Animated Intimacies: The Cinema of Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre

By Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau
Panorama Cinéma, Montreal, Quebec
Octobrer 2011

Canadian filmmaker Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre has just come back from the prestigious Cannes International Film Fest where her documentary Jutra was featured in the lineup of the 46th Director’s Fortnight – an honor not simply bestowed on any film.

Alexandre Fontaine Rousseau analyses the work of Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre: In Saint-Pierre’s films, there is a similar desire to become one with creation—as if animation, in the end, had the potential to become a technique of the self.

"With this film, her most accomplished to date, Saint-Pierre explores in new ways animated cinema’s potential for intimacy, a project already begun in the film on the Canadian filmmaker McLaren. In that film, its subject asserts that his techniques have made cinema an artisanal labour that anyone can practise at home. Saint-Pierre, for her part, has taken a step further in this direction by incorporating animation into her personal life, approaching a painful private experience through animated autobiography and “overcoming” in a sense the traumatic event by means of the creative process. “I draw my work in a single breath”, Gazanbou Higuchi remarks in The Sapporo Project, “because controlling your breathing is very important for drawing”. In Saint-Pierre’s films, there is a similar desire to become one with creation—as if animation, in the end, had the potential to become a technique of the self. "

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