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Claude Fournier

Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Composer
(b. July 23, 1931 Waterloo, Quebec)

One of the most prolific and durable filmmakers of his generation, the multi-talented Claude Fournier has had a curiously eclectic career, from contributing to direct cinema at the National Film Board (i.e. La Lutte, À Saint-Henri le cinq septembre) and directing Quebec’s most commercially successful feature (Deux femmes en or), to directing for television and composing the music for the award-winning short film L’Âme soeur (1990).

Originally a journalist, Fournier joined Radio-Canada as a news cameraman before he turned to writing drama. He joined the NFB in 1956 as a writer, left to spend a year in Europe, and returned in 1958 as a writer-director, working on several early direct-cinema films. Having decided to become a cinematographer, he left the NFB and spent eighteen months in the United States working with Richard Leacock and D.A. Pennebaker, photographing such films as Eddie Sachs: On the Pole (1960) and Playboy Bunnies. He returned to Montreal in 1963 and formed his own company, Les Films Claude Fournier, which in five years produced more than one hundred short films for television, many of them directed and/or photographed by Fournier himself.

In 1968 he merged his company with Onyx Films, becoming its vice-president, and directed his first feature, the documentary Le Dossier Nelligan (1969), followed by three fiction features, including Deux femmes en or (1970), which cost $218,000 and went on to gross $4 million at the box office. He founded Rose Films in 1973 and worked largely in television until his return to features on the comedy Hot Dogs (1980), followed by an adaptation of Gabrielle Roy’s classic Quebec novel Bonheur d’occasion/The Tin Flute (1983).

Fournier, who is also a published poet, novelist and essayist, continues to work in film and television in Quebec. He is the twin brother of screenwriter Guy Fournier.


Film and video work includes

CF-RCK series, 1959 (co-writer with Marcel Cabay, Gilles Carle, Marcel Dubé; TV)
Télésphore Légaré, garde pêche, 1959 (director)
Alfred Desrochers, poète, 1960 (director)
Eddie Sachs: On the Pole, 1960 (cinematographer)
La France sur un caillou, 1961 (co-director with Gilles Groulx; co-cinematographer with Georges Dufaux)
30 Minutes, Mister Plummer, 1963 (cinematographer)
Nomades de l'ouest, 1963 (director; editor)
Calgary Stampede, 1965 (director)
Le Dossier Nelligan, 1969 (director; writer; editor; co-cinematographer with Daniel Fournier)
Les Chats bottés, 1971 (director; co-writer with Marie-José Raymond; cinematographer; editor)
Alien Thunder, 1974 (director; cinematographer)
La Pomme, la les pepins, 1974 (director; co-writer with Marie-José Raymond; cinematographer; editor)
Je suis loin de toi mignonne, 1976 (director; co-writer with Denise Filiatrault, Dominique Michel; cinematographer; editor)
Abandonée, 1977 (music)
La Confession, 1977 (music)
Una Giornata particolare, 1977 (co-writer with Ruggero Macari, Maurizio Constanzo, Ettore Scola)
The Newcomers series, 1977 (co-director with Eric Till, John McGreevy, René Bonnière; co-writer with Timothy Findley, Alice Munro, Douglas Bowie; TV)
La Notte dell'alta marea, 1977 (co-writer with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Luigi Scattini, Vittorio Schiraldi)
Au boutte du quai, 1978 (composer)
Frédéric series, 1980 (writer; TV)
Hot Dogs, 1980 (director; co-writer with Marie-José Raymond ; cinematographer; editor)
Tales of the Klondike series, 1981 (director; TV, one episode)
We Will Rock You: Queen Live in Concert, 1982 (camera operator)
Bonheur d'occasion, 1983 (director; co-writer with Marie-José Raymond; co-cinematographer with Savas Kalogeras)
Bateau bleu, maison verte, 1985 (music)
Un ordinateur au coeur, 1985 (director; writer; cinematographer; editor)
Les Femmes aux filets, 1987 (music)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1987 (production advisor)
Les Tisserands du pouvoir, 1988 (director)
Les Tisserands du pouvoir II: La Révolte. 1988 (director)
The Magical Eye, 1989 (appears as himself)
L'Âme soeur, 1990 (music)
Back Stab, 1990 (actor)
Golden Fiddles series, 1990 (director; TV)
Les Malhereux Magnifiques, 1992 (actor)
Se donner des elles, 1993 (composer)
J'en suis!, 1997 (director; writer)
Les Coups d'humour; 1998 (executive producer; TV)
Juliette Pomerleau series, 1999 (director; cinematographer; TV)
A l'ombre d'Hollywood, 2000 (appears as himself)
100 Québéois qui ont fait le Xxe siècle: les géants, 2002 (appears as himself)
The Book of Eve, 2003 (director; co-writer with Terri Hawkes)
Je n'aime que toi, 2004 (director; writer)
Les Esprits du fleuve series, 2005 (director; producer)
Félix Leclerc series, 2005 (director; co-writer with François Migeat; TV)
Le Direct avant la lettre, 2006 (appears as himself)

By: Tom McSorley