Director: Patricia Rozema | 81-mins. | Canada | 1987 | Drama | TRAILER With Canada’s 150 this year, EIFF is proud to introduce new programming that highlights classics of Canadian cinema.
Director: Patricia Rozema | 81-mins. | Canada | 1987 | Drama | TRAILER
With Canada’s 150 this year, EIFF is proud to introduce new programming that highlights classics of Canadian cinema. These FREE! screenings hope to reintroduce select films from the zeitgeist of Canadian independent cinema with renewed presentation, understanding and appreciation. The Technicolour labs located in Toronto and Montreal have restored these films into a new digital form sourced from archival film prints. The 3 film titles are: I’VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING, PICTURE OF LIGHT and RUDE.
Winner of the Prix de la Jeunesse at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and one of the most remarkable debuts in Canadian cinema, Patricia Rozema’s I’VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING is an endearing tale of self-actualization whose abundant charms work in perfect counterpoint with its (at the time) unorthodox view of sexuality.
Polly (Sheila McCarthy) is a temp worker and amateur photographer, roaming Toronto in search of images of architectural angularity and people in states of ecstasy. Described by one employer as “organizationally impaired,” Polly isn’t much cut out for clerical work, yet gallery owner Gabrielle (Paule Baillargeon) takes a liking to her and keeps her on as a secretary. Gabrielle’s continental sophistication beguiles Polly, as does Gabrielle’s enigmatic young lover Mary (acclaimed Canadian author Ann-Marie MacDonald). Polly’s curiosity prompts tiny transgressions that lead to the uncovering of a big secret — and to the forging of a new path.
Praised by feminist thinkers such as Camille Paglia, Rozema’s politicized but never dogmatic comedy poses playful questions regarding gender roles, existential responsibility, and artistic authorship. Polly’s photographs hint at a fecund inner life, while the film’s monochromatic fantasy sequences, in which she flies over the city or transforms into a seductive intellectual, allude to a fierce imagination waiting for its chance to soar.
About the Director:
Patricia Rozema was born in Kingston, Ontario. She studied philosophy and English literature at Michigan’s Calvin College. She worked as a broadcaster before embarking on a career as a director. Her films include I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (87), When Night is Falling (95), Mansfield Park (99), Happy Days (00), and Into the Forest (15).
Age appropriate for: 16+ (Mature theme)
Print source: TIFF Film Circuit
(Thursday) 7:00 pm
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