Sunday, May 07, 2006


If you see only one French film this year about growing up gay in Quebec ...
I watched C.R.A.Z.Y. last night. My God, what a fine, fine film! I've been thinking about this film all day and I even dreamed about it last night. HAHA I was going to say that if you dream about a film you just saw, then that's a sure sign of its quality but then I dreamed about Wolf Creek too, so there goes that theory out the window.
C.R.AZ.Y. chronicles the first 2-3 decades of the life of Zac, born Chistmas Day 1960. When Mrs. What's-her-name, the Tupperware lady, proclaims that he has a gift to heal people by simply thinking of them, his highly religious mother nurtures and cherishes this gift, along with his sensitive nature. His strict and temperamental father, on the other hand, played brilliantly by Michel Cote, fears that his son will grow up to be "fairy", as it becomes clear that he is very different from his four rough and tumble brothers.
The film is a convincing portrayal of family life in the 60s and 70s, as a backdrop to the personal torment that Zac deals with as he tries to please his father at the cost of denying his sexuality. From the time that Zac first shotguns a joint with his cousin's boyfriend, and that act's inevitable resemblance to a kiss, Zac is tormented by fantasies of the boyfriend and of other men, and fights hard to deny them.
The religious symbolisms, such an important part of Quebec society, abound in Zac's adoration and emulation of David Bowie, in the Johnny Rotten crucifixion poster he has in his room, in his eventual flight to Jerusalem, and of course, in the birth date and the gift he shares with Jesus.
The blending of Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, and Bowie, along with examples of Québecois classics and of course Patsy Cline's Crazy, is compelling and potent. Music is a huge part of this film, as indeed it is of Zac's life - his escape, his means of expression, and ultimately his livelihood. Marc-André Grondin, who plays Zac, is heartbreakingly beautiful, and entirely convincing in his portrayal of the boy determined to regain his father's adoration, even at the cost of his own truth.
This one is going onto my list of all-time favourite films. I can't wait to watch it again.

16 comments:

Barbara said...

I guess thats why it won all those awards. I have not see it yet. I am way behind in my film viewing. Maybe I'm spending too much time blogging.
Ok it's next on my list.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You'd probably get more out of it than I did, because you understand French, don't you, Barbara W?
It is so worth reading subtitles, nonetheless.

Barbara said...

I would need to do both. My french is good but I don't want to miss the subtle things.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh you'd have the best of both worlds then. You've got to see this.

michelle said...

It always seems to me that the best movies are subtitled. I end up missing a ton of the body-language drama so I can read mistranslated dialogue.

Then I feel all retarded & shit because I'm like all "aaahhhhggghhh, *slap slap*" once I get the joke... 20 minutes later...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I don't actually see all that many subtitled movies, Michelle. I ain't as cultured as all that. But yeah, you need to have pretty good peripheral vision to stay on top of things. Still beats the snot out of dubbing though!

Evelyne said...

I thought that they dubbed CRAZY (but I saw the movie in French because I’m French speaking). It might be hard to fully understand this movie without being able to see all the actions cuz you’re reading. A lot of actions are important in this movie, just to understand what’s going on and why people are reacting the way they do.

By the way, it's a really good movie.

vwbuglover said...

Hey, great news your Blog is back on the can read list. It's black listing was lifted.

Will said...

Looking at the sidebar ...

"Idioteque" tends to give me chills on a daily basis (even if I don't listen to it.

On the film...

I will have to check it out now.

Jacquie said...

I heard this film was great. I will check it out.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hi Evelyne, welcome!
They may have dubbed CRAZY, but the version I saw was not dubbed (I don't like dubbing anyway - you either get the lips moving separately from the words or you get words that are chosen because they match the lip movements, not the actual nuance of the words)
You are right, the body language was important in this film, and I'm sure I must have missed some of it while reading. That's one of the reasons why I want to see it again very soon.

Hey Bruno, I'm glad to hear I have been unblacklisted by the MB government. They must have noticed that I cut back on my swearing. Fuck, I'm going to have to do something about that.

I hear you, Will. Idioteque often runs through my head, sometimes in combination with another song, which can be pretty freaky.
I think you'll enjoy this film. Apparently it was in production for 10 years.

I hope you'll like it, Jacquie. Zac doesn't actually wear lipstick but I'm pretty sure he wore eyeliner and definitely hair product, if that counts...

Maureen said...

Sounds great, I'm going to check it out too (and I'll be reading, my French sucks).

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You'll have to rent it once you recover from your Alice Cooper weekend, Maureen. (I want to hear details!)

hilary m. said...

I saw CRAZY months back in the theatre and I loved it! It kept me thinking after, and engaged me during the movie... the music made me smile too. The scene with "space oddity" was fabulous. I've been bugging my mum a while about getting it, so I hope it will be a birthday present!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I loved the Space Oddity scene, Hilary! We've all been there, I think.
That would make a great birthday present; I hope your mom took the hint.

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