Bernard Gosselin

Bernard Gosselin, cinematographer, film director (b at Drummondville, Québec 5 October 1934; d 20 March 2006). After studying at the Institut des arts graphiques in Montréal and working as a printer, Gosselin joined the National Film Board in 1956. He received his first credit as a cinematographer when he worked with Georges Dufaux on Raymond Garceau's Alexis Ladouceur, Métis (1962). He also worked on some of the key films of the 1960s, including Seul ou avec d'autres (Denis Héroux, Denys Arcand and Stéphane Venne, 1962), À tout prendre (Claude Jutra, 1963), Entre la mer et l'eau douce (Michel Brault, 1967) and La Visite du Général de Gaulle au Québec (Jean-Claude Labrecque, 1967).

Although he has directed one fiction film for children, Le Martien de Noël (1970), Gosselin's most important work was in the development of the "direct cinema" documentary movement in Québec. He was the cinematographer on many films by Pierre Perrault including Le Règne du jour (1966) and Les Voitures d'eau (1968), and developed a special interest in the Aboriginal and folk cultures of Quebec. This interest inspired his two most important films as a director. In César et son canot d'écorce (1971), a film without commentary and intertitles in French, English, and Cree, the camera patiently observes the traditional craft of making a bark canoe. Jean Carignan, violoneux (1975) is a portrait of the celebrated fiddler that explores his roots in the traditions of Quebec folk music.

From 1977 to 1979 Gosselin filmed or co-directed with Léo Plamondon 12 short films on traditional craftspeople for the series La belle ouvrage. After serving as president of the Cinémathèque québécoise from 1982 to 1983, he spent three years filming, editing and directing L'Anticoste (1986), a feature-length documentary about sparsely populated Île d'Anticosti in the Gulf of St Lawrence. Gosselin has also made a film about the development of Montréal's Biodôme, called L'Arche de verre (1994).