Leduc, Jacques

Jacques Leduc, film director, cameraman (b at Montréal 25 Nov 1941). A writer for the magazine Objectif (1961-67), Leduc joined the National Film Board during that period. He worked as a cameraman until 1967 when he began directing. His first major film, On est loin du soleil (1970), was based on the spirit of Brother ANDRÉ and established Leduc's style. In the 5 years after Tendresse ordinaire (1973), he directed Chronique de la vie quotidienne, a series of 8 films that draw upon daily life, recombining its elements into a work of fiction. This was a change from the traditional direct cinema approach used in Canadian feature filmmaking. His Albédo (1982) develops and transforms this duality: the aesthetic qualities of an episodic film are highlighted in a work in which documentary and fictional elements intertwine. Le Dernier Glacier (1984), which dealt with the closing of the town of Schefferville, shared the same aesthetic.

Leduc next undertook to reflect on documentaries, Québec society, political militancy and the role of women in two short films, Notes sur l'arrière-saison (1986) and Le temps des cigales (1987), sequences from which he made into a longer film, Charade chinoise (1987). This led him to make Trois pommes à côté du sommeil (1988), a fiction extending the earlier film's probings as they applied to a generation in its forties.

In 1990, Leduc left the NFB and directed a telefilm, L'Enfant sur le lac (1991), a sketch, "La toile du temps," for Montréal vu par... (1991) and, most strikingly, La Vie fantôme (1992), written by Danièle Sallenave. In 1997 he returned to directing with L'Âge de braise, a co-production starring the great French actress Annie Giradot, who delivers an exceptional performance. By dealing with the last months in the life of a woman who is putting her memories in order, Leduc returns to personal, unspectacular subjects which he develops by means of a screenplay that emphasizes atmosphere. Since 1990 he has worked mainly with other directors in the role of director of photography.