Le temps d'une chasse
(Once Upon a Hunt)
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 98 min
National Film Board of Canada
This first feature from Francis Mankiewicz, who would later make the masterful Les bons débarras, is a critical yet sympathetic examination of the rituals of male bonding. Three friends (Guy L’Écuyer, Sabourin and Dufresne) and the young son of one of the men (Olivier L’Écuyer) spend a weekend hunting together in the Quebec bush. They pass the first night in a motel bar where they get drunk and harass the waitresses.
Le temps d’une chasse is centred on the characters (all superbly acted) and their picaresque adventures. Mankiewicz provides incredible insight into the characters’ empty, desperate lives. The film’s spontaneity, humour and unforgettable camerawork by Michel Brault make it one of the best films of the early 1970s.
Le temps d'une chasse won three Canadian Film Awards — best cinematography, sound and first feature — but did poorly outside Quebec on its commercial release.