Eliza's Horoscope is a 1975 Canadian feature from Gordon Sheppard, one of the most enigmatic features made in Canada.
|Directed by||Gordon Sheppard|
|Produced by||Gordon Sheppard|
|Written by||Gordon Sheppard|
Tommy Lee Jones
|Music by||Elmo Peeler|
Paul van der Linden
|Edited by||Gordon Sheppard|
|Distributed by||Akoom (Quebec)|
|September 1975, Stratford International Film Festival; May 1976, Montreal|
Gordon Sheppard (1937･2006) began his career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 1960 as a writer and interviewer on public affairs programs such as "The Lively Arts." In 1965 he was appointed to the Secretary of State as a special consultant on a proposal to create the Canadian Film Development Corporation (later Telefilm Canada). Leaving government service, Sheppard began work on his flawed masterpiece, the splendid Eliza's Horoscope, an ingenious, exotic feature that he began in 1970 and would take four years to complete (which explains why there are three cinematographers on the film).
The central character is a young girl (Elizabeth Moorman, a former Playboy Bunny), who learns from an astrologer that she will meet a rich husband and proceeds to look for one. She rooms with an older hooker (Lila Kedrova, the veteran Russian-born actress who had won an Oscar for Zorba the Greek) in a rundown Montreal apartment where a young man of mixed indigenous and European heritage (Tommy Lee Jones in one of his first screen appearances) falls for her. Later he is killed trying to blow up a bridge as a form of protest. Heavily allegorical and densely symbolic, Eliza's Horoscope is a psychedelic film left over from the 1960s ･ closer to Bob Rafelson’s Head than Federico Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits. Richard Manuel, formerly of the legendary Canadian group The Band, appears as a background extra in the film.
Canadian Film Awards ･ Supporting Actress (Kedrova), Cinematography (van der Linden), Art Direction, Overall Sound, Special Award
- Sheppard, Gordon. "The Making of Eliza's Horoscope". Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Morris, Peter (1984). The Film Companion. Toronto: Irwin Publishing. pp. 270･271. ISBN 0 7725 1505 0.
- Pratley, Gerald (1987). Torn Sprockets: The Uncertain Projection of the Canadian Film. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses. p. 223. ISBN 0874131944.
- "Best-film showdown: 11 vie for all-Canadian honours". Ottawa Journal. October 3, 1975. p. 39. Retrieved March 28, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.