Les Rochassiers, 1968
Claude Lavallée collection.
Above is a promotional poster for the preview of the film. It was a splendid advertisement for rock climbing in Québec and Val-David.
Marc Hébert from the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) directed Les Rochassiers, a documentary on rock climbing in the Laurentians.
Les Rochassiers is one of the rare rock-climbing films made in Québec and it’s not only the title (the “rock chasers” in English) which makes it exceptional. Marc Hébert’s documentary would prove to be one of the first films about rock climbing in the world. To be more exact, it marks and crystalizes two interesting moments:
– Between two types of film (on alpinism and rock climbing)
– Between these two practices (alpinism and rock climbing).
In addition, Les Rochassiers displays an indisputable richness by means of the genres it deploys, and by which it is more or less directly inspired. A study of the soundtrack and the development of the narrative allows us to identify the stylistic heterogeneity of the film and its highly original narrative treatment. Until the filming of Les Rochassiers, no other film on alpinism or rock climbing had used ambient sound; the noises made by birds and pitons, people conversing during the activity, as well as the sound of climbing equipment accompanied by an atonal, even brutal electronic music.