Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 117 min
Picture Plant Ltd.
In Life Classes, Bill MacGillivray’s second feature, a pregnant young woman, Mary (Cormier), takes the big plunge and moves from Cape Breton to Halifax to have her child. She goes through a life-changing experience that is not at all like the misadventures one might expect from such a melodramatic premise. She meets an art student, and begins modelling nude for life drawing classes. When she takes up drawing herself, MacGillivray depicts her psychological shift from object to subject with the sensibility of Virginia Woolf.
Life Classes is made with extreme subtlety, precision and insight — an example of the best of Canadian cinema that has not yet received the recognition it deserves. Few films portray the female body the way MacGillivray does in this film, as a repository of power and spiritual growth.