25 June 1928|
|Died||21 September 2013
Michel Brault, OQ (25 June 1928 – 21 September 2013) was a Canadian cinematographer, cameraman, film director, screenwriter, and film producer. He was a leading figure of Direct Cinema, characteristic of the French branch of the National Film Board of Canada in the 1960s. Brault was a pioneer of the hand-held camera aesthetic.
Career and death
In the 1960s, Brault collaborated with the French Nouvelle Vague, notably with Jean Rouch, and introduced the cinéma vérité techniques in Europe. He directed his first documentary short film for the National Film Board, the influential Les Raquetteurs in 1958. He was also the cinematographer for a number of key Canadian films of the 1970s such as Claude Jutra's Kamouraska and Mon Oncle Antoine and Francis Mankiewicz's Les Bons débarras.
In 1974, Brault directed Les Ordres, about the 1970 October crisis and won the 1975 Cannes Film Festival award for best director and the 1975 Canadian Film Award for best direction. His 1989 film The Paper Wedding was entered into the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.
Brault died of a heart attack on the afternoon of 21 September 2013, while en route to the Film North – Huntsville International Film Festival, where he was to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. According to festival founder Lucy Wing, Brault had arrived at Pearson International Airport after a flight from his home in Montreal, accompanied by his son, Sylvain. Brault had begun the drive north to Huntsville by limousine when he began to feel ill, approximately one hour after his arrival in Toronto.
Honours and distinctions
- 1964 - Film of the Year, Canadian Film Awards
- 1974 - Prix L.-E.-Ouimet-Molson
- 1975 - Prix Victor-Morin
- 1975 - Best Director, Canadian Film Awards
- 1975 - Best Director Award (Cannes Film Festival)
- 1980 - Molson Prize
- 1981 and 1983 Genie Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography (also nominated in 1988)
- 1986 - Prix Albert-Tessier
- 1990 - Best director prize at the Flanders International Film Festival
- 1993 - Prix Luce-Guilbeault
- 1996 - Governor General's Performing Arts Award
- 2003 - Prix Guy-L'Écuyer
- 2003 - Officer of the Ordre national du Québec
- 2005 - Prix Jutra lifetime achievement award
- 2013 - Bull’s Eye Lifetime Achievement Award, Film North – Huntsville International Film Festival
Over the course of his career, Brault worked as a director or cinematographer on over 200 films. Some of the most notable of these films include:
- Matin (Short film, 1950)
- Geneviève (Short film, 1965) (Re-Released as part of the 1966 anthology film La fleur de l'âge)
- Entre la mer et l'eau douce (1967)
- Les ordres (1974)
- Le son des français d'Amérique (TV series, 1974-1980)
- La belle ouvrage (TV series, 1977-1980)
- L'emprise (Short film, 1988)
- Les noces de papier (TV movie, 1989)
- Diogène (Short film, 1990)
- Montréal vu par... (segment "La dernière partie", 1992)
- Shabbat Shalom! (TV movie, 1992)
- Mon amie Max (TV movie, 1994)
- Quand je serai parti... vous vivrez encore (1999)
- 30 vies (TV series, 2011)
- Chèvres (Short film Co-Directed with Claude Sylvestre, 1954)
- La Mattawin, rivière sauvage (Short film Co-Directed with Claude Sylvestre, 1954)
- Les raquetteurs (Short film Co-Directed with Gilles Groulx, 1958)
- Eye Witness No. 101 (Documentary series Co-Directed with Grant Crabtree, 1958)
- La lutte (Short film Co-Directed with Marcel Carrière, Claude Fournier and Claude Jutra, 1961)
- Québec-U.S.A. ou l'invasion pacifique (Short film Co-Directed with Claude Jutra, 1962)
- Les enfants du silence (Short film, 1962)
- Pour la suite du monde (Co-Directed with Marcel Carrière and Pierre Perrault, 1963)
- Le temps perdu (Short film, 1964)
- Conflicts (Short film, 1967)
- Settlement and Conflict (Short film, 1967)
- Le beau plaisir (Short film Co-Directed with Pierre Perrault and Bernard Gosselin, 1968)
- Les enfants de Néant (Short film, 1968)
- Éloge du chiac (Short film, 1969)
- René Lévesque vous parlez: les 6 milliards (Short film, 1969)
- L'Acadie l'Acadie?!? (Co-Directed with Pierre Perrault, 1971)
- René Lévesque pour le vrai (Short film, 1973)
- Le bras de levier et la rivière (Short film, 1973)
- René Lévesque: un vrai chef (Short film, 1976)
- Les gens de plaisir (Short film, 1979)
- Il faut continuer (Short film, 1979)
- Le p'tit Canada (Short film, 1979)
- A Freedom to Move (Short film, 1985)
- Campaign 1986 (Short film, 1986)
- Tu m'aimes-tu (Video, 1991)
- Ozias Leduc, comme l'espace et le temps (Short film, 1996)
- La manic (Short film, 2002)
- Une chanson qui vient de loin (portrait de Claude Gauthier) (Short film, 2008)
- Chronique d'un été (1961)
- Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)
- Kamouraska (1973)
- Les Bons débarras (1980)
- No Mercy (1985)
- The Great Land of Small (1987)
- (French) "Le cinéaste Michel Brault s'est éteint" Radio Canada. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Michel Brault". Film Reference Library. 2003. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- "Introduction for the 2007 Canadian Retrospective". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- "Berlinale: 1990 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- Howell, Peter (22 September 2013). "Quebec film legend Michel Brault, who directed Mon oncle Antoine, dies". Toronto Star. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- Vézina, François (22 September 2013). "Michel Brault s’éteint à l’âge de 85 ans". The Canadian Press (in French) (Montreal: Métro). Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Michel Brault - Oeuvres 1958-1974 Works". National Film Board of Canada.
- Michel Brault at the Internet Movie Database
- Michel Brault (1928-2013), NFB.ca blog, National Film Board of Canada