April 19 – 2:00 + 7:30 PM

A Special FREE Canada On Screen PRESENTATION

Sponsored by TIFF Film Circuit

Canada, 1987 – Rated PG – 117 minutes
Directed by William D. MacGillivray
Cast: Jacinta Cormier, Leon Dubinsky, Leo Jessome

Nominated for the 1988 Genie Award for Best Motion Picture and selected for official competition at the 38th Berlin International Film Festival, Life Classes is William D. MacGillivray’s affectionate and incredibly moving study of a young Maritime woman who leaves her dull, claustrophobic town for the hazards of the big city.

Mary Cameron (Jacinta Cormier), a young woman from Cape Breton, discovers that she is pregnant by her irresponsible boyfriend and decides to have the child in Halifax. Arriving penniless, she supports herself and her child by working in a department store where she meets Gloria (Frances Knickle), a student at the local art college. To make ends meet, Mary reluctantly begins modelling nude for life drawing classes, but eventually begins to draw herself, turning out a number of highly accomplished self-portraits.

Gaining confidence with every brushstroke, Mary begins to take control of her life, ending in her giving a one-woman show and performing in an avant-garde, musical-art “happening.” None of this prepares one for the joy of watching Mary grow, or the moment when she turns the canvas on herself, assum­ing the role of the subject.

Life Classes is full of subtle insights and marks MacGillivray as one of the premier Canadian film talents of his time, a man who basks in the quiet truths peculiar to the rhythms of his native Nova Scotia.