Claude cannot decide whether to try to change the troubled society in which he lives or to make personal compromises. It bothers him that his anglophone, Jewish girlfriend Barbara (Barbara Ulrich) is more concerned with her theatre career than with social issues and questions of self-identity. Claude leaves Montreal for the countryside to reflect on the situation. In his isolation, he finds his ties to Barbara gradually loosening. As time slowly passes, their love fades. —The Film Reference Library
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
The two protagonists lack movement, and true emotions. By being wooden, their angst and suffering seem unbelievable. Even Coltrane's jazz score is not enough to bring the mood of this film nor the character's emotions up a few notches.
If I might add; Godbout and Ulrich are basically playing themselves and even seem to act a little like normal people “act” when they know they're being filmed, which adds a layer of authenticity that is totally in-sync with the documentary style of the film (especially since many people act out in documentaries). Those aspects make the characters and their predicaments feel so much more real and affecting. If their performances were any more “emotional” it would be dissonant with the cinéma direct aesthetic and the acting would therefore feel too cinematic and fake.
I disagree a 100% with the assertion that “whole idea of a romance film is to be cinematic and not normal”, I find that extremely reductive. A realistic and “normal” romance can be just as compelling as a cinematic one. And just to be clear, yes, cinematic as opposed to realistic, but I also realize documentaries and documentary-style fiction films are cinematic in their own way and LCDLS has its un-documentary-like moments. Furthermore, Le chat dans le sac is far from just a romance film and it's certainly not a typical one. I find it hard to fault a film for something it doesn't even try to be. For a first feature made with a pocket of change (supposed to be used to make an unrelated short), this is a remarkably accomplished movie. Also, what's wrong with student films? I've seen some that were much better than a lot of “professional” dreck that can be seen in the theater.
There is an exception to this. "One Potato Two Potato" was an indie film from the 1960s. It was a love story without the romance like Le Chat dans le Sac, but the characters in OPTP were anything but wooden, and had so much feeling. I'm sorry but my verdict on a film is always based on acting, and whether it carries the film wholeheartedly, and sorry to say but Le Chat... was not one of the good ones
Le thème et le contexte est tellement contemporain qu'on a le pressentiment que le film serait même matière à discussion aujourd'hui!Un chef-d'œuvre du cinéma québécois.
le discours a malheureusement mal vieilli... les constats d'échec, 40-50 ans plus tard, ça donne pas grand chose.