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Gina

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Rare English-subtitled 35mm print

Screening Times

Credits

Director: Denys Arcand
Screenplay: Jacques Poulin, Denis Dostie
Cast: Céline Lomez, Claude Blanchard, Frédérique Collin, Gabriel Arcand, Serge Thériault
Producers: Pierre Lamy
Print Source: Cinémathèque québécoise

Synchro

Description

Gina (Céline Lomez) is a stripper. Smart, pretty and fiercely independent, she travels from town to town, taking the short-term gigs her booker (Donald Lautrec) finds for her. She’s sent to Louiseville and put up in a bar-hotel where, in the rooms near hers, a team from the “National Film Office” is bunked while they shoot a documentary on working conditions in the textile industry. Gina spends a lot of time with the filmmakers and earns the salacious attentions of a group of snowmobilers who frequent the dance club adjacent to her hotel. While the documentary team is faced with frustrations in getting their film made, Gina is accosted and raped in the middle of the night in her hotel room by several of the snowmobile gang, its leader played by Claude Blanchard. Gina, hungry for retribution, demands backup from the petty crook who employs her. The booker and his henchmen find the snowmobilers, but the leader escapes their clutches. Gina sets out in pursuit of him — at the wheel of a bright red sports car!

GINA is a highly unusual film, adroitly blending genres, conventions and surprising twists. Anyone familiar with the filmography of Denys Arcand will quickly recognize the numerous references to the shooting of his own feature film ON EST AU COTON, which was shelved for years by the NFB. Beyond the score Arcand sought to settle with his former employers, GINA serves as a reflection on exploitation and the abuse of power. Though it carries an auteur’s vision, it’s nonetheless an effective and exciting action film that boasts one of the best chase scenes in the history of Quebec cinema — and one of its first gore scenes! Céline Lomez delivers her finest performance, the character presented by Claude Blanchard inspires immediate contempt, and Donald Lautrec is frightening as a gangster convinced that respect can only be bought through fear. One of the great strengths of GINA rests in its judicious selection of actors, often cast against type. There’s a laugh to be had in the casting of Arcand’s brother Gabriel in the role of the doc director (a stand-in for Denys Arcand himself). The very ’70s look accents the revved-up mise en scene. The final, snowbound nighttime chase is singularly effective, thanks to POV camera work and tight editing. Fantasia is proud to present a rare 35mm copy of GINA with English subtitles.

—Marc Lamothe (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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