The man who wasn't there? : Larry Kent and his early Vancouver films

Source document: The Central European journal of Canadian studies. 2012, vol. 8, iss. [1], pp. 77-88
  • ISSN
    1213-7715 (print)
    2336-4556 (online)
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The article examines the early feature films by Larry Kent, The Bitter Ash (1963) and Sweet Substitute (1964). Shot in Vancouver, both independently produced and financed films offered viewers an unusually frank look at the life, problems and values of the West Coast young. The author briefly contextualizes the films and comments on Kent's authorial approaches and thematic preoccupations. The article aims at reinvigorating interest in Kent's work, for this idiosyncratic director played a major role in Canadian cinema of the 1960s and deserves recognition as one of the personalities heralding the renaissance of Canadian feature film. In the final section of the article the author discusses possible reasons for the apparent neglect of Kent's work by many Canadian film historians and critics and remarks on the multifaceted mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion at work in the world of Canadian film criticism and production.
Cet article vise à relancer l'intérêt pour le travail du cinéaste Larry Kent. L'article examine les premiers longs métrages de Kent, The Bitter Ash (1963) et Sweet Substitute (1964). Tournés à Vancouver, ces deux films proposent un regard inédit et original sur la vie, les problèmes et les valeurs des jeunes de la côte Ouest. L'article contextualise brièvement les films, précise les options cinématographiques et les paramètres distinctifs de l'approche de Kent, et focalise sur les préoccupations thématiques du cinéaste. L'interprétation proposée fait de Larry Kent un réalisateur singulier qui a joué un rôle majeur dans le cinéma canadien des années 1960 et mérite d'être reconnu comme l'une des personnalités qui annoncent la renaissance du long métrage canadien. Dans sa dernière partie, l'article examine les raisons possibles de la vague indifférence pour le travail de Kent affichée par de nombreux historiens et critiques de films canadiens. De manière générale, l'article contribue à démontrer que cette négligence n'est pas légitime.
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