This ongoing series features 5 minutes with extraordinary citizens (who sometimes also happen to be our clientele) as these remarkable persons share a few pieces of wisdom for Montreal locals and for visitors alike, related to the nature of their work. We were tremendously excited to reach the dynamic duo behind Clyde Henry Productions. Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski are unrivaled in their filmic and artistic talents and good humour and overall we are bowled over by their abundance of integrity.
Here’s a little we think you should know about this extraordinary pair:
Lavis and Szczerbowski are the filmmakers and animators behind the Oscar-nominated short feature Madame Tutli-Putli – amongst other films which include an adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s book Higglety Pigglety Pop! and the experimental stereoscopic short Cochemare. More recently, they acted as the art director’s for Guy Maddin’s feature film Forbidden Room and, in a collaboration with Felix & Paul Studios, they co-created the Visual Reality experience “Strangers with Patrick Watson.” There is a lot on the horizon for these prolific gentlemen: in 2017, they will release two short films provisionally titled We Drink Too Much and We Eat Shit, both being produced by the Nation Film Board of Canada.
And there is no way you should you should miss their upcoming 20 year retrospective of their cumulative poster work, films and puppets that will be held at the Cinematheque, from March 11th until April 4th. Your eyes will be delighted by the likes of which you’ve never seen before. We can assure you of that! Expect the unexpected and treat yourself entry into whole new worlds.
We asked Lavis and Szczerbowski to impart their shared discerning tastes on their top 5 cinematic features that have been made in Montreal. Clyde Henry productions came up with these truly insightful gems. Our eyes have been opened and our worlds expanded. We hope their filmic knowledge elucidates how you should be spending your indoor Winter hours. We are honoured and made proud of this “Made in Montreal” selection – such a boundless ways to see and express the different qualities of this city.
In the words of both Chris and Maciek, discover
The Clyde Henry Productions list of the top 5 movies made in Montreal
Directed by Arthur Lipsett, Produced by The National Film Board.
Of all the NFB filmmakers past and present, none has been as influential on our thinking as Arthur Lipsett. The montage and sound design is still groundbreaking, and Lipsett’s “God’s Eye” view of a scraping, striving humanity still gives the chills. Pieced together with bits and bobs and leftover film scraps that Arthur saved from the dustbin at the NFB’s offices on Cote De Liesse.
2) Un crabe dans la tête
Directed by André Turpin, the great Quebec cinematographer.
Despite this, the film’s power is not in the visuals but in its searing and honest depiction of the artist as a perpetual man-child, unaware that being a “nice guy” who skates through life and relationships is its own form of selfish cruelty (present company excluded, of course).
[G54 side note: Clyde Henry certainly always know to bring comic elements into play at all times and it’s truly one of the many reasons we love you both!]
3) Forbidden Room.
Directed by Guy Maddin.
We worked as art directors on this film, but still, we’d have loved it even if we hadn’t and also would have been hotly jealous of the folks who did. This film is an exhausting phantasmagoria; the beginning and the end of movies.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Shot by André Turpin and starring Marie-Josée Croze. It was the first time we read the names of any of those three, and it remains some of their strongest work. A film every bit as luminous and mysterious as Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colour Trilogy. When we saw this we were shocked (and inspired) that something this good could come from here!
5) Les Invasions Barbares
Directed by Denys Arcand.
To be honest, this fifth spot was a toss up between the chosen Quebecois classic and Bon Cop Bad Cop. Though the former is properly-speaking a better film, Bon Cop Bad Cop is a legit buddy cop movie and, we’d argue, as a parody of the genre, it works better then Simon’s Pegg’s Hot Fuzz. Then again, Mitsou.
I suppose we at General 54 and you as readers are left with our own detective work on that one – much to deduce. And so much good movie viewing ahead.
Here is a link to Madame Tutli Putli https://www.nfb.ca/film/madame_tutli_putli_en/ and https://www.nfb.ca/film/higglety_pigglety_pop/ and find the teaser for Cochemare here http://cochemare-film.com/
Follow them on “the Instagram” under the handle @clydehenryproductions