I grew up in a black neighborhood on the east side of Montreal. Had a pretty normal childhood for a low-income family, only white kid in grade school (though later learned that Latino was not white but almost black). My dad was a trucker, so I was raised by my mom who converted to gnosticism in 1991 under the guise of the Rose-Croix. Divorce soon followed, and Mom lost custody. Went off to live with my dad who ended up settling in a West Island suburb and became a Mormon. One week before my acceptance into priesthood went to summer camp and smoked my first cigarette. Later moved on to recreational drugs and listened to Frank Zappa.
In my late teens, had a Jewish friend in Calvinian Studies at McGill who introduced me to classic American Literature. Turned out they were all writing from France so I moved there and pilgrimmaged to Ferdinand Celine’s grave. Had sex in le Bois de Boulogne and woke up on the Pont-Neuf next to an empty Absinthe bottle. With no money left to spend, returned to Montreal and moved in with my mom after dad entered the Scientology order and refused to have his insurance pay for my psychoanalysis.
Worked in the basement of a steel mill for a year washing uniforms during the time which I discovered cinema after a repertory video store opened next door to my house. Managed to watch (and this is accurate) at least 12 movies a week, early Hawks to late Fassbinder. Got money from the steel mill to make a short film about the construction of a new unit. The film, which I titled “Iron Will”, won a federal grant which I used to return to Paris for a year and study at La Femis. Dropped out of La Femis because I got tired of punctuating my speeches with puns, now in Montreal writing the scripts that will make up the bulk of my work for the next 10 years.