Sunday, December 27, 2009


I was in Montreal for a few days last week. Most of it was family time, but my one must-visit was the Canadian Centre for Architecture. While it felt a little like I'd caught the CCA between more substantial exhibitions, I was really excited by a few of the things I saw. Small, inspiring surprises remind me why I like the things I do, and why I'm studying what I'm studying. I spent an hour and a half jotting down names and titles, making little sketches and taking pictures with my brother's iPhone.

One of my favourite discoveries was a 1966 NFB film, 'Rouli-Roulant'. Filmmaker Claude Jutra explains the rouli-roulant (skateboard) and follows a gang of young skaters in Montreal's Westmount neighbourhood. Besides the graphic look of the film, the melodramatic narration and the music, I really like the film because the kids embody (for me) a perfect aesthetic mash-up of skate culture and French New Wave. Or Nouvelle France Nouvelle Vague, in this case. I love the aloofness of the kid skating with his hands shoved in his car coat, and the cool nonchalance of the girl in the striped shirt. The skinny pants, the desert boots and the haircuts. Take a look.