Tuesday, November 6, 2012

That's (Real) Showbiz...

Recently, I produced a list of 10 fillems that I insist my daughter Storm see at some point in the next year or so. Note that I refer to these as fillems, not movies. Movies are something different and not important (something full of explosions, CGIs or lame jokes and usually very predictable and not much fun) . I look at it a something of a rite of passage and a way of educating her to some works of celluloid art that have left an indelible mark on me. Late this past summer we viewed The Shining together (was that wrong? – REDRUM!?), which she claimed to enjoy. Last week came a rare and thrilling opportunity to not only watch Smoke Signals together, but also to be among the audience for an interview following the screening with Evan Adams by Duncan McCue. Coast Salish actor Adams, of course played the now-iconic role of Thomas Builds-The Fire (Hey, Victor!) and McCue (Anishnabe) is a nationally re-known CBC television news journalist. The film is based upon characters and stories found in the short story collection, Tonto and the Lone Ranger Fist-Fight In Heaven by Coeur d'Alene writer, Sherman Alexie (another gem and among my favorite literary achievements). For someone like me it was a beautiful opportunity to have Storm experience the power and beauty of a fillem that speaks to the soul and never fails to get me…right here! But it was also a chance for Storm to see demonstrated (more importantly) the generosity of spirit and an authentic exchange of ideas that are the true means to empowerment and community-building.

L to R, Evan Adams, Duncan McCue, Storm Standing-On-The-Road and Loretta Todd
SFU Downtown Campus served as venue and was moderated by (Metis/Cree) film-maker Loretta Todd. My daughter is old pals (through her mother) with McCue and Todd and it was so much fun to listen to the discussion ostensibly on humor and healing but which managed to be full of hilarious insights and poignant reflection by both actor and interviewer. It was also a chance to experience the finest talent in Indian country in a relaxed and intimate setting. Throughout this blog, one of the themes I’ve consistently tried to explore is creativity. Now, obviously the participants mentioned all bear a high profile but what was most evident this night was the natural grace and humility of all involved. This aspect also has found its way frequently into the articles I’ve posted and I believe is a feature, quality or trait found in many, many of the successful persons of profile in the 1st Nations community. It has been my experience over and over again, through the years that typically, a well-known person or someone we may identify as successful is generally down to earth and very approachable. I love this about our people.

Beyond this, Smoke Signals itself is a fillem that is exceptionally moving and utterly guileless in its charm. This means that it’s nearly perfect in its modest (though exquisite) execution and could not have been improved upon with more millions in its production budget or alternate casting choices. It’s a fillem that is tough, tender and whimsical and as I mentioned before, profound. Like all pieces of true art, it remains, timeless.

© 2012 Champsteen Publishing        

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