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  • 12.2 : 2004 : PDF: "Non-Theatrical with Dreams of Theatrical": Paradoxes of a Canadian Semi-Documentary Film Noir by Zoë Druick
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    "Non-Theatrical with Dreams of Theatrical": Paradoxes of a Canadian Semi-Documentary Film Noir

    by Zoë Druick

    Abstract: This paper explores the production context and formal complexity of the NFB semi-documentary film, File 1365: The Connors Case (1947). It argues that the cold-war anxieties of the late 1940s, particularly those of the NFB employees who were under police surveillance at the time, can be read in the ambiguities of the film's treatment of an RCMP murder investigation. Formally, the film represents a particularly Canadian amalgam of RCMP recruitment film, police procedural, documentary, and thriller. The author explores the writing on the Hollywood semi-documentary film noir and situates the film as an unrecognized noir documentary. Both its cold-war political context and its aesthetic excess have relegated the film to its current obscurity. Yet its formal hybridity arguably crystallizes many significant social and political issues of this forgotten chapter in Canadian history.

    Résumé: Le contexte de production et la complexité formelle du semi-documentaire de l'ONF File 1365 : The Connors Case (1947) reflètent l'angoisse de la guerre froide et, en particulier, l'inquiétude des employés de l'ONF qui étaient constamment sous surveillance policière à l'époque. Ce film présente un amalgame typiquement canadien de campagne de recrutement pour la GRC, de documentaire sur les procédures policières et de film à suspense. En faisant référence au film noir semi-documentaire hollywoodien, l'auteure suggère que File 1365 est un documentaire noir. Bien que ses excès esthétiques et son contexte politique aient relégué ce film aux oubliettes, son hybridité formelle exprime plusieurs des questions sociales et politiques les plus importantes de cette époque laissée-pour-compte de l'histoire canadienne.

    PDF: cj-film-studies122_Druick_theatrical_g.pdf