"Remembering Arthur" is a feature-length documentary about an influential yet little-known Canadian filmmaker. Although the Montreal-born artist's work won many awards and received an Oscar nomination, his life ended tragically in suicide. This intimate portrait explores Lipsett's creative genius and impact on film while illuminating his fascinating life story. The film is directed by filmmaker Martin Lavut, Arthur's closest friend. Written by
Well, you know me and documentaries - I think they all suck unless they're by Frederick Wiseman or are on a topic dear to my heart. Well Arthur Lipsett is DEAR, so sue me, because this artfully constructed array of talking heads allows us to come as close as we ever will to an understanding of this brilliant casualty of Canada's movie wars (he committed suicide in 1986). Problems do arise as we shift out of the NFB era, which takes Lipsett out of the production loop and gives the editors very little to cut away to. Instead we get a bit too much theorizing and extrapolating. But it doesn't over-indulge the who's-the-villain games (admittedly this was probably most expedient), and it serves the function of popularizing the man and his work, some of the greatest collage cinema ever, and a perfect meld of personal and sociopolitical agonies when he's got it going. Since NFB historians have always alternated bewilderment and contempt in dealing with his work, this is long overdue, and it's as close as you'll get to the real thing without tripping down to the Mediatheque because guess what? His work is being suppressed due to copyright issues...
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