Wearing a cowboy hat, a woman with immense dark eyes recites Baudelaire in a country and western bar. She is Canadian Carole Laure, star of Bernard Slier’s Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, which won an Oscar in 1979 as the best foreign film. Now Laure, directed by Gilles Carle of The True Nature of Bernadette, is starring in Fantastica, the first Canadian film to open the venerable Cannes film festival. Depending on your attitude to Cannes, however, you may feel Fantastica is not quite up to, or is very much a reflection of, that festival. Fantastica is a Quebec film in two versions, one English (all songs in English), the other Parisian French (all songs in English). All the actors speak their own language and are dubbed for the other version, so that no matter how you choose you’ll encounter a dubbed Quebecois film, part American, part Continental French. Fantastica is a paradigm of the Canadian film industry.
About 100 films are produced in Hollywood in an average year. As a direct result of tax-shelter laws, devised to develop a Canadian film industry; approximately 40 films were produced in Canada in 1979. That’s about $150 million dollars worth of ‘Canadian’ films. The allowance permits investors in Canadian features