Jutra filmography and
access to his films

Compiled by Julianne Pidduck,
Alexis Poirier-Saumure and Thomas Waugh

The most complete filmography of Jutra’s works can be found in a special commemorative issue of the Quebec film magazine Copie zéro (issue 33) published in French in 1987 after Jutra’s suicide. This entire issue (in French) has been digitized by the Cinémathèque québécoise can be downloaded from their website: http://collections.cinematheque.qc.ca/en/publications/copie-zero/no33-claude-jutra/.

Another very useful resource available mostly but not entirely in French on the website of this organization that holds the rights for À tout prendre is a very rich online focus on this 1971 masterpiece: http://collections.cinematheque.qc.ca/en/

In this filmography we include most of Jutra’s works, from his early documentaries and collaborative and experimental works to his feature-length productions. The features include both telefilms produced for French (Radio-Canada) and English (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Canadian public television, plus commercial releases), as well as the many documentaries and shorter dramas.

We also provide information about online access to Jutra’s films. Much of Jutra’s oeuvre, including his documentaries, can be streamed from the National Film Board French-language and English-language websites:

The French site [http://www.onf.ca/cineastes/claude-jutra] offers 14 Jutra-directed items, including Rouli-roulant (1966) and Wow (1969), as well as two shorts that Jutra participated in collaboratively as part of the legendary équipe francaise [French team] during the pioneering period of direct cinema around 1960.

The English site [http://www.nfb.ca/directors/claude-jutra] has only 5 Jutra-directed items, including The Devil’s Toy (1966), alongside the famous collective Wrestling (1961).

Another useful resource is Paule Baillargeon’s 2002 wonderful but incomplete feature-length biographical documentary Claude Jutra - Portrait sur film (Claude Jutra - An Unfinished Story). Co-produced by the NFB, this film is not presently streamable, but the Board has announced on its site that it will soon be available to stream online

Oddly, the private sector has come to the rescue: the Éléphant Quebec film preservation project, funded by the notorious strike-breaking media monopoly Québécor, has restored eight Jutra features to its easily accessible iTunes lineup, most with English subtitles. Most pertinent to this special section are À tout prendre (1963) and La Dame en couleurs (1984). Also available on iTunes are three works of marginal interest for the present post-scandal article: the ambitious 1970s French-language commercial failures Kamouraska (1973) and Pour le Meilleur et pour le pire (1975), plus the early telefilm Les Mains Nettes (1958). The Éléphant model is one that English Canadian film culture, denied access to much of its 1970s-1980s indie cinematic heritage, would do well to emulate! In terms of Jutra’s many English-language productions, only the 1981 CBC telefilm Surfacing, an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel, is streamable through YouTube. Unfortunately, the 1976 masterpiece Dreamspeaker, a CBC production, is currently unavailable.

All of the works that we that have indicated as being available through the Cinémathèque Québécoise are DVD or VHS versions that can be screened on-site at the Cinémathèque on 335, de Maisonneuve Boulevard East, in Montreal.


Le Dément du Lac Jean-Jeunes (1948)
39 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Jutra’s first feature that he completed at age 18, with his friend and collaborator, the legendary cinematographer Michel Brault on camera
Access: Cinémathèque Québécoise (in French)

Mouvement perpétuel (1949)
15 minutes, 16mm, b&w
This film won the award for best amateur film at the Canadian Film Awards in 1950.
Access: Cinémathèque Québécoise

Chantons maintenant (1956)
29 minutes, 35mm, b&w
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/chantons_maintenant/ (French only)

Jeunesses musicales (1956)
43 minutes, 35mm, b&w
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/jeunesses_musicales/ (French only)

Pierrot des bois (1956)
9 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Experimental short directed by and starring Jutra as Pierrot (mime) in collaboration with Michel Brault, with original music by Maurice Blackburn,
Access: Cinémathèque québécoise

Il était une chaise (A Chairy Tale) (1957)
10 minutes, 35mm, b&w
An Oscar-nominated playful, pixillated short co-directed by Jutra and legendary animator Norman McLaren, starring Jutra, with music by Ravi Shankar.
Access: https://www.nfb.ca/film/a_chairy_tale/(English)
https://www.onf.ca/film/il-etait-une-chaise/ (French)

Les Mains nettes (Washed Hands) (1958)
73 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Feature-length telefilm directed by Claude Jutra for Canadian French-language public television network Radio-Canada
Access: available on iTunes (in French with English subtitles) [give url]

Félix Leclerc, troubadour (1959)
27 minutes, 35mm, b&w
Portrait of Quebec poet and singer Félix Leclerc
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/felix_leclerc_troubadour/ (in French only)

Anna la bonne (1959)
9 minutes, 35mm, b&w
Short based on a theatrical poem Jean Cocteau, produced by François Truffaut.

Fred Barry, comédien (1959)
20 minutes, 35mm, b&w
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/fred_barry_comedien/ (in French only)

La Lutte (Wrestling) (1961)
27 minutes, 16mm, b&w
This short documentary depicts an evening of professional wrestling at the Montreal Forum collaborative project with four cameras by Michel Brault, Marcel Carrière, Claude Fournier, and Claude Jutra. Inspired by Roland Barthes’ essay on wrestling in Mythologies (1957).
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/wrestling/ (English)
https://www.onf.ca/film/la_lutte/ (French)

Le Niger, jeune république (The Niger Young Republic) (1961)
57 minutes, 16mm, colour
A documentary about the newly independent Republic of Niger directed by Jutra in collaboration with Jean Rouch, who is credited with scientific research on the film.
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/niger_jeune_republique/ (in French only)

Québec-USA ou l’invasion pacifique (1962)
27 minutes, 16mm, b&w
A humourous short documentary directed by Claude Jutra and Michel Brault documenting the many Americans who “invaded” the province of Quebec at the beginning of the 1960s.
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/quebec_usa_ou_linvasion_pacifique/ (in French only)

À tout prendre (with English titles Take it all or All Things Considered) (1963)
99 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Feature-length auto-fiction starring Jutra and Johanne Harrelle, based on their previous love affair. See the essays by Tom Waugh and Gregorio Arbolay Jr and the film synopsis in this special section.
Access: http://collections.cinematheque.qc.ca/dossiers/a-tout-prendre/2-le-film/ (three versions of the film can be streamed from the Cinémathèque website : the original French 16mm version, a 35mm version, and an English version with a Jutra-narrated voice-over and subtitles, translated by Leonard Cohen)

Petit discours de la méthode (1963)
27 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Short documentary co-directed by Pierre Patry and Jutra, this film documents new industrial technologies in France.
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/petit_discours_de_la_methode/ (in French only)

Ciné Boum (Ciné Boom) (1964)
53 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Television documentary about Quebec film production co-written and co-directed by Jutra and Robert Russel for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC television).

Comment savoir (Knowing to learn) (1966)
71 minutes, 16mm, b&w
Feature-length documentary about new educational technologies of the 1960s in primary and secondary schools and in universities in the United States and in Quebec.
Access : https://www.onf.ca/film/knowing_to_learn/ (in English)
https://www.onf.ca/film/comment_savoir/ (in French)

Rouli-Roulant (The Devil’s Toy) (1966)
15 minutes, 16mm, b&w
A tongue-in-cheek documentary about skateboarders and disapproving police in Montreal.
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/devils_toy/ (in English)
 https://www.onf.ca/film/rouli-roulant/ (in French)

Au cœur de la ville (1969)
4 minutes, 35mm, colour

Wow (1969)
94 minutes, 16mm, colour
Classic psychedelic feature-length documentary about the fantasies of young people in Quebec at the end of the 1960s.
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/wow/ (in French)

Marie-Christine (1970)
10 minutes, 35mm, colour
A short film produced for the private sector about the Montreal underground city featuring Geneviève Bujold.
Access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa8kvjWF514 (streaming on YouTube)

Mon oncle Antoine (My Uncle Antoine) (1971)
104 minutes, 35mm, colour
Classic feature-length drama about a boy growing up in a rural town in 1940s Quebec, Jutra’s best loved and best known film.
Access: https://www.onf.ca/film/mon_oncle_antoine_en/ (free streaming in English)
 https://www.onf.ca/film/mon_oncle_antoine/ (free streaming in French)
Also available on iTunes (in French with English subtitles)

Kamouraska (1973)
Two versions of 124 minutes and 173 minutes for the director’s cut. 35mm, colour
Feature-length adaptation of Anne Hébert’s novel of the same title with Geneviève Bujold.
Access: available on iTunes (in French with English subtitles) [give url]

Pour le meilleur et pour le pire [For better or for worse] (1975)
117 minutes, 35mm, colour
Feature-length drama about heterosexual marriage written and directed by Jutra, starring Monique Miller and Claude Jutra.
Access: available on iTunes (in French with English subtitles). URL not available.

Dreamspeaker (1976)
75 minutes, 16mm, colour
Feature-length drama adapted from a novel by Cam Hubert/Anne Cameron and produced for CBC television about a troubled boy who escapes an institution to find comfort and understanding with a First Nations elder and his mute adopted son.

Québec fête juin ’75 (1976)
65 minutes, 16mm, colour
A tourist documentary co-directed by Jean-Claude Labrecque and Jutra

Arts Cuba (1977)
57 minutes, 16mm, colour

Seer Was Here (1978)
57 minutes, 16mm, colour

The Wordsmith (1979)
72 minutes, 16mm, colour

Surfacing (1980)
88 minutes, 35mm, colour
A feature-length adaptation of the novel by Margaret Atwood.
Access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8aaB_bftTM (free streaming in English)

By Design (1981)
91 minutes, 35mm, colour
Feature-length film starring Patty Duke about a lesbian couple who set out to conceive a child. Rave by Pauline Kael!
Access: Cinémathèque québécoise (in English)

La Dame en couleurs (The Dame in Colour) (1984)
111 minutes, 35mm, colour
Feature-length film co-written by Jutra and Louise Rinfret about orphans growing up in an asylum.
Access: available on iTunes (in French with English subtitles) [give url]

My father my rival (1985)
50 minutes, 16mm, colour