Leolo


1h 47m 1992

Brief Synopsis

The story of an imaginative boy who pretends he is the child of a sperm-laden Sicilian tomato upon which his mother accidentally fell.

Film Details

Release Date
1992
Production Company
Centre National Du Cinema; Flach Film; Le Studio Canal Plus; National Film Board Of Canada; Procirep; Societe Generale Des Industries Culturelles Du Quebec; StudioCanal; Super Ecran; TTlTfilm Canada; Virgin Records
Distribution Company
ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL/ALLIANCE RELEASING/FINE LINE FEATURES; Alliance Releasing; Alliance Releasing; Alta Films; Cinelibre; Dendy Films; Diaphana Distribution; Filmcoopi Zurich Ag; Filmes Do Estação; Fine Line Features; Lev Films; Meteor Film Productions; Metro Tartan Distributors; New Line Home Entertainment; Prokino Filmverleih Gmbh; Tartan Video; Triangelfilm

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Synopsis

The story of an imaginative boy who pretends he is the child of a sperm-laden Sicilian tomato upon which his mother accidentally fell.

Crew

Roberto Alberghini

Sound Mixer

Umberto Angelucci

Casting

Alberto Anzellotti

Grip

Michel Arcand

Editor

Antranik Askarian

Song Performer ("Song Of Complaint")

Francois Barbeau

Costume Designer

Mathieu Beaudin

Sound Effects

Gilbert Becaud

Music Composer

Gilbert Becaud

Music

Gilbert Becaud

Song Performer ("L'Orange")

Jacques W Benoit

Assistant Director

Yvon Benoit

Sound

Lucie Bouliane

Unit Manager

Rejean Brochu

Construction Manager

Frances Calder

Decorator

Tommaso Calevi

Production Manager

Jo Caron

Sound Engineer

Marie-france Caron

Production Coordinator

Marie-france Caron

Location Manager

Marianne Carter

Head Dresser

Andre Chamberland

Decorator

Jimmy Chin

Other

Michael Cleary

Other

Carla Colaci

Unit Manager (Italy)

Lucie D'amour

Production Coordinator

Rama D'oro

Production (Italy)

Aimee Danis

Executive Producer

Aimee Danis

Producer

Jean-maurice Deernsted

Grip

Pierre Delanoe

Lyrics ("L'Orange")

Guy Dufaux

Director Of Photography

Roger Dufresne

Still Photographer

Isabelle Fauvel

Co-Producer

Flaviana Ferri

Location Manager (Itlay)

Kirk Finken

Location Manager

Marielle Frenette

Negative Cutter

Doris Girard

Associate Producer (Nfb)

Mick Jagger

Music Composer ("You Can'T Always Get What You Want")

Bettina Keller

Head Hairdresser

Marie Keyrouz

Song Performer ("Alleluia")

Khatchadour Khatchaturian

Song Performer ("Song Of Complaint")

Gudrun Klawe

Color Timing

Pierre Laberge

Production Manager

Lyse Lafontaine

Producer

Jean-claude Lauzon

Screenwriter

Jean-pierre Lelong

Foley (France)

Denise Lemieux

Costumer

Jean-francois Lepetit

Co-Producer

Livia Leto

Unit Manager (Italy)

Richard Martin

Titles

Annie Maurette

Publicist (France)

Loreenna Mckennit

Music Composer ("The Lady Of Shallott")

Serge Menard

Production Manager (France)

Josiane Morand

Other

Carla Pettini

Unit Manager (Italy)

Peter Phillips

Music Conductor ("Spem In Alium")

Jacques Plante

Adr Supervisor

Marcel Pothier

Sound Effects

Marcel Pothier

Sound Designer

Marcel Pothier

Adr Supervisor

Pierre Provost

Other

Francesco Quattrone

Gaffer

Ariel Ramirez

Song Performer ("Gloria")

Jackie Reynal

Head Makeup Artist

Keith Richard

Music Composer ("You Can'T Always Get What You Want")

Lucie Robitaille

Casting

Philippe Samson

Sound Engineer (France)

Francois Seguin

Production Designer

Hans Peter Strobl

Mix

Thomas Tallis

Music

Thomas Tallis

Song ("Spem In Alium")

Val Teodori

Titles

Claudette Viau

Executive Producer

Normand Viau

Gaffer

Tom Waits

Music Composer

Tom Waits

Music

Tom Waits

Song Performer ("Cold Cold Ground" "Temptation")

Mahmoud Tabrizi Zadeh

Song Performer ("Prelude In Tchahargah")

Film Details

Release Date
1992
Production Company
Centre National Du Cinema; Flach Film; Le Studio Canal Plus; National Film Board Of Canada; Procirep; Societe Generale Des Industries Culturelles Du Quebec; StudioCanal; Super Ecran; TTlTfilm Canada; Virgin Records
Distribution Company
ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL/ALLIANCE RELEASING/FINE LINE FEATURES; Alliance Releasing; Alliance Releasing; Alta Films; Cinelibre; Dendy Films; Diaphana Distribution; Filmcoopi Zurich Ag; Filmes Do Estação; Fine Line Features; Lev Films; Meteor Film Productions; Metro Tartan Distributors; New Line Home Entertainment; Prokino Filmverleih Gmbh; Tartan Video; Triangelfilm

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 47m

Articles

Leolo - Jean-Claude Lauzon's LEOLO on DVD


Canadian writer-director Jean-Claude Lauzon (1953 - 1997) was working on his third film when he and his girlfriend died in a plane crash. The director was piloting a small Cessna that reportedly hit a wind and rain squall on the way back from a remote fishing trip in Quebec, resulting in a deadly explosion that would cut short an imagination that Lauzon's second, and last, feature, Leolo (1992) can alone attest to as being wildly distinctive. Leolo won awards at the Toronto and Vancouver film festivals, as well as being nominated for a Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, but its bizarre subject matter kept it from making a big splash in the U.S., thus leaving its discovery to a small but growing number of acolytes, which include Roger Ebert - who puts Leolo on his "Great Movie" list and offers this amusing insight about Lauzon:

"He was believed to be the most gifted young filmmaker in Canada, but when the elder statesman Norman Jewison offered him a job directing Gene Hackman in a thriller, he turned it down, rudely. Ken Turan of the Los Angeles Times believes Leolo might have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1992 if Lauzon hadn't made an obscene suggestion to Jamie Lee Curtis, one of the jurors. Turan tells me he heard the story from Lauzon himself: "He found himself next to Jamie Lee at the buffet at the Hotel du Cap. He introduced himself and said, as I remember it, 'What the boy in the film does to the piece of liver, I want to do to you.' " The only caveat raised by this story is that Jamie Lee Curtis is not a shrinking violet and might as plausibly laughed as taken offense. (Excerpt from: "Leolo, A boy who's saved by his dreams," by Roger Ebert, July 31, 2005)

Unsurprisingly, an unabashed sexuality weaves itself throughout Leolo with frank determination and visual zeal. The protagonist is a French-Canadian boy stuck in a dreary section of Montreal sometime in the mid 1900's whose birth name is Leo Lauzon (and, yes, the director claims his own childhood informed the film), but the name he feels is really his is Leolo Lozone. In his mind, he is the product of Sicily, a land of romantic and glowing hills populated by at least one randy farmer whose midday masturbation session leaves its mark on a crate of tomatoes that will eventually intersect with a large woman in such a way as to allow Leolo to be born. It's a bit of a stretch, but when you meet Leolo's family it's easy to understand why he might want some genetic distance. His mom and dad are obsessed with bowel movements, and they tyrannically oversee the distribution of laxatives as well as the desired daily results thereof. In my college days my friends used to euphemistically refer to bowel movements as "dropping the kids off at the pool," a phrase that seems apt when discussing Leolo because in pivotal moments he is plunged into a kiddie pool or is tossed into a river. But even in the case of the former, when his grandfather is trying to drown him in a kiddy pool, Leolo makes the most of it as he imagines himself finding a glittering treasure at ocean's bottom.

Lauzon drifts from gritty scenes that presumably represent the autobiographical elements showing family insanity to more fantastic elements that take poetic license, but the transitions are deft and seamless and feel organic to the whole. Other elements are added, such as Leolo's sexual awakening, confrontations with a bully and with fear, a meeting with a Word Tamer who collects and archives Leolo's journal-like entries from the trash, an elaborate assassination attempt on the grandfather, a disturbing scene with a cat, and much more. Even the point of view is in question, since an omniscient camera might be born of Leolo's journal, or the words of the Word Tamer, or directly from Leolo. But rather than collapse under its own weight the film feels like the proper sum to all is remarkable parts. In some ways it makes a good companion piece to another film recently reviewed for this site; the Australian film by Rolf de Heer, Bad Boy Bubby (1993). Not just because both films came out at a similar time to traumatize cat lovers and UK censors alike, but because both films offer uncompromising visions that dance madly amidst a disturbing and beautiful terrain of twisted and colorful characters that push the boundaries of the dysfunctional family unit with hallucinatory vigor.

For more information about Leolo, visit Image Entertainment. To order Leolo, go to TCM Shopping.

by Pablo Kjolseth
Leolo - Jean-Claude Lauzon's Leolo On Dvd

Leolo - Jean-Claude Lauzon's LEOLO on DVD

Canadian writer-director Jean-Claude Lauzon (1953 - 1997) was working on his third film when he and his girlfriend died in a plane crash. The director was piloting a small Cessna that reportedly hit a wind and rain squall on the way back from a remote fishing trip in Quebec, resulting in a deadly explosion that would cut short an imagination that Lauzon's second, and last, feature, Leolo (1992) can alone attest to as being wildly distinctive. Leolo won awards at the Toronto and Vancouver film festivals, as well as being nominated for a Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, but its bizarre subject matter kept it from making a big splash in the U.S., thus leaving its discovery to a small but growing number of acolytes, which include Roger Ebert - who puts Leolo on his "Great Movie" list and offers this amusing insight about Lauzon: "He was believed to be the most gifted young filmmaker in Canada, but when the elder statesman Norman Jewison offered him a job directing Gene Hackman in a thriller, he turned it down, rudely. Ken Turan of the Los Angeles Times believes Leolo might have won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1992 if Lauzon hadn't made an obscene suggestion to Jamie Lee Curtis, one of the jurors. Turan tells me he heard the story from Lauzon himself: "He found himself next to Jamie Lee at the buffet at the Hotel du Cap. He introduced himself and said, as I remember it, 'What the boy in the film does to the piece of liver, I want to do to you.' " The only caveat raised by this story is that Jamie Lee Curtis is not a shrinking violet and might as plausibly laughed as taken offense. (Excerpt from: "Leolo, A boy who's saved by his dreams," by Roger Ebert, July 31, 2005) Unsurprisingly, an unabashed sexuality weaves itself throughout Leolo with frank determination and visual zeal. The protagonist is a French-Canadian boy stuck in a dreary section of Montreal sometime in the mid 1900's whose birth name is Leo Lauzon (and, yes, the director claims his own childhood informed the film), but the name he feels is really his is Leolo Lozone. In his mind, he is the product of Sicily, a land of romantic and glowing hills populated by at least one randy farmer whose midday masturbation session leaves its mark on a crate of tomatoes that will eventually intersect with a large woman in such a way as to allow Leolo to be born. It's a bit of a stretch, but when you meet Leolo's family it's easy to understand why he might want some genetic distance. His mom and dad are obsessed with bowel movements, and they tyrannically oversee the distribution of laxatives as well as the desired daily results thereof. In my college days my friends used to euphemistically refer to bowel movements as "dropping the kids off at the pool," a phrase that seems apt when discussing Leolo because in pivotal moments he is plunged into a kiddie pool or is tossed into a river. But even in the case of the former, when his grandfather is trying to drown him in a kiddy pool, Leolo makes the most of it as he imagines himself finding a glittering treasure at ocean's bottom. Lauzon drifts from gritty scenes that presumably represent the autobiographical elements showing family insanity to more fantastic elements that take poetic license, but the transitions are deft and seamless and feel organic to the whole. Other elements are added, such as Leolo's sexual awakening, confrontations with a bully and with fear, a meeting with a Word Tamer who collects and archives Leolo's journal-like entries from the trash, an elaborate assassination attempt on the grandfather, a disturbing scene with a cat, and much more. Even the point of view is in question, since an omniscient camera might be born of Leolo's journal, or the words of the Word Tamer, or directly from Leolo. But rather than collapse under its own weight the film feels like the proper sum to all is remarkable parts. In some ways it makes a good companion piece to another film recently reviewed for this site; the Australian film by Rolf de Heer, Bad Boy Bubby (1993). Not just because both films came out at a similar time to traumatize cat lovers and UK censors alike, but because both films offer uncompromising visions that dance madly amidst a disturbing and beautiful terrain of twisted and colorful characters that push the boundaries of the dysfunctional family unit with hallucinatory vigor. For more information about Leolo, visit Image Entertainment. To order Leolo, go to TCM Shopping. by Pablo Kjolseth

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 2, 1993

Released in United States April 28, 1993

Released in United States on Video March 23, 1994

Released in United States 1992

Released in United States September 1992

Released in United States October 1992

Released in United States January 1993

Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1992.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (opening night) September 10-19, 1992.

Shown at Valladolid International Film Festival (in competition) October 23-31, 1992.

Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival January 7-17, 1993.

Director Jean-Claude Lauzon was killed in a plane crash in northern Quebec August 1997.

Received 3 Canadian Genie (1992) awards, including best original screenplay, film editing and costumes.

Released in United States Spring April 2, 1993

Released in United States April 28, 1993 (Los Angeles)

Released in United States on Video March 23, 1994

Released in United States 1992 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1992.)

Released in United States September 1992 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals (opening night) September 10-19, 1992.)

Released in United States January 1993 (Shown at Palm Springs International Film Festival January 7-17, 1993.)

Released in United States October 1992 (Shown at Valladolid International Film Festival (in competition) October 23-31, 1992.)