Gilles Carle

Gilles Carle

Born (1928-07-31)July 31, 1928
Maniwaki, Quebec, Canada
Died November 28, 2009(2009-11-28) (aged 81)
Granby, Quebec, Canada
Resting place Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery
Occupation Filmmaker (writer, director, producer)
Years active 1965–1999
Partner(s) Chloé Sainte-Marie
Suzanne Valérie-Duchesne
Children Valérie Duchesne-Carle
Family Simon Julien (grandchild) Clara Julien (grandchild)

Gilles Carle, OC GOQ (July 31, 1928[1] – November 28, 2009) was a French Canadian director, screenwriter and painter.

Gilles Carle, who was a key figure in the development of a commercial Quebec cinema, worked as a graphic artist and writer before he joined the National Film Board of Canada in 1960. His innovative debut feature, La Vie heureuse de Léopold Z., tracked the adventures of a snowplough operator during a madcap Christmas Eve. But after the NFB rejected several of his projects, he began working independently. In 1971 Carle joined forces with Pierre Lamy to form Les Productions Carle-Lamy, which produced Claude Jutra’s epic Kamouraska, Denys Arcand’s early features and all his early films. The quirkily paced, proto-feminist La Vraie Nature de Bernadette – widely regarded as his best film – and Le Mort d’un bûcheron eventually led to the more mainstream but graceful Les Plouffe and the epic love story Maria Chapdelaine, both classics of Quebec cinema.[2] In 1972 Carle won the Canadian Film Award for best Director for his The True Nature of Bernadette.

Carle was born in Maniwaki, Quebec. His film 50 ans, celebrating the 50 years of the National Film Board of Canada, won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.[3]

In 1990, he was awarded the Government of Quebec's Prix Albert-Tessier.[4] In 1997, Carle received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts.[5] In 1998, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[6] In 2007, he was made a Grand Officer of the Ordre National du Quebec.[7]

Carle died aged 81 on November 28, 2009 of complications from Parkinson's disease at the hospital in Granby, Quebec. He is survived by his son and three daughters as well as his companion of 27 years, Chloé Sainte-Marie. Quebec Premier Jean Charest described him, at his death, as one of Quebec's most influential filmmakers.[8] He was entombed at the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal.[9]


Feature films


  • Dimanche d'Amérique (Short film, 1961)
  • Manger (Short film Co-Directed with Louis Portugais, 1961)
  • Patinoire (Short film, 1962)
  • Un air de famille (Short film, 1963)
  • Natation (Short film, 1963)
  • Patte mouillée (Short film, 1963)
  • Percé on the Rocks (Short film, 1964)
  • Place à Olivier Guimond (TV documentary, 1967)
  • Place aux Jérolas (TV documentary, 1967)
  • Le Québec à l'heure de l'Expo (Short film, 1967)
  • Stéréo (Short film, 1970)
  • Les chevaliers (1971)
  • Les chevaux ont-ils des ailes? (Short film, 1975)
  • Les masques (TV documentary aka Carle – masques, 1978)
  • Jouer sa vie (Co-Directed with Camille Coudari, 1982)
  • Cinéma, cinéma (Co-Directed with Werner Nold, 1985)
  • Ô Picasso (Co-Directed with Camille Coudari, 1985)
  • Vive Québec, cité française... ville francophone (1987)
  • 50 ans (Short film, 1989)
  • Le diable d'amérique (1990)
  • Montréal off (Short film, 1991)
  • Moi, j'me fais mon cinéma (1999)


  • Un hiver brûlant (TV episode of the series La feuille d'érable, 1971)
  • A Thousand Moons (TV movie, 1976) (Created for TV series For the Record)
  • Homecoming (TV movie aka Lonesome Riders, 1979)
  • Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe (TV miniseries Parts 1–4, 1983) (Parts 5–6 directed by Denys Arcand)
  • Miss Moscou (TV movie, 1991)
  • L'honneur des grandes neiges (TV movie, 1994) (Created for TV series Aventures dans le Grand Nord)
  • Le sang du chasseur (TV movie, 1995) (Created for TV series Aventures dans le Grand Nord)
  • Épopée en Amérique: une histoire populaire du Québec (TV series, 1997)


  1. ^ As fully funny, Carle had pleasure to always give himself one year less, and to let people think wrongly that he was born in 1929, "The Year of the Big World Crash": see on the Quebec French newspapers that many writers verified that, after his death, and corrected his year of birth for 1928 and his age for 81. – Also see on Cinememorial the translation of what her younger daughter, Valerie Duchesne-Carle, wrote on Twitter: "He was born in 1928 not in 1929. My father always missed this little oddity."
  2. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: 50 ans". Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
  4. ^ "Prix Albert-Tessier citation" (in French).
  5. ^ "Gilles Carle – biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  6. ^ Order of Canada citation
  7. ^ "National Order of Quebec citation" (in French). Archived from the original on September 11, 2011.
  8. ^ Gilles Carle hailed as 'immense talent' The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved on November 29, 2009.
  9. ^ Répertoire des personnages inhumés au cimetière ayant marqué l'histoire de notre société (in French). Montreal: Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery.

Further reading

External links