Dir. Felix Dufour-Laperrière, Canada, 2020, 71 minutes
The animated essay film Archipelago is partly documentary but mostly fiction, although poetry may be the best comparison. The film is an abstract meditation on Québec, the St. Lawrence River, and the waterway’s islands. Formally ambitious and undeniably accomplished, Archipelago has a distinct avant-garde sensibility and employs a diverse array of graphic approaches as it unfolds. Sight & Sound describes Archipelago as “a freewheeling showcase of 12 animators deploying wildly different styles to evoke myriad moods, images and sensations connected, directly or tangentially, with Québec. Animation techniques overlap with live-action footage amid hallucinatory swirls of on-screen hand-written text; old maps, photographs and films—most prominently a 1941 newsreel-style reportage—are presented, augmented, rotoscoped and distorted; the concrete morphs into the impressionistic.” A discussion will be held after the screening with Colin Burnett, Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
Co-presented with Cinema St. Louis as part of the 30th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival. A virtual screening on demand will be available through Cinema St. Louis.