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Tectonic Plates

Year: 1992
Language: English and French
Runtime: 106 min
Director: Peter Mettler
Producer: Niv Fichman, Debra Hauer
Writer: Peter Mettler, Robert Lepage, Théâtre Repère
Cinematographer: Miroslaw Baszak, Peter Mettler
Editor: Mike Munn
Sound: Catherine Van Der Donckt, Jack Buchanan
Music: Michel Gosselin, Frédéric Chopin, Yuval Fichman
Cast: Normand Bissonnette, Robert Lepage, Michael Benson, Céline Bonnier, Boyd Clack, John Cobb
Production Company: Rhombus Media

Set in Montreal, New York and Venice, this adaptation of a Robert Lepage stage piece uses plate tectonics as a metaphor for the ways people merge and shift their identities. Featuring Lepage himself as a gender-bending art teacher, the film features elegant, innovative and often improvised camera work (by both Mettler and Miroslaw Baszak) across a wide variety of spaces.

The original stage production was itself a product of sustained improvisation exercises, in which Mettler participated for nearly a year. Mettler has said that Lepage "brings people together and has them jam. That was a process I could really relate to, because it was what I had already been doing." Although Tectonic Plates (like The Top of His Head) was produced by Rhombus Media, it bears many parallels to Mettler's earlier, more independent work. It is similar to Eastern Avenue in that it tries to make art receptive to experiment, accident and instinct. Tectonic Plates feels like a conversation between Mettler and Lepage, both of whom have a strong and clearly visible creative presence throughout.

By: Jerry White

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