Format: Super 16mm Colour
Runtime: 100 min
Les Ateliers du Cinéma Québécois Inc.
Montréal Blues is one of two films (the other being 1970’s Le Grand Film ordinaire ou Jeanne d'Arc n'est pas morte, se porte bien, et vit au Québec) that features Le Grand Cirque ordinaire, a collective theatre group founded in 1969 that used improvisation and drew on traditions of vaudeville and the Commedia dell’Arte. Its tours across Quebec were immensely popular, especially the performance of their first piece, T’es pas tannée Jeanne D’Arc, which formed the basis of Le Grand Film ordinaire.
Unlike that film, which was intended as a documentary but became an extension of the original staging, Montréal Blues was created especially for the screen. It depicts a group of young dropouts who live in a commune and open a health-food restaurant. Shot in the summer of 1971, the film was the group’s last public effort, as the provincial government subsequently cut off its funding and it was forced to disperse.