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By Pauline Kael

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She is looking to create conditions in which this will happen. That’s how I interpret her hesitations, the obsession with details which, objectively-speaking, don’t seem that important, but are useful to her as a way of sorting things out, getting things right. ’3 To further this reflection on the theme of desire, I asked Québecois psychiatrist Dr. Pierre Drapeau to offer an analytical reading of some of Cournoyer’s works. indb 21 17/10/11 17:26:54 animating the unconscious Tale and Robes of War particularly interesting.

In A Feathered Tale, the taxi travels, literally, over the woman’s body to take her to her lover. It is also the woman’s body that undergoes the transformation into a chicken, and it is in this form that the power game between her and the man plays out. In The Hat the body is the source of all the metamorphoses, it is through the body that these visceral and powerful sensations are heightened, and are experienced both by the dancer and the viewer. Underscoring the film’s theme, the protagonist’s body is the object of distortion: stained, dislocated, deformed, smeared, dismembered, pummelled.

From this progressively more explicit treatment of dimensions of desire, it can be inferred that for Cournoyer there is indeed a real correlation between the technique of animation and the fleeting, dazzling attack of shocking imagery. indb 20 17/10/11 17:26:52 t he b o d y a nd t he u nc o ns c i o us i n t he wo r k of m i c hè le c o u r noye r onwards. It is as if this choice of a more simple and direct technique offers her greater freedom and intensity. ‘To achieve greater emotional intensity, there is a process that is like an exclusive relationship between myself, paper and ink, and the characters.

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