Jean-Pierre Perreault: Giant Steps at the NFB Cinema (150 John), Saturday (November 6) at 6:30 pm. $10. Rating: NNN
MoPix picks 'n' pans
Moving Pictures Festival of dance unreels in style this weekend
moving pictures festival of dance on film and video opening tonight (November 4) and running to November 7, various times and locations. Free-$10. 416-961-5624, www.movingpicturesfestival.com.
Call it lucky 13. The 13th annual Moving Pictures fest is one of the strongest yet. The best directors realize you can't just plunk a camera in front of dancers and call it a film. Here are some of the best (and, yes, worst) of the fest.
Paule Baillargeon 's moving doc about Jean-Pierre Perreault (best known for his 1983 work, Joe) is anchored by a series of interviews with the choreographer conducted a couple of weeks before he died of cancer in 2002.
Though obviously frail (he refused to take morphine on the day of the interviews, so he must be in terrible pain), Perreault lucidly recounts aspects of his life and career, from his ambivalent relationship to his parents to his surrogate family in the Montreal dance world.
Baillargeon wisely uses clips from various works to illustrate autobiographical points, and the doc is especially good at showing the connection between Perreault's talents as a visual artist and his choreography.
But something's missing. The doc feels truncated, perhaps because Perreault was too ill to complete a third interview. And Baillargeon can't decide what her role is as filmmaker/ narrator. Still, it's worth seeing for the show excerpts and the eerie sight of the choreographer's summer house - constructed mainly of metal, like one of his sets - and the theory that it may have contributed to his physical downfall.