Archive for May 4th, 2020|Daily archive page

The Casting Game No. 127 Take 2 – moody with big chin

I was struggling to figure out who actor Stanley Holloway looks like and think I may have put my finger on who wouldn’t quite come to the surface on my original attempt…

Stanley Holloway in Eva directed by Joseph Losey

Stanley Holloway (in Eva – 1962)

AS

morrissey-of the-smiths singer

Morrissey of The Smiths

They Saw The Sun First [video - 8 mins]

Here is the first of my commissions for Red Bull Media House:

Directed by Stefan Hunt, an Aussie based in Brooklyn. Music by French multi-instrumentalist composer/performer FKJ. Movement directed by Vanessa Marian.

With city dwellers locked down across the world under the most trying of circumstances, They Saw The Sun First is a ray of light, an oasis of inspiration and uplift in the form of a highly original and beautifully crafted film. It is a genre-bending documentary using dance and physicality to explore themes of youthfulness, fear, regret and aging. The star of the show is New York, the metropolis itself.

The perspectives of elderly citizens of NYC are interpreted physically by younger generations through movement and dance. The words come from real-life interviews recorded with a diverse selection of aging New Yorkers. Each dancer was given a voice to interpret (without ever meeting the owner of that voice) through dance, movement, emotive states and space. Movement Director Vanessa Marian led this aspect of the film.

The film focuses on our commonalities as opposed to our differences. The director, Stefan Hunt, seeks to address this current age of echo chambers, divisive rhetoric and a deepening chasm between generations. It reframes what it means to listen to our elders. The title derives from an old African proverb:

“What older people say is not to be dishonoured – after all, they saw the sun first.”

They Saw The Sun First was produced by Fresh Film Productions, New York for Red Bull Media House, London & Salzburg – part of an initiative I have been heading up focused on excellent storytelling applied to human interest documentaries.

The music is specially composed by FKJ, the award-winning and much followed French multi-instrumentalist and singer, who is renowned for his solo live performances (featuring his multi-instrument skills through live loops) at music festivals like Coachella. He rewrote his track ‘Ylang Ylang’ for the film.

Stefan Hunt’s directing journey began in 2006 when he decided to travel through the USA in an ice-cream truck, armed with a camera and child-like resolve to cast an eye on all 50 states. He says of the film: “With all my grandparents gone, I felt a real lack of eldership in my life. I feel like we are bombarded with these authoritative opinions from young people on the internet, but where is the advice of those who have walked this earth the longest?”

The way I see it this uplifting and original film comes out just when the world needs it – it reminds us what makes life’s inevitable struggles ultimately worthwhile and strengthening.

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