because with our obsession with putting Sunkist labels on everything that moves, I fear that someone will find it difficult to define the work of the trio of creators composed of Catherine Chabot, Miryam Bouchard and Émile Gaudreault (who in all transparency is a friend ).

I loved the show created in 2019 at the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui. The adaptation we made for the cinema was quite successful. What is evoked in the theater is shown on the screen.

We follow the six characters at the opening, at the karaoke bar or in the pharmacy. As for the closed session that makes the alcohol flow and loosens the tongues, it gives rise to a moment in which all the elements (text, game, production) contribute to nailing us to our chair for 45 minutes.

It had been a long time since I was last rocked in the cinema.

But the question remains: does the fact that the six characters are all in their thirties make this work a Generation Y film?

Not a crumb.

Since the rise of the concept of youth in the 1950s and 1960s, we tend to believe that because fictional or film works bring together characters of the same age group, these are the monolithic reflection of a generation.

This is how we have tried and still try to see Rebellious for no reason, the graduate, The big cold, You Breakfast Club, Thirties, The decline of the American empire, Guys, Friends, How I fought … (My sex life), Whoever makes revolutions in half only digs a pit and many other movies and TV series.

But to say that the meeting of some characters who speak in front of a bottle of Southern Comfort or a joint manages to paint the picture of an entire generation is like saying that a basket of strawberries from Île d’Orléans symbolizes the seasonal harvest of all berries in Quebec.

What each of the characters tells us Lines of escape it has a purpose that transcends the cage in which we would like to lock them up. This is the strength of this film. I who, as Dalida would say, am twice their age, found myself totally in their apprehensions, in their criticisms of society, in their negligence, in their anger, in their wounds, in their disorder and in their many contradictions.

We realize that we all carry a part of these characters within us. I am like the one who, at ease, sometimes socialist, sometimes capitalist, I am the dreaming creator, I am the “philosopher” who thinks about the serious things in life, I am this drooling columnist who throws out huge things and who has to pay him, I am this frankly normal boy who finds happiness easy, I am like the one who cares about the future of the planet and who wonders how the children who are born at this moment will live.

Like these characters, I am the one who wants to improve the fate of the planet and who feels guilty for making only small daily gestures, the one who sometimes speaks without saying anything and who likes to joke, the one who walks, who takes the bus and the subway, but those who also drive the car, those who love museums, but do not hesitate to ridicule an unfathomable work, those who are proud of their culture, but who hate the isolation that accompanies our nationalism.

Generational films don’t exist. They become such in the eyes of those who need points of reference. A boom, a macrame, a disco, a punk, a new wave, an emo, a hipster, an X, a Y, a Z … It’s so reassuring to know who you’re dealing with.

But beyond these marketing formulas, we realize that, from generation to generation, we all want the same thing: to take our place. In the eyes of the creators, this often goes through scenes where disillusionment is expressed, through stifling shooting sessions that converge in a session where “I finally tell you what I think of you”, in a way. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

We want to take our place, we want to exist, we want to say that we exist, as young actors did recently in a prime time at the TNM. And as did the actors of the common Grand Cirque 50 years ago (more constructively).

This is what is beautiful and touching about the human being. Without this ability to be indignant and cry out in dismay, he is just an animal like any other.

This is what the characters are about Lines of escape provide us. With them, for 1 hour and 30 minutes, you feel alive. Less alone. And ageless.

Suddenly, we no longer belong to a damn group.

Like Olivia’s character, this British Columbia Anglophone who, during a violent scene, swings solidly through Quebec, could have said, “Ah and worse, f… generations! ”

Lines of escapestarting from 6 July

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