A graduate of the 2019 – 2020 Writing program (Feature film profile) at L’inis, and member of the Kino movement, Jonathan Goyette has scripted, directed and self-produced several independant short films with no budget, some of which have been selected by festivals such as the Canada Shorts Film Festival, and Image+Nation. With his beautiful film inspired by the painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, Jonathan Goyette won the Finalist award in the category Best Experimental Abstract Film, at Experimental Brasil 2023.
1. Olá Jonathan, how are you? Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work for our readers.
Initially, I am a writer of short stories. Documentaries have been my entry into filmaking. Progressively, I have started to use the hybridation of cinematic forms to represent the state of mind of my characters. For example the film I’m presenting at Experimental Brasil, Lyrical Kaleidoscope, blends real documentary images with experimental ones to show how nature inspired the imagination of the painter Jean-Paul Riopelle.
2. Your film "Lyrical Kaleidoscope" was a finalist in the Best Experimental Abstraction category. Did you expect a result like this?
I was certainly hoping for a good result but did not expect it. Once I finish a movie, I try to let it go with all its imperfections and move on to the next project.
3. What was the moment when you felt, that the appeal of creating "Lyrical Kaleidoscope", became irrefutable?
Riopelle always has been an inspiration for me, given his extraordinary life and his legacy as a french canadian artist. So, when I saw there was a contest to obtain funds to make a film about him, I could not resist the urge to participate. I’m glad I was selected. This experience has been beyond my expectations.
4. Why experimental cinema and not something pasteurized?
Due to property right issues, I could not use images of Riopelle’s works in my film. This constraint forced me to be creative and screen shots of experimental images had already appeared to me as paintings made by Riopelle. Plus, the artists I worked with wanted to do something new. It was like starting on a blank canvas, just as Riopelle would start his paintings. So it just made sense to go experimental, given my own interest and experimentations into cinematic forms hybridation.
5. What would make you give up on finishing a film in the middle of production?
If the production of the film made me unable to attend to my family’s needs.
6. For you, producing on a low budget can sharpen a film director's imagination?
Yes. It forces me to be creative. I have made many films within the Kino movement, which originates in Montreal Québec. The Kino movement philosophy is: “Faire bien avec rien, faire mieux avec peu, mais le faire maintenant”, which means : “Do well with nothing, make something better with a bit more means, but do it now.”
7. In your opinion, what should be taught in film schools, but nobody (or few) talk about it?
How coward money is! Werner Herzog tells all about it in his master class, however.
8. What can be considered the worst sin for a filmmaker?
Being too rigid with the plan I’ve setup for myself and not let my contributors participate in the creative process.
9. What would an ideal film festival be like?
Good question. There are so many good festivals nowadays and I havent participated in them all, so this is really hard for me to answer.
10. What is your greatest aspiration as a filmmaker?
Make feature films where I can blend the experiments in hybridation I am conducting nowadays.
11.What do all the films that you consider good have in common?
A compelling concept, a great narrative or a strong transformative arc.
12. If you met your favorite filmmaker, what would you ask him/her?
Can you mentor me?
13.Is there a film (or films) that has touched you so much that it has influenced you as a human being?
Yes, The passenger by Michealangelo Antonioni, because through this film I understood how cinema could represent abstract sociological or philosophical concepts such as existentialism. Some films by Ruben Ostlund are also based on a sociological concept and have left an indelible impression in my mind, for example The square, is based on the socio-psychological theory of the bystander effect.