A FILM BY ALEXA-JEANNE DUBÉ
Short Film – Quebec – 2021 – 15 min
Color | French with English subtitles | 16:9 | 5.1
When Gérard finds a dead racoon in his front yard, the old man becomes strangely distressed, shaken by thoughts of his own demise. Jocelyne watches the despair of her husband grow along with his obsession with the animal’s body, and his anguish takes root in her own mind. After a night of torment, they decide to go and bury the raccoon on the land where their house once stood in Joutel, a former mining town deserted since 1998. When they get there, the boreal forest is creeping in on the ruins of her former house, plunging Jocelyne into a deep nostalgia. Here, after a morbid picnic marking the racoon’s burial, the couple meets a mystical being who leads them to make peace with their inner demons.
Marie Tifo, Pierre Curzi and Peter James
DIRECTOR : Alexa-Jeanne Dubé
WRITER : Alexa-Jeanne Dubé
PRODUCER : Geneviève Gosselin-G. (Unité Centrale)
CINEMATOGRAPHY : Léna Mill-Reuillard
PRODUCTION DESIGN : Catherine White
SOUND : François Tremblay
SOUND DESIGN & MIXING : Gaël Poisson-Lemay
ORIGINAL SCORE : Pierre-Philippe Côté (Pilou)
EDITING : Marie-Pier Dupuis
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Short Film Corner
Gala Prends ça Court!
Special Jury Mention for PIERRE-PhILIPPE CÔTÉ
Special jury Mention by JADE CHARBONNEAU
Joutel features Gérard and Jocelyne, an elderly couple who have found neither real inner peace nor concrete meaning in their existence. The discomfort that they feel is expressed with a realism imbued with strangeness. I saw this film as a hybrid between Love by Michael Haneke, through its excerpts from everyday life mixing affection and weariness, and Songs From The Second Floor by Roy Andersson, through its dreamlike sequences. The fantastic intrusions that punctuate the work seek to address, with a poetic gaze, existential questions that arise at the end of life, such as the anticipation of death, legacies, mourning, and regret.
I tried to offer viewers a foray into a reality that they will one day have to face through a work imbued with dreaminess and potent symbolism. Following a series of interviews carried out in several nursing homes for the elderly during the winter of 2018, I was touched by people’s concerns at the end of their life. Dread of death, longing, contradictions in religion, fear of the unknown, and anxiety for the legacy are integral parts of the human experience. That’s why I thought Joutel could be relevant to a broad audience.
By locating part of the story in Joutel itself, a ghost town in the James Bay region of Quebec, I tried to evoke the ghosts of the past who hunt Jocelyne and Gérard. Like two lost individuals in the vastness of the North, the characters search for landmarks and answers as they quietly move towards the end of their lives.
Alexa-Jeanne Dubé is a multidisciplinary artist. As an actress, she appeared in several movies and TV shows, including Féminin / Féminin and Claire l’hiver. In 2019, she created an immersive artistic installation (Douceurs) at Arsenal in Montreal. Her short film Scopique (2018) had a successful festival career (Best Film Bideodromo, Bilbao), as did S.D.R (2019) (Best Fiction Short Film, RVQC). During the 2020 pandemic, she shot her most recent short, Joutel.
JOUTEL | 2021, 15 min
Writer and director
SDR | 2019, 10 min
Co-writer, director and co-producer
SCOPIQUE | 2017, 11 min
Director and productor
OUI MAIS NON | 2016, 11 min
Writer, director and productor