With no experience or training, Simon Boisvert embarks on a creative adventure of writing directing and producing self-financed micro-budget narrative films. Since his debut made six feature films. This documentary takes us on his journey through the good times and mostly the bad times of his career.
Interspersed with various excerpts from his films, personal archival footage, as well as a number of candid interviews conducted with people who crossed paths with him over the years, this is the story of a passionate and little known filmmaker who never gave up on his dream despite his modest means, limited artistic talent and becoming an industry laughing stock. Here is our review of ‘Bold and Brash: Filmmaking Boisvert Style’.
Film making is hard. Really hard. Anyone who manages to complete a feature or short film, in my opinion, deserves some credit as it takes a lot of time, effort and a hell of a lot of courage. As a critic, I believe that nobody goes out of their way to make a bad movie and everyone that tries to make a film has nothing but good intentions. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who decide to make movies but are simply not very good and have no discernible talent for it. That said, it is, of course, their dream and much like many of those ‘singers’ you see during the early stages of TV talent shows, who are we to tell them to stop dreaming? I’m looking at you, Simon Cowell!
Over the years, some terrible directors like Ed Wood (Plan 9 From Outer Space), James Nguyen (Birdemic) and Tommy Wiseau (The Room) went on to garner a certain amount of recognition and celebrity due to their infamy. Whether becoming household names due to them being so bad was a problem for them, only they can answer. That said, there are many other directors who remain unknown and simply carry on with their dreams quietly and under the radar. French Canadian director/ producer Simon Boisvert is one such person.
He made his first film ‘Stephanie, Nathalie Caroline and Vincent, in 2001 for forty thousand dollars, using friends, acquaintances and himself. It was a poor effort but a distributor saw something in it, bought it and released it straight to video. The fact that the film was released on September 11th 2001 and therefore buried by a major news story is one of the many nuggets of dark humor dotted throughout the documentary’s 87 minute run time.
‘Bold And Brash: Filmmaking The Boisvert Way’ is actually an interesting, entertaining and compelling piece of work. Filmed in the usual talking heads style we meet most of the performers who were involved in the projects with Boisvert himself. We learn that the cast and crew, who have all worked together on a number of projects since, were not particularly enthralled with what they were doing. They didn’t always get on, there were personality clashes, disagreements over the writing, doubts about casting and a general acceptance that what they were doing was absolute rubbish. Yet what I particularly liked about each interviewee we meet was their genuine love and respect for the man himself. Even though these problems were quite rampant, they never stopped working with and for each other and Simon and they also became each other’s surrogate family.
Boisvert is an engaging subject whose enthusiasm shines through; he is also brilliantly self-deprecating. Whereas the likes of Wiseau and Nguyen have an inflated sense of ego, Nguyen for one seems somewhat delusional at times, refusing to accept that he’s a terrible director and even compares himself to Hitchcock. Boisvert, on the other hand, is extremely likable; he understands his limitations and knows he isn’t very good. He takes a number of swipes at himself for his acting ability and directing and in doing so gains our sympathy and our respect.