Barry Lazar Presentation ~ Assignment
250-word article on Barry Lazar presentation
Sikander Ziad Hashmi
Jour 201, Concordia University
War and elections – there’s nothing more editorial cartoonists Aislin and Chapleau could ask for. That just one of the many facts Concordia’s first year journalism students learned last Tuesday.
The guest at the weekly series of Tuesday conferences was Barry Lazar, co-producer of “Nothing Sacred”, a NFB/ONF documentary focused on the Gazette’s Aislin (Terry Mosher) and La Presse’s Chapleau (Serge Chapleau). It explores the role of the artists as journalistic court jesters.
Lazar began by explaining the documentary-making process. He said that each documentary is unique in the approach it ends up taking.
In his 14 years of making documentaries, he has yet to use the same approach twice, said Lazar.
After about 10 revised proposals, the NFB/ONF finally approved the required $100 000 in funding.
Following the introduction, students were treated to a screening of the film, about half of which was in French with English subtitles.
Since the documentary is centered on Aislin and Chapleau, it brought to light many of their human qualities that aren’t apparent through their drawings. Students learned about Mosher’s life crisis, as well as his and Chapleau’s feelings towards the politicians they often ridicule.
Another mystery that was solved was how Mosher got the penname “Aislin”. It turns out that it’s his daughter’s name. She too is featured in the documentary.
One of the most interesting aspects of the documentary is that Lazar managed to interview some of the politicians that the cartoonists often depict. He was able to present their feelings about the depictions.
After the screening, Lazar took questions from students, which brought some interesting facts to light, such as the fact that aides for Stephane Dion (who Chapleau always characterizes as a rat) didn’t respond to Lazar’s repeated efforts to include him in the documentary.