André Melançon | The Canadian Encyclopedia


André Melançon

André Melançon, OQ, director, actor (born 18 February 1942 in Rouyn-Noranda, QC; died 23 August 2016 in Montréal, QC).

André Melançon, OQ, director, actor (born 18 February 1942 in Rouyn-Noranda, QC; died 23 August 2016 in Montréal, QC). Trained as a psycho-educator, he took advantage of his knowledge to make several films focusing mainly on education. His interest in youth led, from 1974, to the creation of fictional shorts for young people ("Les Oreilles"mène l'enquête, Le Violon de Gaston). The success of Comme les six doigts de la main (1978) affirmed his talent in a category in which he would from now on be the uncontested master: youth film. In 1984, when producer Rock Demers launched the series Contes pour tous, Melançon was honoured by inaugurating it with the now classic La Guerre des toques, about the adventures experienced by gangs of youth, and in which Melançon verified his gift for directing. He would shoot two more in the series: Bach et Bottine (1986) and Fierro, l'été des secrets (1989).

His interest in youth extended to documentaries as well as fiction. In Les Vrais Perdants (1978), he questioned the attitude of parents who push their children to succeed, while in L'Espace d'un été he closely followed a group of working-class boys. He also made Le Lys brisé (1986), a serious film on a subject that affected youth - incest. After a less convincing foray into police movies (Rafales, 1990), the filmmaker turned to television with Nénette (1991), Le Boulard (1995), the series Cher Olivier (1997), Ces enfants d'ailleurs II (1998), and a theatrical adaptation of Michel Tremblay's, Albertine en cinq temps (1999).

Having worked in the theatre as a stage director and improvisation coach, he was closely connected with actors. At the same time, he himself pursued an acting career initiated in Taureau (Clément Perron, 1972) that touted his imposing physique, although he generally performed in secondary roles. He accepted the responsibility of heading the production department at the Institut national de l'image et du son (l'INIS).

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