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In 1975, during this mythical Saint-Jean on the mountain during which Ginette Reno urged Quebec to project itself a little higher, a little further, Marc Labrèche was 14 years old and lived with his mother in an 18-storey tower on Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, in front of the cemetery of the same name. Beneath his balcony were the tombstones.
Merry, as a backdrop… The young sexagenarian laughs. “But it corresponded to my meditative state at the time,” recalls the actor, joined while he was behind the wheel, en route to Quebec, where he will declaim this Thursday evening on the Plains a patriotic speech, alongside Salebarbes. , Richard Séguin, Marjo, Sara Dufour, Florent Vollant, Mélissa Bédard, Jérôme 50, Laura Niquay, Breen Leboeuf, Scott-Pien Picard and Lou-Adriane Cassidy.
He unpacks the rest of his teenage story with in his voice this little music that we know him, that of sweet delirium. “Behind the mound of tombstones in front of me rose the cheers of a crowd and the voices of the greats of this world gathered on stage in the name of the fatherland. And I thought, “This is it. The dead are waking up to come and sing me something.” It was an almost voodoo experience, but hey, I read Castaneda a lot [écrivain associé au chamanisme] at that time, I may have mixed up the references. »
Whether these visions worthy of magical realism are the result of his readings or of a patriotism as burgeoning as it is mystical, it matters little. The tall blond remains to this day inhabited by a spiritual conception of this celebration.
There is something of a pagan mass in these gatherings, and that truly enchants me. I am often moved at Saint-Jean, moved by the movement of the masses towards something common. And I take this opportunity to speak to my dead.
Talk to his dead? Han? The conversation had begun in this typically Labrèche tone, all in poetic-absurd tendrils, but suddenly took a more serious turn. “This party is linked for me to a duty of memory, yes. Maybe that’s my definition of patriotism: it’s the memory, the recognition of those who were there before us, who overcame the trials, who built what there was to build. »
“And the party has an even more special meaning this year, after what we’ve been through,” he continues. There are people who will not be able to celebrate, who will not have made it to today and it is in their memory that we can allow ourselves to celebrate. It is for them that we must continue to live. »
In 2014, on the stage of the Gémeaux gala, Marc Labrèche delivered one of his most clearly political speeches of his career. “It’s beautiful, the talent! “, he launches first. “Bring me some talent! Give me a country, lord, give me a country! Jean-Martin Aussant, come back! We have some beer! This tip of the hat to the sovereignist militant, then in exile in England, had “come out to him spontaneously”, he recalls today.
If he still believes in the country project – “even if I know that it is out of fashion” – Marc Labrèche now sees it less as a goal than a horizon towards which to strive.
If we have the country, so much the better, but what this project means, for me, is to continue to grow, to fulfill ourselves, in all this openness that we claim to have in relation to people from somewhere else. True sovereignty, for me, is there, even if, afterwards, there are also more technical considerations, which should not be overlooked if we really wanted to think about it.
A host of This year nevertheless emphasizes the inclusive nature of this celebration, to which all Quebecers are invited, whether they tick yes or no. “Our language with a thousand accents”, such is the theme, well chosen for this host who is among those who best shine the language of Leloup. There is even a kind of little Labrèche lexicon, at the heart of which words like “pelvis” or “organ” alone have the power to generate laughter.
“It adds to the pleasure of communicating, of having the choice between several ways of saying things. If there are several ways to say “I love you”, it can make love more alive, more sparkling, it allows you to get out of the daily grind. I find more and more pleasure in trying to use the most exact word to say things, in the bank that I have, which is not as rich as I would like. »
Knowing your language, in short, is a great way to know yourself. “It gives tools to get out of the spleens that can assail us, to see that there is a way to say them, and therefore, ultimately, to live them. It takes me out of my little egocentric states, it frees me. The words come out of me. »
And his organ?
Unfortunately, do not count on Marc Labrèche to push the note Thursday evening. “I do not have the impudence to go and offer myself when I will be surrounded by such beautiful organs. “His national holiday tune? “Already, when there is psychedelic that manifests itself, I tend to like it. Lindberg allows me to cross several states at the same time, to visit several countries, including my own. »
A duet bringing together Lou-Adriane Cassidy and Marc Labrèche, around Claude Péloquin’s lysergic text, wouldn’t that be bad? “You would have to ask Miss Cassidy, who would no doubt accept out of elegance, because she is very generous, but I wouldn’t want her to ruin such a fine career. »
The conversation ends, Marc soon arrives in Quebec. The journalist’s questions didn’t make him miss his outing, always? ” No way. I had my eyes closed the whole time and I’m still heading in the right direction. I was probably guided by angels or by Castaneda. Or by Jean-Martin Aussant. »
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The Pagan Mass by Marc Labrèche
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