Of Sport and Men

From: Brett Kashmere (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Nov 18 2007 - 22:12:04 PST

"Of Sport and Men" is a pretty interesting essay-film. It analyzes five "sports-spectacles," including hockey, bullfighting, auto racing, soccer, and cycling, in the context of national identities and mythical signification. Roland Barthes' commentary was written while watching a cutting copy of the film in Montreal, at the invitation of Hubert Aquin.

Scott MacKenzie published an essay about the film's production history, titled "The Missing Mythology: Barthes in Quebec," in the Canadian Journal of Film Studies (vol. 6, no. 2). In the same issue you'll find an English translation of the text for "Of Sport and Men," also by MacKenzie.

Hubert Aquin was, at one time, a very well-known writer and broadcaster in Quebec. He also directed a number of films for the NFB, including "A Saint-Henri, le 5 septembre" (1964), which is a fascinating slice-of-life documentary that examines one day in a working class Montreal neighborhood, from sunrise to sun down. Arthur Lipsett worked as one of many cameramen on the film.

"Of Sport and Men" was originally created for broadcast on Canadian television.
From what I understand, the English and French language versions of "Of Sport and Men" were only in distribution until 1977; it is now classified as an "archival film," which can only be seen in person at the NFB or at the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.


Brett Kashmere
Syracuse, NY

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Experimental Film Discussion List on behalf of Adam Hyman
> Sent: Sun 11/18/2007 1:24 PM
> To: email suppressed
> Subject: Trying to reach the right person at the NFB of Canada
> Hi all,
> I'd like to get a couple of films from the National Film Board of Canada to
> screen at Filmforum. I've called the general number, spoke with someone who
> asked for an email to pass it along, and I haven't heard anything in reply.
> I can't find a number on their elaborate website. Can anyone tell me who the
> correct contact person is there to rent prints for screenings?
> And, while we're at it, does anyone have an opinion on "Of Sport and Men",
> text by Barthes, film by Aquin? How about other films by Aquin?
> "Le sport et les hommes"
> Le sport et les hommes / Of Sport and Men, documentaire de 58 minutes, 1961.
> Réalisation : Hubert Aquin. Texte : Roland Barthes. Production : Office
> national du film du Canada.
> http://www.nfb.ca/collection/films/fiche/index.php?id=11015
> Best regards,
> Adam

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End of FRAMEWORKS Digest - 18 Nov 2007 (#2007-579)

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.