Thursday, June 15, 2017

Podcast: Interview with Director Denys Arcand (1986)

Rémy Girard in Denys Arcand's Le déclin de l'empire américain (1986).

From 1981 to 1989, I was assistant producer and co-host of the radio show On the Arts, at CJRT-FM (today Jazz 91.1) in Toronto. With the late Tom Fulton, who was the show's prime host and producer, we did a half-hour interview program where we talked to artists from all fields. In 1983, one of those people was French-Canadian film director Denys Arcand.

At the time of our conversation, his film Le déclin de l'empire Américain (The Decline of the American Empire) had just been released. The movie would go on to win nine Genie Awards (including Best Motion Picture) and become the first Canadian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Arcand also wrote and filmed two sequels, 2003's Les invasions barbares (The Barbarian Invasions) and 2007's L'age des ténèbres (Days of Darkness). Both movies would also be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, with Les Invasions winning – and becoming the first Canadian film ever so honoured. 

– Kevin Courrier.

Here is the full interview with Denys Arcand as it aired on CJRT-FM in 1986.

Kevin Courrier is a freelance writer/broadcaster, film critic and author (Dangerous Kitchen: The Subversive World of ZappaRandy Newman's American Dreams33 1/3 Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, Artificial Paradise: The Dark Side of The Beatles Utopian Dream). Courrier teaches part-time film courses to seniors through the LIFE Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto and other venues. His forthcoming book is Reflections in the Hall of Mirrors: American Movies and the Politics of Idealism.

Tom Fulton was the host and producer of On the Arts for CJRT-FM in Toronto for 23 years, beginning in 1975.

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