Quebec National Cinema

Author: 
Marshall, Bill

The concept of the minor (Deleuze and Guattari) is prominent in the formulating of Quebec as, effectively, a form of minor cinema within Canada. References to Deleuze throuhgout.

In Quebec National Cinema Bill Marshall tackles the question of the role cinema plays in Quebec's view of itself as a nation. Surveying mostly fictional feature films, Marshall demonstrates how Quebec cinema has evolved from the innovative direct cinema of the early 1960s into the diverse canvas of popular comedies, glossy co-productions, and reworked auteur cinema of the postmodern 1990s. He explores the faultlines of Quebec identity - its problematic and contradictory relationship with France, the question of Native peoples, the influence of the cosmopolitan and pluralist city of Montreal, and the encounters between sexuality, gender, and nation traced and critiqued in women's and queer cinemas.

In the first comprehensive, theoretically informed work in English on Quebec cinema, Marshall views his subject as neither the assertion of some unproblematic national wholeness nor a random collection of disparate voices that drown out or invalidate the question of nation. Instead, he shows that while the allegory of nation marks Quebec film production it also leads to a tension between textual and contextual forces, between homogeneity and heterogeneity, and between major and minor modes of being and identity.

Drawing on a broad framework of theory and particularly indebted to the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Quebec National Cinema makes a valuable contribution to debates in film studies on national cinemas and to the burgeoning interest in French studies in the culture and politics of la francophonie.

Citation: 
Bill Marshall, Quebec National Cinema (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2001)