A film-opera divided into nine segments, Au pays de Zom tells a day in the life of Mister Zom, a capitalist infatuated with his own person, whose conformism is only matched by his artistic velleity. A thematic sequel to his movie filmed with Mexican peasants, here Groulx asks, by making a business man sing, a second question on happiness: this time about the ones for whom happiness is linked with the possession of overabundance. He delivers, by developing the theatrical dimension with great emphasis, a social pamphlet with a strong satirical charge that he himself qualified as a neo-surrealist fantasy. —National Film Board of Canada
Gilles Groulx grew up in a working-class family with 14 children. After studying business in school, he went to work in an office but found the white-collar environment too stultifying. Deciding that the only way out was to become an intellectual, he attended the “École du meuble” for a time and was a supporter of Borduas’ automatiste movement. He also made 8mm amateur films, which landed him a job as picture editor in the news department of the CBC. After three short personal films that confirmed his talent, he was hired by the NFB at the beginning of the Candid Eye movement in 1956.
His first film with the NFB was Les Raquetteurs (1958). Co-directed with Michel Brault, it employed the candid eye approach and was a landmark film. With Golden Gloves in 1961, Groulx’s focus shifted from the crowd to the individual, but still showing the individual in his environment.
Voir Miami (1962) revealed Groulx’s poetic side. Although it presents an indictment of contemporary America… read more