O Canada Blogathon: Léolo (Part 1 – Introduction)

Introduction

Since I have started participating in blogathons I have created an heretofore unwritten rule: I try to limit myself to participating in one a month. There are two main reasons for this: first, they tend to run out-of-sync with what the main theme of my regularly-scheduled programming, and second I tend to go a bit overboard with a post much larger than I normally write with several headings and topics discussed.

As someone who in commemoration of Canada Day one year created a province-by-province cinematic map of Canada of films I had seen or would like to see, I am clearly one with an appreciation for Canadian cinema. In that very post I try and get to the heart of why:

I can’t exactly pinpoint where my fascination with all things Canadian began. Yes, I’ve always been obsessed with hockey, but this burgeoning affection during my childhood also coincided with many of my entertainment staples being either vaguely or blatantly made in Canada such as You Can’t Do That on Television, The Kids in the Hall, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and to an extent SCTV. Regardless, the affinity has always been there and since thanks both to the internet and internationally distributed calendars I’ve come to learn of Canada Day, and decided to compile at least the beginnings of a list.

Strictly speaking in film terms the interest in films made north of the border this was likely the genesis. I vividly remember the inception of The Independent Film Channel as for probably a bit more than a month I saw movies that marked me and that I would never forget. Sometimes they were 8 PM showcases, other times they were just in heavy rotation. Léolo is one of those movies.

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All I really wrote about it in that post, for being a very significant film to me I had to mention it, was:

A completely French-Canadian film (were my revisionist BAM Awards still legitimate would’ve won many awards) called Léolo. It’s a poetic, bizarre and unique tale of a young boy’s adolescence in 1970s Montreal. Sadly, this was the last vision Jean-Claude Lauzon brought to fruition as he tragically died in a plane crash in 1997.

So I always knew that it was a huge movie to me. Which is what would make writing about it quite the difficult task. As I sat down to revisit it for this blogathon that jumped out at me as the way to structure this post: enumerating and compartmentalizing the facets of this film that not only make it work but soar above so many others for me personally.

As I began to work on this piece I started to see it was going to be huge so I have decided to split this post into multiple parts over the course of the whole blogathon.

Without any further adieu, madames et monsieurs, I present to you Léolo Lauzon, or should I say signore e signori I present to you Léolo Lozone…

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