Return to tiff.’s home page

Canadian Film Encyclopedia

Shopping Cart
Life Classes

Life Classes

(Modèles vivants)

Year: 1987
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 117 min
Director: William MacGillivray
Producer: Stephen Reynolds
Writer: William MacGillivray
Cinematographer: Lionel Simmons
Sound: Jim Rillie
Music: Alexander Tilley
Cast: Jeremy Ackerman, Kelly Edwards, Jill Chatt, Steve Szewczok, Evelyn Garbary, Marty Reno, Mary Izzard, Leo Jessome, Francis Knickle, Leon Dubinsky, Jacinta Cormier
Production Company: Picture Plant Ltd.

In Life Classes, Bill MacGillivray’s second feature, a pregnant young woman, Mary (Cormier), takes the big plunge and moves from Cape Breton to Halifax to have her child. She goes through a life-changing experience that is not at all like the misadven­tures one might expect from such a melodramatic premise. She meets an art student, and begins modelling nude for life drawing classes. When she takes up drawing herself, MacGillivray depicts her psychological shift from object to subject with the sensibility of Virginia Woolf.

Life Classes is made with extreme subtlety, precision and insight — an example of the best of Canadian cinema that has not yet received the recognition it deserves. Few films portray the female body the way MacGillivray does in this film, as a repository of power and spiritual growth.