52 min

Documentary on Robert Lepage’s theatre company producing in Moscow for the first time

Full description

L'inaccessible étoile (En)

In July 2007, Ex Machina, headed by Robert Lepage, went to Russia for the first time. Presenting four of their shows in 30 days for the Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Moscow, the tour took on the colours of a marathon.

This Ciné-Scène production captured all the backstage ebullience experienced alongside Lepage’s crew and conveyed it to television viewers in a documentary shot on both sides of the curtain, right in the heat of the action.

Équipe :
Production : Nicolas Léger
Réalisation et camera : Jocelyn Langlois
Cadreurs : Catherine Allard, Jean Larochelle
Prise de son et conception sonore : Jean Robert Deroo
Monteur image : Jocelyn Langlois
Mixeur sonore : Jean-Sébastien Côté, James
Musique originale : Jean-Sébastien Côté

Avec :
Robert Lepage, Valery Shadrin, Éléna Naoumova, Patrick Durnin, Louise Roussel, Paul Bourque, Martin Genois, Kevin McCoy

Remerciements spéciaux
Lynda Beaulieu, Michel Bernatchez et Ex Machina, DBcom Media, Festival international de Théâtre Tchekhov


Producing a documentary on an extraordinary tour by one of the world’s most prestigious theatre companies, in a country that few people have visited, let alone worked in, represented a huge challenge for us!

We had to equip the Russian theaters with robotized cameras and mikes recording on a multitrack hard drive. Two mobile cameras filmed production highlights and another tracked everything Lepage said and did. The logistics involved with filming and sound recording was one of our most demanding challenges.

Entering Russia with our equipment called for painstaking advance preparation to line up the letter of invitation, visas, ATA carnets, etc. This first overseas production quickly enmeshed us in a string of red tape, but our Québec production crew found their way through this labyrinth with brio.

Our approach

The opportunity to join the Ex Machina tour came up unexpectedly, and interest in the film quickly followed suit, plunging us headlong into production, in what was to be total, non-stop immersion in the project.

With a 31-day tour, four productions to cover and 55 individuals, each with their own story, we had no shortage of subject matter. In terms of production, we made the tough choice to make a single film. There were several possible storylines and as many compelling topics, but we wanted to focus on the performance that Ex Machina pulled off in Russia, on the human effort and culture shock involved.

The strong cohesion of our small crew on location worked to our advantage and as always, our transparency was a highly esteemed, key element. We had access during the artists’ most stressful moments, to more laid-back periods and to their triumphs as well. We succeeded in capturing and distilling all this chemistry into images and context.


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