Sometimes life is so bizarre that you really have to ask yourself who's writing this shit?
Yesterday I was at the Cinémathèque with my advanced queer cinema class watching André Brassard's "Il était une fois dans l'est" (1974). Based on a screenplay by Michel Tremblay that melds the plot of about a dozen of his other novels and plays, this film is unbelievably fascinating and insanely well acted. Set in and around 'the Main', it criss-crosses between the lives of three waitresses and a number of drag queens. A lot of the action takes place in a drag club that stands in for Café Cléopatre, and the next-to-last scene is crammed with actual performers of the day.
As a Michel Tremblay fan, it's not terribly surprising that I would dig the writing, which is indeed excellent. But combined with the mind-blowing acting-- fuck! Not to get sucked into nostalgia for a time when I wasn't alive, but films just don't convey pathos the way they did in the 70s. I'm thinking of Cassavetes, who covers a lot of the same ground as "Il était...": working class daily life, spurned women on the verge of nervous breakdowns, monologues by drunk women railing against the miseries of the world, sexual glamor and marginality...
Images of people from http://www.collectionscanada.ca/writers/027005-4310-e.html
and of Cafe Cléeopatre from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevin4/406513498/