Simon Lavoie and Maxime Giroux | Norbourg: beyond the message

Simon Lavoie is known for the films he made with Mathieu Denis (Laurentia, Anyone who makes half revolutions has only dug a grave) and those he signed alone (The current, The little girl who loved matches too much, not a trace). We owe him the script for Norburgproduced by Maxime Giroux (Joe for Jonathan, Felix and Meira, The Great Darkness), another filmmaker known for the uniqueness of his cinema. Meet.

Posted yesterday at 7:00am

Marc Andre Lussier

Marc Andre Lussier
The press

Should we be surprised to find the two of you in a film project such as Norburgwhich on paper seems quite distant from your respective universes?

Maxime Giroux: Yes [rires] !

Simon Lavoie: It’s an evolution, a kind of coming out. In fact, we all love cinemas. It’s true that we usually offer auteur films, maybe a little more advanced, but we also like quality American cinema, narrative cinema.

MG: Gus Van Sant has always been a role model for me. He is able to go one way and the other, not afraid to go to extremes. goodwill hunt really touched people, and then he made films like Gerry From where last days, which are the complete opposite. He does everything he does well without ever losing his identity. I understand that people can find our presence Norburg, but I’m also amazed that filmmakers always want to make the same film, apart from those who take inspiration from their own lives. Personally, I don’t see cinema that way.


for Norburgfilmmaker Maxime Giroux brought a screenplay by Simon Lavoie to the screen.

The story follows the rise of Vincent Lacroix (François Arnaud), responsible for the biggest financial scandal in Quebec history, but also Éric Asselin (Vincent-Guillaume Otis), a much lesser-known figure, an investigator for the former Securities Commission who becomes the deceiver’s right arm. Where did the idea for a film about the case come from? Norburg ?

SL: I came up with this idea a long time ago when a retailer asked me if I had a topic in mind that had commercial potential. But that didn’t happen at the time. People tend to think that Norburg is a commissioned film, but no. This is a subject that I brought up and that interested Réal Chabot [le producteur] and Maxime arrived later. I believe that what happened in Norburg nonetheless, it connects themes I have addressed in other films, inasmuch as all of my stories are rooted in Quebec society. The Norbourg affair is much more than simple news. It had a resounding echo and a deep impact. The moral aspect of this story, the easy greed, with people jumping the fence with impunity, it’s all fascinating. This is what happened to Éric Asselin, a civil servant who initially led a very orderly life.

MG: There’s also that Quebecers have never seen a scam of this magnitude and many of us thought that we could easily have been victims of these two guys. We’ve seen this in the United States, but nobody thought something like this could happen here.

Simon, so far you have brought all the screenplays you have written to the screen yourself, sometimes co-directing them. Why did you approach another filmmaker? Norburg ?

SL: I obviously thought for a while that I could direct this film myself, but as the project progressed I thought it would be interesting to bring in a different vision, carried by someone who could take a fresh look at it by being contributes its expertise and know-how. I felt like Maxime could take everything to another level. I went to see him when the script was done, which means he’s been around for five or six years.

MG: For my part, it felt good to be working on a project that I hadn’t started yet, with a very specific scenario in terms of direction. The directing challenge was to bring a very charged, very complex story to screen with a relatively short shooting schedule. It’s an American-style script that we had to produce within the parameters of Quebec cinema.


In NorburgVincent-Guillaume Otis plays Éric Asselin, Vincent Lacroix’s accomplice.

We all remember this story and the pictures of Vincent Lacroix leaving the courthouse miserably after his conviction, but the fact is that he was released after three years and that his associate Éric Asselin was not never convicted. Should the layman in the financial world who sees your film understand that they are no better protected from such scams today? Or are you?

MG: That’s the point. We just want viewers to ask such questions. Because you still have to be very careful.

SL: Especially since today everything is dematerialized and the financial world takes place in the virtual world. Then it becomes very abstract. Scammers no longer need to break into a home to steal money. The facts in Norburg took place between 1998 and 2005. Since then, the number of fraud cases has increased. We are now in cryptocurrency, high speculation and every day brings new stories. Scammers will always find new ways to slip through the cracks. It is up to us to be vigilant, to hold ourselves accountable by not blindly giving away our personal finances without oversight.

MG: Many of Norbourg’s victims believed their money was being deposited in a place managed by the Caisse de depot et placement and were unaware that the funds had been sold to Norbourg, although it was relatively easy to find out. Today we invest in virtual institutions where we can never speak to anyone directly.

SL: And the penalties never seem commensurate with the crime, even though the injuries are as severe as those assault victims can sustain. There are people who really have lost everything.

Are you happy with your film?

MG: Yes. Basically, I wanted to do it for the general public, which had never happened to me before. I want Quebecers to see this film to remind themselves that this type of scam is possible. We wanted to offer an effective feature film, with a good script, and I think that works well. I’m proud of it, and I think it’s the first time I’m saying that about one of my films!

SL: I also really like pictures. Maxime – and Sara Mishara in the photo – managed to capture the spirit of a slightly dirty Montreal that we rarely see in our cinema.

Norburg is currently showing.

Leave a Comment