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Jacques Leduc

Director, Screenwriter, Cinematographer
(b. November 25, 1941 Montreal, Quebec)

One of the most talented of the generation of Quebec filmmakers to emerge in the late sixties, Jacques Leduc has been fascinated throughout his career by the lives and fates of ordinary Québécois. His work, both fiction and documentary, has rejected traditional approaches in favour of a more intuitive style that is based on observations of daily life, or has been impressionistically structured to convey a sense of reality profoundly related to Quebec society.

Leduc began working for the National Film Board as a camera assistant in 1962 at the age of twenty-one. He was involved with the NFB’s direct cinema movement and was blessed with a uniquely rich and rewarding apprenticeship: among the first films he worked on were Don Owen’s Nobody Waved Good-bye (1964), Denys Arcand’s Les Montréalistes (1965) and Gilles Carle’s La Vie heureuse de Léopold Z (1965).

In 1966, he directed his first film, Chantal en vrac, an award-winning documentary short that showcased an impressionistic style which would become his trademark. He combined cinéma vérité and drama in his first feature film, Nominingue... depuis qu’il existe (1967), and continued to work as a cinematographer on many films, including Mon amie Pierrette (1967) for Jean Pierre Lefebvre, with whom he would develop an ongoing collaboration.

In 1969, he directed the pessimistic, satirical documentary Cap d’espoir, which he stated was "about the muted violence that existed [in Quebec] and the monopoly over news held by Power Corp." After Cap d’espoir was withheld from distribution by NFB commissioner Hugo McPherson and effectively banned, Leduc began to gravitate more toward drama. His second feature, On est loin du soleil (1970), was a highly innovative film that made a subtle but powerful statement about the influence of the church in Quebec society. Tendresse ordinaire (1973), his most celebrated feature, is a poetic exploration of the tender, everyday moments in a young woman’s life.

Throughout the eighties and nineties – as evidenced by the widely acclaimed Trois pommes B côté du sommeil (1989), La Vie fantôme (1992), which was named Best Canadian Film at the Montreal World Film Festival, and L’Âge de braise (1998) – Leduc continued to produce disciplined and structured, yet highly sensitive, films that emphasized how work and the daily grind affected an individual’s emotional and romantic life.

From 1961 to 1967, Leduc was editor and critic for Objectif; he was also a long-time contributor to Format Cinema, a magazine he co-founded.

Film and video work includes

Sire le Roy n'a plus rien dit, 1965 (co-cinematographer with Jean-Claude Gaillard, Michel Thomas-d'Hoste, Philippe Brun, HélPne Baste, Georges Mayrand, Pierre Bernier)
Les Montréalistes, 1965 (co-cinematographer with Michel Brault, Bernard Gosselin)
Joual Means Horse, Eight Stories Inside Quebec series, 1966 (cinematographer)
YUL 871, 1966 (assistant director)
Mon amie Pierrette, 1967 (cinematographer)
Nominingue... depuis qu'il existe, 1967 (director)
Ce soir-lB, Gilles Vigneault..., 1968 (co-cinematographer with Michel Brault, Claude Jutra, Jean-Claude Labrecque, Bernard Nobert, Michel Régnier)
Cap d'espoir, 1969 (director)
Ça marche, 1969 (co-director and co-writer with Arnie Gelbart)
LB ou Ailleurs, 1969 (co-director with Pierre Bernier; co-editor with Pierre Bernier)
Mon oeil, 1971 (co-cinematographer with Michel Régnier, Michel Saint-Jean)
Je chante B cheval avec Willie Lamothe, 1971 (co-director with Lucien Ménard)
Ultimatum, 1971 (cinematographer)
Alegria, 1973 (director)
L' ou'L, 1974 (actor)
Paul-Émile Borduas, Grandeur nature series, 1976 (writer)
Emily Carr, Grandeur nature series, 1976 (writer)
Samedi: Le Ventre de la nuit, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1977 (co-director with Pierre Bernier, Jean Chabot, Claude Grenier, Roger Frappier)
Mercredi: Petits souliers, petit pain, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1977 (co-director with Jean Chabot, Gilles Gascon)
Lundi: Une chaumiPre, un cour, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1977 (co-director with Roger Frappier)
Jeudi: A cheval sur l'argent, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1977 (director)
Dimanche: Granit, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1977 (director)
Vendredi: Les Chars, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1978 (director)
Mardi: Un jour anonyme, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1978 (co-director with Jean-Guy Noël, Jean Chabot)
Le Plan sentimental, Chronique de la vie quotidienne series, 1978 (director; assistant editor)
L'État de passage, 1980 (co-director with Gérard Guérin)
Debout sur leur terre, 1981 (co-cinematographer with Roger Rochat, Martin Leclerc)
Albédo, 1982 (co-director with René Roy)
Douce enquLte sur la violence, 1982 (co-writer with Gérard Guérin)
Du grand large aux Grands Lacs, 1982 ( co-cinematographer with Jean-Paul Cornu, Raymond Coll, Bernard Delemotte, Albert Falco, Guy Dufaux, Colin Mounier)
Madame, vous avez rien, 1982 (cinematographer)
Beyrouth: A défaut d'Ltre mort, 1982 (cinematographer)
Le Dernier Glacier, 1984 (co-director and co-writer with Roger Frappier; co-cinematographer with Pierre Letarte)
Le Travail piégé, 1984 (cinematographer)
Torngat, 1984 (cinematographer)
Étienne et Sara, 1984 (co-cinematographer with Michael Cleary, Pierre Landry, André-Luc Dupont)
HaVti (Québec), 1985 (cinematographer)
Bam Pay A! - Rends-moi mon pays!, 1986 (cinematographer)
Notes de l'arriPre-saison, 1986 (director)
HaVti, Nous lB!, Nou la!, 1987 (cinematographer)
Le Temps des cigales, 1987 (director)
Oj serez-vous le 31 décembre 1999?, 1987 (cinematographer)
Les Polissons, 1987 (cinematographer)
Konitz. Portrait of the Artist as a Saxophonist, 1987 (cinematographer)
Charade chinoise, 1987 (director; co-cinematographer with Jean-Pierre Lachapelle, Pierre Letarte, Roger Rochat)
Voyage en Amérique avec un cheval emprunté, 1987 (cinematographer)
La Débâcle, 1989 (co-cinematographer with Roger Rochat)
Le Visiteur d'un soir, 1989 (co-cinematographer with Martin Leclerc, Pierre Letarte)
Audition, 1989 (co-cinematographer with Michelle Paulin, Susan Trow, Esther Valiquette)
Femmes en campaign, 1989 (cinematographer)
La Peau et les Os, 1989 (cinematographer)
Trois pommes B côté du sommeil, 1989 (director; co-writer with Michel Langlois)
Au chic Resto Pop, 1990 (cinematographer)
Le Génie createur: Norman McLaren, 1991 (co-cinematographer with Pierre Letarte)
L'Enfant sur le lac, 1992 (director; TV)
La Vie fantôme, 1993 (director; co-writer with Yvon Rivard)
Le Feu sacre, 1994 (co-cinematographer with Sylvain Brault, Jean-Claude Labrecque, Philippe Lavalette, Jocelyn Simard)
De retour pour de bon, 1994 (co-cinematographer with Michelle Paulin)
Gaston Miron (les outils du poPte), 1994 (cinematographer)
Pendant que tombent les arbres, 1996 (cinematographer)
Remue-ménage, 1996 (cinematographer)
J'aime, j'aime pas, 1996 (cinematographer)
Le Temps qu'il fait, 1997 (cinematographer)
The Education of Little Tree, 1997 (camera operator: second unit)
L'Age de braise, 1997 (director; co-writer with Jacques Marcotte)
Quatre femmes d'Égypte, 1997 (cinematographer)
Tu as crié: "Let Me Go", 1997 (co-cinematographer with Pierre Mignot)
L'Erreur boréale, 1999 (cinematographer)
Le Réel du mégaphone, 1999 (co-cinematographer with Serge GiguPre)
Urgence! DeuxiPme souffle, 1999 (cinematographer)
Les Oubliés du XXIe siPcle ou La Fin du travail, 2000 (cinematographer)
Le Territoire de comédien, 2000 (cinematographer)
A travers chants, 2001 (cinematographer)
Les Chercheurs d'or, 2002 (co-cinematographer with Bruno Baillargeon
100% Bio, 2003 (cinematographer)