Canadian Women Film Directors Database
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Laura Boulton (partial data)

Laura Boulton
Photo © National Film Board of Canada

Countries: Canada / United States

Films directed by Laura Boulton

Quotes by Laura Boulton

"I signed a contract [with the National Film Board of Canada] for six weeks, to make one film, and it turned into three years and fifteen films: twelve for distribution on various peoples of Canada, and three which I used for lecturing. (They asked me to lecture across Canada with a film we made called Across Wartime Canada, and across the U.S. with a film we called Canadians All.) So production kept me in the field almost all the time. In Eastern Canada, we did two films in Quebec and one in Nova Scotia. Then in the summer we travelled on an Eskimo schooner with a crew of six Eskimos; we worked on the islands north of Hudson's Bay: Baffin [Island], and Southampton, and we went on the walrus hunt with the Eskimos to Coats Island, and then finally Chesterfield, and up to Baker Lake, and finally back down in the same little schooner to Fort Churchill. It was a fabulous summer. We made, in all, three Eskimo films: Eskimo Arts and Crafts; Eskimo Summer, and Arctic Hunters, which ended with a big spectacular walrus hunt."
-- Laura Boulton (source)

"[John Grierson] sent a telegram to me to come to Ottawa and I began work immediately on Peoples of Canada. It was a wonderful time to work with Grierson and a wonderful experience. I'd bring my research papers in and he'd put them aside and say, 'I know how you work Laura. Go ahead.' Well this was so inspiring that all of us worked, I'm sure, at least ninety-six hours a day. In fact on one occasion I didn't go to bed for a week because I wanted to show him my workprint before he left on a trip [...]. So it wasn't because anyone said you had to work like that. It was because we were so inspired and loved it."
-- Laura Boulton (source)

Quotes about Laura Boulton

"Without grounding in anthropological literature [...] she [Laura Boulton] often relied on hearsay or rumor while in the field. Hence, she occasionally believed, without justification, that she witnessed phenomena never before seen by an outsider. Making films without established scientific, technical, and aesthetic principles is surely presumptuous. Nonetheless, as both [John] Grierson and Boulton demonstrate, it is a risk worth taking, particularly when one's subject is fast disappearing from the face of the world."
-- Robert McMillan (source)

"In 1941, [John] Grierson turned to another freelancer—American filmmaker Laura Boulton—to make a series of films on Canadian cultural communities. The series was called Peoples of Canada, and its goal was to broaden awareness of Canada's cultural mosaic, in order to create a feeling of national unity. Boulton held degrees in music and anthropology, and had a passion for world music. She had previously spent several years traveling, during which she documented the musical traditions of various African peoples, and collected samples of their music. When she arrived at the NFB, Boulton had a six-week contract to make one film. She wound up staying three years [...]."
-- Marc St-Pierre (source)

Quote about Laura Boulton [in French]

"En 1941, [John] Grierson fait appel à une autre pigiste afin de réaliser une série de films sur les communautés culturelles au Canada, l'Américaine Laura Boulton. L'objectif de la série, intitulée Peoples of Canada, est de faire connaître la mosaïque culturelle canadienne afin de créer un sentiment d'unité nationale. Diplômée de musique et d'anthropologie, passionnée par les musiques du monde, forte d'une expérience de plusieurs années de voyage où elle collecte et documente les musiques des peuples africains, Laura Boulton arrive à l'ONF avec en poche un contrat de six semaines et le mandat de réaliser un film. Elle y restera trois ans [...]."
-- Marc St-Pierre (source)

For QUOTES about a specific film by Laura Boulton, please see:   Eskimo Arts and Crafts    Totems    People of the Potlatch   

Bibliography for Laura Boulton

Section 1: Publications about Laura Boulton

Journal Articles

Section 2: Publications about the Films of Laura Boulton

Eskimo Arts and Crafts (1943)  (also known as: "L'artisanat esquimau")

Brief Sections of Books

Archival Collections

These archival institutions have holdings related to Laura Boulton or her films:

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