335 De Maisonneuve Blvd. East, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 1K1
The NFB, in partnership with the Sommets du cinéma d’animation, is pleased to invite you to an Artist’s Talk with Michèle Lemieux.
Michèle Lemieux entered the world of illustration in the late 1970s. After graduating from Université Laval’s École des arts visuels in Quebec City, she continued her studies in Germany, specializing in drawing and printmaking with the German Association of Visual Artists. She returned to Montreal in 1982 and began teaching drawing and illustration at the Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) school of design while pursuing her career as a book illustrator and animation filmmaker.
Since 1978, she’s written and illustrated more than 15 children’s books, including Stormy Night, which in 1997 won the prestigious Bologna Ragazzi Award. Adapted for the screen in 2006 at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the film garnered a dozen awards, including a Crystal Bear at the 2004 Berlin International Film Festival. Lemieux first encountered the Alexeïeff-Parker pinscreen in 2006 at a workshop given by filmmaker Jacques Drouin at the NFB. She used it to make her second animated short, Here and the Great Elsewhere, which she completed in early 2012. The film screened widely on the international festival circuit, winning multiple awards.
Lemieux describes her relationship with the pinscreen as follows: “Far more than just a tool, to me the pinscreen is a type of intermediary, one whose character is complex, sometimes capricious, often impenetrable, but always generous and brimming with discoveries. However, it is in its dialogue with current technologies where I sense new and unexplored facets of its potential. Without even knowing I was looking for it, I’ve had the great good fortune to stumble upon this instrument that responds so fully to my creative process. Never would I have been able to conceive of such an instrument, let alone invent one. But even Alexeïeff has said he couldn’t have brought his idea to fruition without the help of his wife, engineer and artist Claire Parker, who had such a profound grasp of the needs of artmaking. Each night as I leave my studio, I’m eager to get back to work the next day, much like how we long to meet up with a dear friend who still has many secrets to share.”
In this one-hour master class, the filmmaker will discuss her creative process when using the NFB’s Alexeïeff-Parker pinscreen, her research on light and colour, and her “encounter” with Mariana of Austria, the subject of her most recent animated short, The Painting. This richly poetic, non-narrative film offers a highly personal response to the portrait of Mariana painted by Diego Velázquez in 1652. Screening at festivals in 2024, The Painting is produced by Christine Noël and Julie Roy, with music composed by Robert Marcel Lepage and sound design by Catherine Van Der Donckt.
* This talk will be given in French.