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Leolo

Jean Claude Lauzon

Leolo strikes a nerve much the same way as did Fellini’s Amarcord of Truffaut’s The 400 Blows. But Lauzon has a vision all on his own. At the epicentre of this odyssey is a 12 year old Leolo, a highly imaginative and precocious kid who simply refuses to accept the grim reality imposed on him by his east-end Montreal roots. Its understandable-madness plagues his family. His father has a fixation about bowels and regularity, his grandfather is a lout, his brother a meek oaf and his sisters have already been certified and packed off to the local asylum. Leolo’s protective mother and a literary mentor try to guide him but are unable to stop him drifting off into his own fantasy world.
Among gentler images of a kid coming of age are some brutally distrubing shots that depict the more sordid aspects of youth. Complementing this marvellously orchestrated epic is a most eclectic sound track including offerings from Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones, Gilbert Becaud and a variety of Arabic composers.

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