Lenny Cohen's first novel The Favourite Game, is a lovely, poetic book (as if you read it.. Chimples) with plenty of pithy turns-of-phrase, written in '59 and published in '63 when Lenny was 29.
It was rejected by his publisher for being too sex-obsessed and autobiographical, so he sliced it down and it was published in Europe. It was only published in the Canadas in 1970.
Of course it's packed with Montreal references and such clever thoughts as:
“As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder. ” “He knew that hair couldn't feel; he kissed her hair.” “I'm planning a catastrophe.” “Deprivation is the mother of poetry.”“Anything I tell you is an alibi for something else."“Garages, barns and attics are always older than the buildings to which they are attached.” “She was made of flesh and eyelashes.”
So in 2001 they started to make it into a movie and they got 'er done, but not without much stress, and tension as I will explain. It came out in 2003.
They hired J.R. "I Am Canadian" Bourne to play the mandatory handsome, brooding lead male character. (But.. y'know.. he's from Toronto! so yeah...)
Bourne does fine, in spite of his lingering Great Lakes vibe and when I finally stumbled across the film a few months ago, I thought it was a newish release.
I had no idea that a part of the script was so controversial that it went before a judge.
A couple of little scenes required input from kids, lawyers, ACTRA, a CSST inspector, parents, a director, a psychiatrist and two
ACTRA argued that Director Bernar Hebert shouldn't have kids playing scenes that involved exploration of sexuality.
For example "in scene 24, an 8-year old girl perform in the nude before two minor boys aged 10 and 11 and, in scene 16, will have an 11-year old boy perform before a nude 23-year old woman portraying a 15-year old girl." And elsewhere: "scene calls for 1-(11-year-old actor) Krantz lowering Lisa (23-year-old playing a 15-year-old)’s panties; 2- Lisa being fully in the nude, lying on her belly, then her back; 3- boys of 10 and 11 present when she is nude; and 4- adults members of the technical team being present. That script had not been modified at the time of the hearings."
And so on and so forth.
Check out the case linked above if you really want to know more. I'm not sure how they ironed the dispute out, but the film got made.
If it was me I'd have just called up Korea and had them do an animated version of those scenes.
The weird part is that I barely remember the controversial scenes but they are still in there from what I recollect.