With the international critical and commercial successes of Le Declin de l'empire americain (The Decline of the American Empire, 1986) and Jesus de Montreal (Jesus of Montreal, 1989) Denys Arcand has risen to the forefront of Canadian filmmaking. These films brought wider recognition to a director whose career spans 30 years and who has played a pivotal role in the development of our perception of French-Canadian cinema. This collection of essays presents a complete portrait of this fascinating filmmaker. Arcand has consistently produced intelligent and challenging works whose caustic expositions of society's contradictions leave one indifferent, from the controversial documentary On est au coton (We're Fed Up, 1970), censored by the National Film Board for its subversive description of the textile industry in Quebec, to Rejeanne Padovani (1973), a fiction film shifting from operatic beauty to graphic violence in its depiction of analysis of the failure of the nationalist dream that underlies the entire French-Canadian culture.
ANDRE LOISELLE is presently completing a doctoral dissertation on the cinematic treatment of Canadian and Quebec drama at the University of British Columbia, where he also teaches the history and comparative analysis on the cinemas of Canada and Quebec. He has published articles in such journals as L'Annuaire theatral, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Essays in Theatre, and Quebec Studies. BRIAN McILROY is Assistant Professor of Film Studies in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. He has contributed articles on film to such journals as Film Criticism, Canadian Journal of Film Studies, and Literature/Film Quarterly. He is the author of books on Swedish cinema and on Irish cinema.