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Madeleine Is...

Year: 1970
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 90 min
Director: Sylvia Spring
Producer: Kenneth Specht
Writer: Kenneth Specht, Sylvia Spring
Cinematographer: Doug McKay
Editor: Luke Bennett
Sound: Don Young
Music: Ross Barrett
Cast: Nicola Lipman, John Juliani, Wayne Specht, Gordon Robertson, Ronald Ulrich, Barry Cramer, Roxanne Irwin, Jim McQueen
Production Company: Spring Releases Ltd., Glen-Warren Productions Ltd.

Following a dispute with her father, Madeleine (Nicola Lipman), a young Québécois women, goes to live in Vancouver. She works at several jobs there and becomes the mistress of Toro (John Juliani), a macho social worker and political activist. Preoccupied with fantasies about falling in love with a clown, Madeleine believes she may have met him in David (Wayne Specht), a young man she encounters by accident. While Toro reveals himself to be an egotistical, cruel male chauvinist, David proves to have an ineffectual gentleness. He and a skid row habitué (Gordon Robertson) help Madeleine regain confidence in herself and realize she is her own person, free of illusions.

The first contemporary Canadian feature film directed by a woman, Madeleine Is... was a low-budget feature sponsored by the Canadian Film Development Corporation and a relatively early product of the Vancouver independent film scene. The film has a clear feminist orientation in its portrayal of Madeleine, who ultimately becomes indifferent to men and more comfortable with her own independence. It was generally warmly received by critics, but enjoyed only a modest release; it has tended to be less well-regarded than Mireille Dansereau’s La Vie rLvée (1972), which was released around the same time.

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