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Gilles Groulx ( 30 May
1931, Montréal, Quebec,
Canada – 22
August 1994) was a Canadian film director. He grew up in a working-class family with 14 children.
After studying business in school, he went to work in an office but
found the white-collar environment
too stultifying. Deciding that the only way out was to become an
intellectual, he attended the « École du meuble » for a
time and was a supporter of Borduas’ automatiste movement. He also made
8 mm amateur films, which landed him a job
as picture editor in the news
department of the CBC. After three short
personal films that confirmed his talent, he was hired by the
National Film Board (NFB) at
what was the beginning of the candid
eye movement in 1956.
His first film with the NFB was Les Raquetteurs (1958). Co-directed
with Michel Brault, and including
the important contribution of sound recordist Marcel Carrière it surpassed the
candid eye approach, establishing for the first time in film
history, the filmakers in the midst of the onngoing event. Seeking
a truthful relation to the captured film reality, sound is also
captured live. The film, not devoid of comical aspects, is also
seen as an important step in anthropological cinematography. It
captures without judgement, a social phenomenon that would have
seemed unimportant in its archaism and triviality (a snowshoe
convention on asphalt!), thus revealing with documental
distanciation elements of popular Quebec culture that were
previously disdained.