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546 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 these tensions, jones finally proposes an 'organic' model for his institutional history, which he describes as an 'evolving ecosystem: subject to the mathematical 'law of requisite variety' according to which complex systems survive better than simple ones. Ultimately, jones is opting for a 'structural-functional' rather than a 'dialectical' history. This latter still awaits another historian. In the confines of this review, little attention has been paid to his comments on the films. The number discussed in any detail is small, and the criticism flows more out of jones's institutional analysis than out of the contemporary concerns of 'pure' film scholarship: semiotics, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, or materialism. However, jones's work is a valuable addition to the growing bookshelf on Canadian film history, next to Peter Morris's Embattled Shadows (1978) which breaks off at 1939 when the NFB was founded. While we may regret the omission of any reference to Boissonault's 1971 thesis on Quebec cineastes at the NFB (Cinema Quebec published it in five numbers of volume 2), and the reluctance to place English and French filmmakers' aesthetic and social concerns side by side for comparison, as might have been done in chapter 8, we must surely hope that, as a result of this book, the strength of the documentary film tradition established in the NFB will be respected as governments consider its future. In jones's closing words: 'If this incredible history should come to a close, not only Canada, but the rest of the world, will be the poorer for it.' (DAVID CLANDFIELD) Pierre Perrault. La Bete lumineuse NouveJle Optique Pierre Perrault's work in film and print stands as a poetic monument to the natural social history of the Quebec peoples. It celebrates the perpetual renewal of links with the popular past of Quebec which mark the national dreams and aspirations of those peoples, whether they be French or Amerindian. The lIe aux Couldres film trilogy caught up the traditions of the lower St Lawrence, extending back to jacques Cartier and forward to the slow death of the schooners carrying logs up the river to Quebec (Pour la suite du monde, 1964, Le Regne du jour, 1966, Voitures d'eau, 1968). The Abitibi film tetralogy drew us into the world of broken dreams in the deserted rangs of those who sought the 'promised land' of the northwest reaches in the province during the Great Depression (Un royaume VOliS attend, 1975, Le Retour Ii la terre, 1976, C'etait un Quebecois en Bretagne, Madame, 1977, Gens d'Abitibi, 1979). In Le Goat de la [arine (1977) and Pays de la terre sans arbre (1980), Perrault explored the survival of Amerindian cul- HUMANITIES 547 ture on the COte Nord and in the far north of the Mouchouanipi. In an early collection of thirteen short films for the National Film Board (Au Pays de Neufve-France, 1956), in the collection of lyricalessays called Toutes isles (1963) and in the wider-ranging Un pays sans bon sens (1970), he pulled many of these worlds together. Now, in his latest film, La Bete lumineuse (NFB), and book, he has opened up the fertile dream world of the Gatineau River, scene of the great exploits of the voyageurs and the celebrated log-drives from the lumber camps. This heroic past is not revived directly in the work. Rather, the links are forged through tracing the fall ritual of the hunting trip. Eleven men leave their jobs and families for ten days to hunt and shoot, eat and sleep, and, above all, drink and recount. The book of the film is described in the blurb as 'journal de tournage, commentaires et reflexions a vif,' However, those who read this expecting the conventional round of production anecdotes, technical data, and related information will be disappointed. Rarely does Perrault even describe his role as filmmaker or the part played by his film crew. Rather, the book continues in the same vein as in the previous annotated transcriptions of Perrault's films, and, in particular, follows the format of Un pays sans bon sens (1972). This consists of a strict transcription of the dialogue, interspersed with Perrault's personal...


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