Suitable for children

April 6, 2012


Good Friday. When I was a kid and attending Church on Good Friday. I listened. And listened. It was the longest gospel of the year. And it was about betrayal. Framing an innocent man. Torture. A brutal execution. It is one of the darkest images of one’s youth. And I fidgeted in my seat. Dressed in a suit. My tie to tight. The starch in my shirt chafing my neck. Like I said, the darkest hour of one’s youth. Looking back I wonder if anyone asked themselves if this was suitable for children.

The magic of film is recreated, taken apart, examined and lovingly satirized in an unusual work of fiction. David Halliday imagines a BBC documentary about ‘the well known Canadian film maker Samuel Bremmer’. We see moments of the films themselves; we hear the words of the actors, the designers and the commentary of the director, Samuel Bremmer. The illusion of film, and how it is created against a backdrop of money problems, personality clashes, jealousies, ambitions, love and vanity. Originally published by Press Porcepic.

City of Gold

 

1.

wind a pilgrim across a cold

barren flatland in search of shelter

small plants huddle

close to the ground

sky dark clouds climbing higher and higher

falling over each other like wolves

ravenous.

 

SAMUEL BREMMER: I took a ride up to Churchill on the rail, the North Pole Express. It’s the only way you can get to Churchill by land. Train travels about forty miles an hour. At top speed. Usually goes slower. And it stops periodically when people wave it down. Like you’d wave a bus down in the south. .. Carries mostly freight and Indians. It’s not so much a train trip as a way of life.. . One Indian stared at my gear for a while and asked if I was going hunting. Told him I was going up to shoot the tundra, to film snow. He looked at me for a very long time before he spoke again. Your snow no good? he said quite seriously. The snow in the south is shit, I replied. There was another long pause before he responded with a smile. I myself have been of that opinion for some time, he said. After this breakthrough the Indian and I introduced ourselves. His name was George although all his friends called him Eisenhower. He had worked for the American forces during the war watching out for German submarines in Hudson Bay. I used Eisenhower and two of his friends in a lot of the distant footage in the film. When we finished making the movie I returned to Churchill with a copy of the film to show Eisenhower. When he saw himself he refused to believe it was him. My legs are not so short, he claimed…

(To be continued)

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