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Adagio pour un gars de bicycle

Pascale Ferland
Québec, 2008
Production : Qui Vivra Verra Films


In the late 1950s, most Quebecois directors worked with the National Film Board of Canada – but not René Bail, one of the rare filmmakers to produce his movies independently. His seminal work “Les Désœuvrés” (1959) incorporated several elements of Direct Cinema, which had emerged a year earlier with “Les Raquetteurs”. Despite the fact that his avant-garde film impressed and influenced Claude Jutra and his colleagues at the NFB, Bail considered it unfinished, and limited its release. Disabled and disfigured after a serious motorbike accident in 1972, the cinematographer sank into oblivion soon after. However, a few years before his death in October 2007, he miraculously managed to complete “Les Désœuvrés”, shooting new sequences and entirely re-editing the film.

Tënk's film review

Despite sinking into obscurity, René Bail was nevertheless the first filmmaker to make a feature-length fiction movie in Quebec. What’s more, “Les Désœuvrés” broke with convention by directing and filming the inhabitants of Pine Hill in their own village and talking in their own dialect.  Richard Brouillette, our Quebecois co-programmer, played a major role in rehabilitating this director by working with him to complete his masterpiece. Pascale Ferland filmed them during this extraordinary challenge. In this documentary, she invites us to explore Bail’s work through excerpts from his films, whilst also revealing a marginal character who was nonetheless a key figure in Quebecois cinema.

Guilhem Brouillet
Co-programmer of Focus Québec for Doc-Cévennes

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Pascale Ferland

As a visual arts student at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Pascale Ferland made several art videos, some of which won awards in academic circles. In 2003, she directed her first feature-length film, “L’Immortalité en fin de compte”, a finalist in the Jutra Awards Best Documentary category. She then founded Qui Vivra Verra Films so that she could produce her own movies, which led to “L’Arbre aux branches coupées” (2005), and “Adagio pour un gars de bicycle” (2008), selected for the closing ceremony of the Rendez-vous Quebec Cinema. In 2012, she scripted, directed and produced her first feature-length fiction, “Ressac”, shot in a remote region of Quebec. She is currently writing two feature-length fictions, “Rapace” and “La Position des Astres”. Her most recent documentary, “Pauline Julien, intime et politique” (2018), has received numerous awards, and, like her other films, has been selected for several national and international festivals. Her work addresses issues concerning passion for and obsession with art and cinema. She is also interested in history and collective memory.

Other films in the collection: Cream of the screens