By Farnell Morisset
Quebec High School staff were in for a surprise when movie scouts came knocking a few weeks ago. After a short tour, they were convinced – the Quebec High School building was to be the setting of some of the scenes from the next Les Boys movie, an upcoming major Quebec film to follow in the popular Les Boys series about hockey and Quebec culture.
Not much is known about the plot of the upcoming movie, save that it is a prequel that will feature some of the beloved Les Boys characters as high school students squaring off in a hockey match against a rival English school in Montreal, probably sometime in the 60s or 70s.
Having been built in the 1940s, Quebec High School maintains the distinct appearance of high schools of the era, with its red brick exterior, rustic wood-and-glass science labs, long corridors, and wide open-aired staircases. The school’s hardwood floored gymnasium, complete with stage, is also known to be the setting for a traditional school dance straight from a generation ago. The remnants of an older time, when students were separated by gender, proved an omen to the movie’s scouting team when they saw “BOYS ENTRANCE” engraved above the northern entrance to the school, outside the arts wing.
With some of the scenes being shot in his own office, school principal Warren Thompson was excited at the idea of having a hockey rink paid for by the film. Unfortunately the school’s proximity to Boulevard René-Lévesque made shooting a historical scene outside impossible with the constant flow of smart cars and SUVs. The ice hockey rink used for the outdoor scenes will instead be built on the grounds of the Eastern Quebec Learning Center.
The Quebec High School administration was delighted to welcome the film team, but asked to make sure that Quebec High School students would get the best educational experience possible from the event. Even though the scenes will be filmed the first week of March, when students are out on break, Quebec High School students will have the chance to act as extras – their athletic talent and knowledge of English being an asset to represent students from the rival school both on and off the ice – as well as follow and learn from the technical teams involved in running such a complex operation. This will complement well with the school’s existing technical, sports, and dramatic arts programs, according to Thompson.
For those adults jealous at the opportunity, no word is out yet on casting calls for extras outside of the school. We will, of course, be sure to keep you posted.
About the author:
Farnell is passionate about discussing (amongst other things) the issues of modern social identity for many Québécois who, like him, feel deeply connected to the Québécois nation and culture yet do not identify with the traditional francophone non-practicing Catholic nationalist image.
He is also alarmed by what seems to be an invasive and aggressive polarization of complex social issues for which there are no black-and-white answers. This eventual identity crisis, he feels, will only be solved through good faith in, and honest communication with, all sides pulling on our ever dwindling “pure laine” blanket.
It is with this in mind that he contributes to LifeinQuebec.com as a valued member of our, in-house, writing team.