Martin Laviolette |  The techno “project maker”

To put an end to films about generations

The film Vanishing lines will soon arrive on our screens. It would be a shame to present it as the decline of the american empire des Y. How unfortunate it would be seen as a “generational film”.

Posted at 7:15 a.m.

The film Vanishing lines will soon arrive on our screens. It would be a shame to present it as the decline of the american empire des Y. How unfortunate it would be seen as a “generational film”.

I tell you this because with our mania for putting Sunkist labels on everything that moves, I fear that some will find it difficult to define the work of the trio of creators made up of Catherine Chabot, Miryam Bouchard and Émile Gaudreault (who in all transparency is a friend).

I loved the play created in 2019 at the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui. The adaptation we made for the cinema is quite successful. What is evoked in the theater is shown on the screen.

We follow the six characters at the opening, at the karaoke bar or at the pharmacy. As for the closed session which makes the alcohol flow and loosens the tongues, it gives rise to a moment when all the elements (text, game, production) contribute to nailing us to our seat for 45 minutes.

It had been a long time since I had been so shaken up at the cinema.

But the question remains: does the fact that the six characters are all in their thirties make this work a film about Generation Y?

Not a crumb.

Since the rise of the concept of youth in the 1950s and 1960s, we tend to believe that because works of fiction or cinema bring together characters from the same age group, these are the monolithic reflection of a generation.

This is how we tried and still try to see Rebel Without a Cause, The Graduate, The Big Chill, Tea Breakfast Club, Thirtysomething, The Decline of the American Empire, Kids, Friends, How I quarreled… (My sex life), Those who make revolutions halfway only dig themselves a grave and so many other movies and TV series.

But to say that the meeting of a few characters talking over a bottle of Southern Comfort or a joint succeeds in painting the picture of an entire generation is like saying that a basket of strawberries from Île d’Orléans symbolizes the seasonal harvest of all the berries in Quebec.

What each of the characters tells us Vanishing lines has a scope that transcends the cage in which we would like to lock them. This is the strength of this film. I who, as Dalida would say, am twice their age, I totally found myself in their apprehensions, their criticisms of society, their carelessness, their rage, their wounds, their disarray and their many contradictions.

We realize that we all carry within us a part of these characters. I am like the one who, in her comfort, is sometimes socialist, sometimes capitalist, I am the dreamy creator, I am the “philosopher” who thinks about the serious things in life, I am this drooling columnist who throws out enormous things and who has to pay for it, I’m this frankly ordinary guy who finds happiness easy, I’m like the one who worries about the future of the planet and who wonders how the children who are born at the moment will live.

Like these characters, I am the one who wants to improve the fate of the planet and who feels guilty for doing only small daily gestures, the one who sometimes speaks without saying anything and who likes to mess around, the one who walks, who takes the bus and the subway, but who also drives a car, the one who loves museums, but who does not hesitate to ridicule an unfathomable work, the one who is proud of his culture, but who hates the isolation that accompanies our nationalism.

Generational films do not exist. They become so in the eyes of those who need landmarks. A boomer, a macramé, a disco, a punk, a new wave, an emo, a hipster, an X, a Y, a Z… It’s so reassuring to know who you’re dealing with.

But beyond these marketing formulas, we realize that from generation to generation, we all want the same thing: to take our place. In the eyes of the creators, this often passes through scenes where disillusion is expressed, through stifling camera sessions that converge on a session of “finally telling you what I think of you”, in a way Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

We want to take our place, we want to exist, we want to say that we exist, as the young actors recently did on a premiere night at the TNM. And as did (in a more constructive way) the actors of the ordinary Grand Cirque 50 years ago.

This is what is beautiful and touching in the human being. Without this ability to be indignant and to cry out in dismay, he is only an animal like all the others.

This is what the characters of Vanishing lines provide us. With them, for 1 hour 30 minutes, you feel alive. Less alone. And ageless.

Suddenly, we no longer belong to a damn group.

As the character of Olivia, this Anglophone from British Columbia who, during a hard-hitting scene, swings solidly across Quebec, could have said: “Ah and worse, f… the generations! »

Vanishing linesstarting July 6

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