Imprints: The Films of Louise Bourque

Imprints: The Films of Louise Bourque, edited by Clint Enns and Stephen Broomer (Ottawa: Canadian Film Institute, 2021).

List of Ephemera
Introduction by Clint Enns and Stephen Broomer
Imprints by Stephen Broomer
Impossible Trips Back Home: The Films of Louise Bourque by Michael Sicinski
“It’s dark in the tunnel but I’m heading towards the light…” by Nathan Lee
L’autoportrait et autres ruines: Quelques réflexions sur Self Portrait Post Mortem et AutoPortrait/Self Portrait Post Partum // The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins: Reflections on Self Portrait Post Mortem and Auto Portrait/Self Portrait Post Partum by André Habib
Décrier une sensation // Describing a Sensation by Sébastien Ronceray
Remains by César Ustarroz
Palimpsests / Pentimenti: On Louise Bourque’s a little prayer (H-E-L-P) and Remains by José Sarmiento-Hinojosa
Beyond the Fringe: Louise Bourque by Larissa Fan
The Scene of the Crime: Gothic Poetics in L’eclat du mal/The Bleeding Heart of It by Scott Birdwise
Une bouche, deux fois by Patricia MacGeachy
Just Words by Louise Bourque
Talking Oneself into Being: Louise Bourque’s Just Words by Dorottya Szalay
A Fractured Narrative: Notes on Jolicoeur Touriste by Brian Wilson
Notes sur The Visitation // Notes on The Visitation by Sebastien Roncéray
A Conversation with Louise Bourque by Micah J. Malone
Past//Images::Future//Remains: An Interview with Louise Bourque by Todd Fraser and Clint Enns
Letters from Hell by Mike Hoolboom
La père derrière la caméra: Un voyage à travers l’archive familiale des Bourque // The Father Behind the Camera: A Journey Through the Bourque Family Archive by Guillaume Vallée
Dialogues imaginés: Spectroscopie générationnelle // Imagined Dialogues: Generational Spectroscopy by Louise Bourque and Herménégilde Chiasson
Precious Upheavals: Reflections on Going Back Home by Amanda Dawn Christie
A Few In-Camera Observations about Louise Bourque by Clint Enns

Introduction by Clint Enns and Stephen Broomer

Since 1989, Louise Bourque has made over a dozen films, crafting a body of work that has left a significant mark on Canadian experimental cinema. In addition to making films, Bourque has taught film studies and film production at Emerson College, Concordia University, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has mentored and influenced many artists, and her aesthetics are imprinted on the work of contemporary filmmakers dealing with memorial processes and abstract imagery. Her works often involve the physical manipulation of emulsion, with the content of the work stemming from a different type of imprint, namely, that of memory and trauma. Imprints collects essays, interviews, ephemera, and personal reflections that chart Bourque’s life and work.

This book is informally divided into five sections. The first section of writing consists of overviews of Bourque’s work. Stephen Broomer’s essay was produced for this collection, Michael Sicinski’s is an extension of an article produced to accompany a retrospective screening of Bourque’s work at the 2009 Images Festival, and Nathan Lee’s article was produced for the 2006 Whitney Biennial where Bourque screened Jours en fleurs (2003), L’éclat du mal / The Bleeding Heart of It (2005), and The Producer (2005), a collaboration with Joe Gibbons and Tony Conrad.

The second section consists mainly of essays addressing individual works. André Habib’s essay is an extension of his previous scholarship concerning Bourque’s work and explores her self-portrait films. Sébastien Ronceray takes a pedagogical approach to Self Portrait Post Mortem, demonstrating one way of teaching through the film. César Ustarroz explores Bourque’s appropriation techniques in Remains (2011) and José Sarmiento-Hinojosa uses the concept of the palimpsest and the pentimento to further get under the skin of the film. Larissa Fan’s article, a survey of Bourque’s work written for Take One in

2005, explores the concept of home. Scott Birdwise takes this idea further by utilizing the Gothic concept of “otherness” in relation to the home and its use in L’éclat du mal / The Bleeding Heart of It and other experimental film practices. In a gem of an essay, originally published in French in 1992 and updated for this collection, Patricia MacGeachy relates her experience of playing the Mouth in Bourque’s Just Words (1991). While MacGeachy provides an embodied experience, Dorottya Szalay provides a detailed reading of Just Words, working through Bourque’s filmic interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s play Not I (1972). Finally, Brian Wilson provides new insights into Jolicouer Touriste (1989). Sprinkled into this section are a poster and storyboards for Jolicoeur Touriste by Jean-Pierre Morin, a prop sheet from The People in the House (1994), prepared by the film’s art director, Deborah Stratman, and Bourque’s script for Just Words.

The next section of the book contains personal ephemera. The ephemera consists mainly of correspondence with other artists in the form of letters and artworks. They are extremely personal to Bourque and remain a source of inspiration for her work. Contributors include: Martha Colburn, Bruce Baillie, Ken Jacobs, Craig Baldwin, Luther Price, Brittany Gravely, Robert Breer, Mark Bain, Tony Oursler, and Joe Gibbons. The fourth section of the book consists of a different type of correspondence—interviews with Bourque. The first, conducted by Micah J. Malone, was produced for the Boston-based online magazine Big Red & Shiny after the 2006 Whitney Biennial; the second is conducted by Todd Fraser and Clint Enns and was produced for this collection.