Pierre Perrault was born in Montreal in 1927. He had initially intended to be a lawyer and studied law faculty in Montreal and Paris. After working for Radio-Canada, he made a debut in film at the National Film Board with Michel Brault in Pour la suite du monde (1963), a classic of direct cinema. More than a documentary, it was a portrait of a people, a saga that won its directors recognition throughout the French-speaking world.
In his films, Perrault concentrated on men who reveal themselves through their language, and through their acts primarily having to do with daily life, work and survival. He often uncovered the myths underlying their activities, including hunting: La Bête lumineuse/ The Shimmering Beast (1982) takes us into a fantastic world, giving us a glimpse of the fear that underlies the boasting of hunters.
Perrault's highly poetic and philosophical work enjoys retrospectives held regularly all over the world. Along with his filmmaking, he has produced a remarkable literary oeuvre: collections of poetry, plays, annotated transcriptions of his films, etc.
Throughout his career, Perrault received numerous awards and honours for both his writing and his films. After his death in 1999, his widow, Yolande Simard-Perrault, established the Pierre et Yolande Perrault award, given each year in Quebec and Europe to support young talent in arts and communication (cinema, literature, radio).
Pour la suite du monde/ Of Whales, the Moon and Men - together with Michel Brault (105´, Canada, 1963)
Le règne du jour (118´, Canada, 1967)
Les voitures d'eau (110´, Canada, 1968)
Un pays sans bon sens! (117´, Canada, 1970)
L'acadie, l'Acadie - together with Michel Brault (117´, Canada, 1971)
Tickets s.v.p (10´, Canada, 1973)
Le retour à la terre (Canada, 1976)
Un royaume vous attend (110´, Canada, 1976)
C'était un Québecois en Bretagne, Madame (60´, Canada, 1977)
Le goût de la farine (108´, Canada, 1977)
Gens d'Abitibi (107´, Canada, 1980)
Le pays de la terre sans arbre ou Le mouchouânipi (111´, Canada, 1980)
La bête lumineuse/ The Shimmering Beast (128´, Canada, 1982)
La grande allure (1re partie) (61´, Canada, 1985)
La grande allure (2e partie) (74´, Canada, 1985)
L'oumigmag ou l'objectif documentaire (Canada, 1993)
Icewarrior (53´, Canada, 1996)
Les voitures d'eau (Orig.) / 1968 / Canada / 110 min
The third feature film by Pierre Perrault that takes place on Isle-aux-Coudres entitled Les Voitures d’eau focuses on people who, in the times of steel ships, international competition and monopoles, sail on wooden schooners.