Marie-Soleil Tougas and Jean-Claude Lauzon died in the other century. Twenty-five years have passed since then and everything has changed.
Children back then had nothing but Zoe, that rebellious pre-teen from the series Banana Skin broadcast by Télé-Métropole. In no time, Marie-Soleil, who embodied it with a singular truth, became one of the great stars of Quebec, if not the greatest. The series ended, another series followed, then another and another until the last, Ent'Cadieux, whose rehearsal ended in June, a few days before she left. on vacation with Jean-Claude Lauzon, her lover.
After the rehearsal, at his request, I ate with Marie-Soleil. She had just resumed living together with Jean-Claude for the umpteenth time. Their loves were tumultuous. Even though I loved Jean-Claude like a son, having known him several years earlier during the shooting of a corporate film for Bombardier, I had advised Marie-Soleil to put an end to this relationship. “This love is too difficult, it will eat you up.”
Good soul and heart of gold, Marie-Soleil still wanted to give him one last chance. I was never going to see her again.
ALL OF QUEBEC IN MOURNING
It was the time when our television stars reigned supreme. Netflix and the other streamers had not yet broken up the tightly knit audience of Quebec television. Télé-Métropole was at the top of the ratings, the aspiring radio-Canadian still on the heels.
On Sunday evening August 10, 1997 when the news broke that Marie-Soleil had perished in the crash of Jean-Claude's seaplane, the whole of Quebec had a hard time sleeping awake.
By the next day, all the media were draped in black and playing sad music. The tone of the animators was funereal. From Montreal to Gaspé, from Rouyn to Sherbrooke, Marie-Soleil's name was on everyone's lips. The mourning was national. As it had been ten years earlier for former Prime Minister René Lévesque.
I am not exaggerating anything.
Few Quebecers knew Jean-Claude Lauzon. His first feature film, Un zoo la nuit, won the Genie award for best Canadian film, but his second, Léolo, left the Cannes Film Festival jury cold. . At most, his film had won the Genie for best screenplay and best costumes.
HITLIST OF THE 100 BEST FILMS
Even if < em>The Decline of the American Empirewon the Oscar for best foreign film in 1986, this century was not that of Quebec cinema. The public still shunned him. And what about this Lauzon? He was just a drooler, a rebel and an ill-bred. Hadn't he torn up the $100,000 check that SODEC had just awarded him for Un zoo la nuit live on television?
Despite everything , Léolo, his second and last feature film, ended up appearing on the list of the 100 best films of all time, established by the famous critics of the magazine Time, Richard Schickel and Richard Corliss. But Jean-Claude never knew anything about it. It was 2005 and he had died eight years earlier. Perhaps he would have torn Time magazine for taking so long to recognize his talent!
A DOCUMENTARY NOT TO BE MISSED
Today, could a filmmaker as extraordinary and as demanding as Jean-Claude still receive a check from the public treasury?
Could a woman as free and as transparent as Marie-Soleil date a man as ruthless, as rough and as impulsive?
Perhaps, but only if she were as generous and as authentic as the girl described by Micheline Bégin in Marie-Soleil and Jean-Claude, beyond the stars, the remarkable documentary just completed by director Jean-François Poisson. Modestly holding back her tears and sobs, Micheline, Marie-Soleil's mother, is the most touching witness to the film that can be seen from today on Videotron's Vrai platform.
< p>Marie-Soleil and Jean-Claude were from another century, but it will still be a long time before we forget this young woman, so luminous and so endearing, who had succeeded in putting a bridle around the neck of this fiery director that we believed indomitable.