Note: this a new series of reviews I'm installing on Le Mot du Cinephiliaque. Since I was born and raised in the Province of Québec I've decided to present and review some of the films that populate my culture and that represents the Cinema of here. The feature will be called after our license plate motto: "Je me souviens" for "I remember".
Following the review of one of Denys Arcand most celebrated films, comes this very 1970's revenge film that is so much more than just a I Spit On Your Grave film. It might have been influenced in some ways by Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs without stealing anything out of it. But the strenght of storytelling might be of the same kind.Well, Arcand's setting is directly taken from his background of documentary feature directing. There's actually a documentary shooting crew visiting the manufacture of the little town. The actual images are from Arcand's censored documentary Au cotton. His direct camera slowly sets the story in place where the inhabitants of the little town of Mauricie county are enjoying a typical winter of the 1970's. They ride their snowmobiles, play in the snow, and go to work. Until the arriving of cabaret dancer Gina, a woman from the city with lots of sex appeal. Shortly after her arrival a band of bikers in snowmobile molest Gina and humiliate her. Then begins the revenge of Gina upon her aggressors.
Even if the vengeance story has been exploited nomerous number of times, the setting of the Quebecois winter and the approach of Arcand's direct camera and multilayered script give it a fresh lecture here. It is also very interesting to see Denys Arcand's work prior to his major success of Le déclin de l'empire américain. It is a raw film depicting many elements strucured in a uneven way. However, the naive charm of this transition between documentary and fiction film is quite interesting in the career of Arcand here. One must consider this as a learning project. Personnally, it is my favorite film by Denys Arcand, even if I'm not that fond of documentary or revenge flicks the charm of the exercise and the actual unperfectness of this film makes it a very interesting piece.