“I thought I was Leni Riefenstahl. It was due perhaps to editing Trudeau. Would he be a good leader? Or just a politician? Irony came wandering in, in the porn of applause for his statement ‘Reason over passion, that is the theme of all my writing.’ It should be reason and passion in a person.” JOYCE WIELAND
Two Pierres are the keystones in these twin portraits of a nation at a historical turning point, playfully interlocking the main themes of Joyce Wieland’s art. Reason Over Passion explores Canada’s landscape, symbolism, and bilingualism, while taking issue with the famous "reason over passion" statement by Pierre Trudeau, whose every gesture is anatomized in footage Wieland shot during the 1968 Liberal leadership convention, when his election signalled the possibility of change. Pierre Vallières incorporates reel changes and camera breakdowns as it attempts a tightly-framed unbroken shot of the lips of Vallières, the FLQ’s intellectual leader, as he holds forth, with reason and passion, on labour issues, Quebec independence, and women's liberation. Ironically, the balance of qualities lacking in Trudeau can be heard in the voice of a revolutionary whose sovereigntist politics threaten the national harmony Wieland sought through her work.
Reason Over Passion / La raison avant la passion | Joyce Wieland/Canada 1968. 84 min. 16mm
Pierre Vallières | Joyce Wieland/Canada 1972. 32 min. 16mm
Programmed by Michèle Smith
Image: Reason over Passion, 1968. Courtesy of CFMDC