“Parce que moi je rêve, je ne le suis pas.” (“Because I dream, I am not.”)–Léolo
DIRECTED BY: Jean-Claude Lauzon
FEATURING: Maxime Collin, Yves Montmarquette, Pierre Bourgault, Ginette Reno, Giuditta Del Vecchio, Julien Guiomar
PLOT: Young Léo Lauzon lives in Montreal with his dysfunctional family; he has an active imagination which he uses to escape from his squalid surroundings. He insists that his name is actually Léolo and that he is Italian, inventing a story that his mother was impregnated by a tomato contaminated with semen. He lusts after a neighbor girl (as does his grandfather) and tags along on salvage operations with his bodybuilding older brother in-between trips to the mental hospital to visit other family members; the entire time a mysterious old man hangs around the edges of the story.
- This was writer/director Jean-Claude Lauzon’s second feature film. He died in a plane crash in 1995 while working on his third.
- Lauzon said the film was semi-autobiographical. Leo’s last name is also Lauzon, which he Italianizes to “Lozone” when he decides he is really Léolo.
- The “Word Tamer” (or possibly “worm tamer”—“dompteur de vers” in the French may be a pun meaning both “worm” and “verse”) is played by Pierre Bourgault, a Quebecois separatist and professor. Lauzon was once a student of Bourgault’s.
- Named one of “Time” magazines “All-TIME 100 Movies.“
INDELIBLE IMAGE: The “contaminated” tomato, the film’s most deranged comic invention.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Immaculate conception via imported produce, underwater hallucinations, and bizarre sexual practices reign in the world of Léolo’s imagination. He uses these inventions to escape from an almost equally strange, but far less pleasant, reality.
U.S. release trailer for Léolo
COMMENTS: “Because I dream, I am not,” Léolo‘s young protagonist Continue reading 192. LEOLO (1992)