The Grace of God

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Now this one is a hard sell. It starts with its director, Gérald L’Ecuyer, addressing the confessional camera, telling of the 16 psychiatrists and the one doomed affair he went through to make this film. Then the film proper starts and it turns out it’s all about a young man and his tangles with psychiatrists and doomed love over a ten year period. This is followed by a whole load of shots from out of the window of a moving train. And that – confession, fiction, train window – is pretty much the mix for the whole of the film’s 70 minutes, which build towards an explanation of how and who this gay man is. “Oh God,” you’re now thinking, “it’s a Canadian art film”. You’re not wrong, it is from the land where “committed film-maker” often has its own special meaning. Nor, knowing this, will you be too surprised to discover it features a cameo by David Cronenberg (as one of Gérald’s many useless psychiatrists). These attributes to one side, this film is worth a few of your hard-earned groats because, somehow, in his own completely unconventional way, L’Ecuyer manages to take us out of our world and transplant us into his. This sort of sleight of hand, this juggling of technique and imagination, using experimental narrative structure, is the sort of thing a lot of artists try. And it rarely works. L’Ecuyer is one of the few who pull it off.

The Grace of God – at Amazon

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© Steve Morrissey 2013

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