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Two nights ago, Xavier Dolan’s film Mommy cleaned house, yet again. This time it was an arm-full of trophes at Montréwood’s Jutra awards.
The 2nd most important back-up actor in the film was Patrick Huard.
Regarding Montréwood cinéma, we often say if you want to know what film is worth watching (ie: what constitutes a “good” film), then follow the “director”. Conversely, in Hollywood, more often than not it tends to be the reverse; people in Hollywood say you should follow the “actor” to find the “good” movies.
One major exception to the Québéc/Montréwood rule of following the “director” is in the case of the superstar actor, Patrick Huard. In Huard’s case, if you follow the actor (just as you would in Hollywood), you are bound to find the best films.
With a few exceptions, if you look at the biggest of the big Montréwood films from the mid 1990s to present, Patrick Huard has held either a leading acting role, or a major back-up role.
I’ve never personally seen Huard walk down the streets in Québec, but I can only imagine he would be pounced upon from all directions by adoring fans looking for autographs.
Some of the more notable, very successful Montréwood films he has appeared in were:
- Les Boys (1, 2 & 3) – all of which were among the highest grossing, and most viewed films in Canadian history
- Bon Cop, Bad Cop – (Patrick Huard was the main actor)… the highest or second highest grossing film in Canadian history when it came out in 2006
The above films have gone down in the Montréwood, Québec and Canadian history books. I think it’s fair to say that so has Patrick Huard.
If you want to hear a half-hour conversation between Patrick Huard and his co-star in Mommy, Anne Dorval, you can hear it on Radio-Canada’s radio program, “L’autre jour à la table d’à côté” (“The Other Day at the Table Beside Us…”). Click HERE for the program on Radio-Canada’s official website.
Check out some of his work… I think you’ll be impressed.
Bon Cop, Bad Cop – ENGLISH TRAILER (the film was 50/50 French-English)
Starbuck – SUBTITLED English Trailer
Omertà – (Also starring Céline Dion’s husband, René Angélil)
Did you happen to guess the answer and cultural context for the last post?
If you missed the last post, click here to see the hilarious advertisement with half of “Dong”:
The answer to the last post is “Ding et Dong”.
Perhaps you recall I mentioned in the post on Elvis Gratton that Québec had a couple of close equivalents to Anglophone culture’s Cheech & Chong, with Elvis Gratton being one of them (the on-screen component), and Ding et Dong being the other (the stage comedy component).
Ding et Dong were a very popular comedy duo from the 1980s. But as you can see from the last post, people are still talking about Ding et Dong — to the point that we still see very regular pop-cultural references to them, such as in the advertisement which was the subject of the last post.
With time, Ding & Dong have become pillars in Québec’s cultural psyche. In this sense, they mean much more to Québécois culture than mere comedians.
Ding et Dong was a stand-up comedy duo, played by Serge Thériault and Claude Meunier. They came as an inseparable pair.
This inseparability was also the metaphor for the punchline of the jokes in the advertisement in the last post. The advertisement in the last post was from the Testicular Cancer Society, warning men to be vigilant and have regular health checks, otherwise, you may lose half of the “pair”. (In Anglophone North American culture, it could be as if the Breast Cancer Society made an advertisement stating “Thelma and ________” in order to entice women to seek regular check-ups).
As a pair, they (Thériault & Meunier, that is) spun off acts which later created some of the greatest successes in Québécois comedic and pop-culture history – most notably, the sitcom series La Petite Vie (the most successful sitcom in the history of Canadian and Québec television) and the “Les Boys” movies (again among the most successful movies in history of Canadian and Québec cinema).
I was quite young when Ding et Dong were in their hayday, but I still recall bits & pieces of their acts from when I was a child. As I grew older, many of their punch lines became part of everyday vocabulary and jokes between friends.
Claude Meunier and Serge Thériault have reunied on the odd occasion over the years, and have brought Ding et Dong back to life for special one-off shows. We may see some more of these rare stage-reunions in the coming years — and I guarantee you they will be the hottest tickets in all of Canada the moment any such show is announced!
Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now — I have to drive right now from Toronto up to Témiscamingue on the Québec-Ontario border for some work-related business (that might make for interesting post in itself). But I can already see some potential posts on the horizon relating to Les Boys, Claude Meunier, and Serge Thériault.
Have a great start to your week !
Here is a bit of humour for you. I just saw these signs around the more Eastern areas of Montréal (the most Francophone areas of the city), however I have not seen them in more mixed areas of the city. the likely reason is that the cultural significance of these signs would be easily recognized in the East End where people mostly grew up in French. But they perhaps would not be so recognizable in areas of Montréal with larger anglophone or immigrant communities who have not necessarily grown up in French or perhaps have not lived in Québec for very long (this serves to highlight the demographics and cultural decisions which go into marketing, but which also contributes to the notion of the Two Solitudes).
The cultural reference behind the sign, and how it has been used in this context is hilarious! I laughed out loud the moment I saw the first sign. People around me must have thought I was a “few screws short” when they heard me laugh to myself.
Here is the sign. See if you can understand the cultural subtext (if you have regularly been reading this blog, you may have clued into it).
Click the picture to expand it, because you’ll need to read the two larger words at the very bottom of the sign to understand the goal of the sign.
Did you get it?
I’ll give you a hint: Several days ago, in another post, I made a reference to the same pop-cultural sub-context contained in this sign. Here is a second hint: A few months ago, I presented you with a link to video advertisement from the same charitable organization.
Still stumped? I’ll give you the answer in tomorrow’s post.
Here’s the next post with the answer (click here): https://quebeccultureblog.com/2015/03/02/ding-et-dong-196/
And on unrelated language notes… Above I used a couple of slang expressions in English.
1. If you’re wondering how someone might say “a few screws short” in Québec and Canadian French (the expression I used above), you can say a few things:
- Il lui manque un bardeau
- Il lui manque un bardeau dans le pignon
- Il lui manque un bardeau sur sa couverture
- (In Europe, people might say “Il a une araignée dans le plafond”)
2. If you’re wondering how to say “stumped” in French (a word I used above), you can say a couple of things.
- In international French, people say “Ça m’échappe” or “Ça me dépasse”.
- But in very local French in Québec, you’ll also hear “Ça m’embête”.