Canadian Film Pioneer MADELEINE IS...;
MADELEINE IS ... 1970 (released 1971).
DIR Sylvia Spring SCEN Sylvia Spring, Kenneth S. Specht PHOTOG Doug McKay ED Luke Bennett MUS Ross Barrett CAST Nicola Lipman, John Juliani, Wayne Specht, Gordon Robertson, Ronald Ulrich, Roxanne Irwin, Jim McQueen, Barry Cramer, Margot Chapman, Robertson Wood PROD Kenneth S. Specht PROD CO Spring Releases/Glen- Warren Productions. 90 min. Colour. 16mm. English.
Following a dispute with her father, a young Quebecoise, Madeleine (Lipman), goes to live in Vancouver. She works at several jobs there and eventually becomes the mistress of Toro (Juliani), a macho social worker and political activist. Often fantasizing about a clown, Madeleine believes she has met him in David (Specht), a young man she encounters accidentally. Toro reveals himself to be an egotistical, cruel male chauvinist while David has an ineffectual gentleness. But he and a Skid Row habitue (Robertson) help Madeleine regain confidence in herself and realize she is her own person, free of illusions.
The first feature-length fiction film made by a woman in Canada (a lowbudget feature, sponsored by the CFDC) has a clear feminist orientation in its portrayal of Madeleine, who at the end moves on to a state of selfpossession, indifferent to men. It was generally warmly received by critics but enjoyed only a modest release and has tended to be less well regarded than La vie rêvée*, made almost simultaneously.
REF: The Globe and Mail, 27 March 1971; Toronto Telegram, 27 March 1971; Toronto Star, 24 April 1971; The Globe and Mail, 24 April 1971; Variety, 28 April 1971; Take One, 2, No. 11 (May/June 1970, published June 1971),27-28.
(Used with permission by the author; Peter Morris; "The Film Companion - A Comprehensive Guide To More Than 650 Canadian Films & Filmmakers.
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