Martine Chartrand / Photo : Caroline Hayeur
Martine Chartrand
Artiste visuelle - cinéaste / Visual Artist - FilmMaker
Filmographie / Filmography : MacPherson  |  Âme noire/Black Soul  |  T.V. Tango
Synopsis  |  Videos  |  Images  |  Prix et festivals/Awards  |  Générique/Credits  |  Liens/Links  |  Extrait littéraire/Book Excerpt
2012, 10 min 52s
Direction: Martine Chartrand
Producers: Marcel Jean, Marc Bertrand
Production: National Film Board of Canada

NFB Press Kit (.pdf)
>>> MacPherson | A film by Martine Chartrand

In Quebec during the early 1930s, young poet Félix Leclerc befriended Frank Randolph Macpherson, a Jamaican-born chemical engineer. A jazz fan, and a university graduate who worked for a pulp and paper company, Macpherson inspired Leclerc, who wrote a song about the log drives and the constant dangers faced by the log drivers. Leclerc entitled it “MacPherson” in honour of his friend and, through poetry, transformed him into one of those men who dance on logs. In the song, Macpherson dies a hero’s death as he tries to break up a logjam. The real Macpherson, however, died during the exceptionally cold winter of 1951, a fact Leclerc learned while he was in France.

In this poetic film, a warm interracial friendship is born deep in the heart of a wintry land to the melodies of jazz, traditional Quebec folk music, Jamaican mento and a Schubert sonata. The magical hands of Martine Chartrand, director of Black Soul, have created a new animated film with more than 10,000 paintings on glass. Filmed directly under a 35mm camera, MacPherson bursts with a pulsating hybrid of poetry and music. The filmmaker has painted lively images inspired by Leclerc’s famous song, paying homage both to the poet and to his friend, the scientist who transcended borders. A kaleidoscope of images―including the rivers of Lac-Saint-Jean, musicians from New Orleans, legendary boxer Jack Johnson’s raised fist and the soaring flight of white geese coalesces and flies apart in luminous hand-paintings evoking themes of love and death. Somewhere between documentary and fiction, MacPherson depicts turning points in history and, with great sensitivity, captures in lavish images the deep feelings shared by the Jamaican engineer and one of the poet’s sisters.

>>> LYRICS OF THE SONG OF FELIX LECLERC (english, french and spanish)
Filmographie / Filmography : MacPherson  |  Âme noire/Black Soul  |  T.V. Tango