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Léolo (Version française)

21 customer reviews

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Product Description

Second et dernier long métrage, après Un zoo la nuit, de la comète Jean-Claude Lauzon, Léolo est un vigoureux poème visuel, jamais sentimental, toujours dense et touchant. Entre une mère monumentale de tendresse (Ginette Reno), un père toujours là et toujours absent, un grand-père libidineux (Julien Guiomar) et des frères et soeurs marqués par la peur et la folie, le petit Léo (Maxime Collin) rêve. Il rêve d’Italie, d’une famille inventée et d’improbables trésors au fond de l’eau. Il rêve sa vie parce que, répète-t-il constamment : “Je rêve, donc je ne suis pas”.

Présenté en compétition officielle au Festival de Cannes en 1992, Léolo a causé un émoi dans le cinéma québécois. Entre la poésie de Forcier et la virulence de Kusturica, Lauzon a su créer de toutes pièces un univers unique dans notre paysage cinématographique. Sa grande force réside dans les images : images-chocs (le garçon se masturbant dans du foie de veau !), images simples (la mère et son fils dans la salle d’attente d’un cabinet de médecin) et images fortes (la “naissance” de Léo), qui composent le véritable vocabulaire de ce cinéaste surdoué. Si l’enchaînement de ces vignettes apparaît parfois décousu, et si la narration, superbement dite par Gilbert Sicotte, est souvent redondante, Léolo reste une oeuvre vibrante, un formidable hommage à l’enfance.

À l’instar des 400 Coups ou de Ma vie de chien, Léolo montre, sous le couvert d’une autobiographie fantasmée, la naissance d’un grand réalisateur, dont la mort prématurée a laissé un grand vide dans une cinématographie souvent trop sage… --Éric Fourlanty

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Holden on Oct. 20 2004
Format: DVD
Jean-Claude Lauzon was, no doubt, a troubled genius. I have seen Leolo many times and also the documentary about its director titled Lauzon Lauzon.
Leolo is a work of art. Lauzon attacked this project like a composer attacks a symphony. Its said that he played tapes of the musical scores for the producer, while standing over his shoulder and demanding that he read the script immediately.
Lauzon used music like a knife to make his points in some scenes. We hear the sacred tones of classical hymn while we see the gritty sometimes profane reality that Leolo lives in. There is Catholic symbolism and guilt oozing out of this film. The voice who speaks to us off an on throughout the film is excellent; through the voice of the archivist, of Leolo's
papers and deepest thoughts, we are allowed access to his psyche. The voice is also in English on the DVD.
Maxime Collin is an incredible young actor. He plays Leo who refuses to be a french Canadian boy from the poorest part of Montreal and instead he is Leolo's a white shirted Italian boy who lives for romance and beauty (oh yes and the Italian Countryside is beautiful). Our main charter repeats over and over, "I think therefore I am not". There is a lot here that Leolo would "not" want to be. Crazy for starters as his family home is a bit of an asylum.
If you're squeamish, steer away, there are gritty scenes here. Yes a cat gets defiled (among other things), but for the prudish reviewer who claimed he smashed his tape at this point, I really doubt that the cat was hurt. Kinda of like the horses didn't really die in Brave Heart, my friend! Look beyond the cat to the social statement that is being made about the boy who is involved.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By on Dec 16 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Leo, a precocious child growing up in abject poverty, concocts an alternative identity as an Italian boy (Leolo) conceived through an encounter between his mother and a tomato, freshly doused with the onanistic spritz of an immigrant grocer. Surrounded by a (sur)real family-- a father obsessed with defecation, a sister who reigns as queen of the insects in the crawl-space below the family's tenament apartment, a bullied brother hiding from his environment in a steroid-enhanced body-- Leo(lo) excapes into the fiction of his alternative life, aided by a kind stranger who deposits books at his door-step. At night Leo reads these fantastic stories by stolen-light, and later they seep into his dreams, where he is enthralled and inspired by the beauty of an older neighbor-girl he fancies his muse and future lover. "Because I dream, I am..." Leolo reiterates throughout this bitter-sweet tale of a bright mind besieged by the inequities of life. While punctuated with hilarious episodes of mock-heroism, and scored by a delightful Tom Waits soundtrack, the film subtly reveals the brutalities that imperil Leo's comming of age. While we hope, with the protagonist, that art can triumph over the hardships of life, the film refuses the sadder-but-wiser narratives of redemption that usually underpin this genre. The innoscence and wisdom of a child's perspective is relayed in all of its precariousness. If you liked "My Life as a Dog," "400 Blows," or "Slingshot," this film will blow you away! More bitter than sweet, "Leolo" is a comming of age story that dares to question the faith we put in the creative individual to convert our collective social failures into the necessary conditions of art.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
An extraordinary black comedy set in Montreal. Leolo (a manufactured name) is a just slightly pre-pubescent boy who claims that only his dreams are sane and that he is the product of a very offbeat conception between an imported tomato and his mother. Trying to find his own reality, the main character narrates us into a surrealistic and somehow disturbing but yet very funny working of this his mind. As the young man begins to experience his own sexuality, we begin to see bits of reference to Phillip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint and with a film style which pays deference to Louis Malle's works, we become transported into a richly woven fabric of life in the blue collar neighborhood of Montreal. Beautifully acted, with a very good film score and the characteristic high quality of the "National Film Board of Canada" releases, Leolo is highly recommended to those who enjoy black comedy and fine cinema. English subtitles.
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By A Customer on July 26 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is a rare and brilliant film. It is told through the eyes of Leo Lauzon, a young adolescent boy living in Montreal. His life and that of his family are so squalid and disconcerting that Leo lives inside his colorful head by means of a vivid imagination. He creates fantastical stories because the alternative can not be true.
It is both a Drama and a Comedy, and the two go together seamlessly. It will have people laughing and feeling sad at the same time. Unlike other black comedies this one stays honest and completely believable. The film has a message that isn't simply shock, and everything is presented in it's natural duality. Everthing has it's cause and effect, and these are displayed unflinchingly. This movie goes full circle in a way that few can muster, highly recommended.
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