Last Friday’s screening of THE TIN DRUM was very well attended. The fellowship, food, and fun were all wonderful. That is the kind of evening I look forward to, that I joined the club to experience. We all have the opportunity for a repeat performance this next Friday, January 9, 2009, when the Tacoma Film Club presents a screening of THE NAVIGATOR: A Mediaeval Odyssey (1988). The unique, and seldom seen film, was imaginatively directed by Vincent Ward, a New Zealand artist who directs “some films”. Since 1978 he has directed only seven movies. After this one he gave us MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART (1993), and WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998). For me his style lies between Terry Gilliam and John Huston. He is able to take a modest budget, with a strong cast and create “haunting visual poetry”. Hal Hinden, of THE WASHINGTON POST, wrote, “We find that it is the artist who must die the symbolic death in the plague times, and save society; it is the dreamer, the visionary who must play Christ.” From the impressive cast, it was young Harnish McFarlane playing Griffin that carried most of the film. He only acted in 3 other movies before changing his career path, and becoming an assistant director and second unit director. Bruce Lyons, playing the elder brother, Conner, likewise only appeared in two films. His presence reminded me of a young Viggo Mortensen. Frederic Brussant wrote,
“This is a cinematic masterpiece that explores the metaphysical dimensions of time travel—a subject with untouched, or badly served by less imaginative filmmakers.” In an article in a Spiritual Journal I found, “This is a brilliant metaphor of Christ’s descent into hell, and the bodhisattva heart. It is a paean to those shepherds, teachers, or navigators who devote their lives to guiding us into the territory that only the soul can see.”
THE NAVIGATOR: A Mediaeval Odyssey (1988)
Directed by Vincent Ward @ 92 minutes.
The film stars Bruce Lyons, Chris Haywood, Hamish McFarlane, Marshall Napier,
and Noel Appleby. Synopsis: The film opens up in a tiny medieval 14th century English village during the time of the Great Plague. A psychic boy leads a group on a tunneling expedition, seeking to escape black death and despair. But when the scruffy band emerges they find themselves in a modern New Zealand city in 1988. Ward was a wizard, never using special effects, working on a meager budget, he created an imaginative, richly photographed, strongly written, lush fable that will stay with you for a lifetime. Called, “One of the greatest of unknown films,” Tagline was, “Time-Travel Adventure of the Year.”
So join us for this fine film this Friday, January 9, 2009, at the Center for Spiritual Living, at 206 North J Street, on the corner of J and Division. Those who enjoy visiting and discussing all manner of things with others can arrive early, any time after 6pm. The Phantom Director & Farishta will have some delicious entry prepared, and will begin serving at 6:15pm. Those who would like can bring drinks and spirits, bread, cheese, or desserts to add to the sumptuous fare. The Phantom Director will be prepared to offer membership cards for those who have not joined up yet for 2009. There will be a modest raffle, whereupon tickets are sold at one dollar each, and just before the screening we have two drawings. The winners each keep 20% of whatever was collected; more TFC fun. There will be a short film being shown promptly at 7pm, and THE NAVIGATOR @ 92 minutes will screen immediately thereafter, and this should get folks out by 9pm. Feel free to remain after the movie for more visiting and discussion. See you at the movies!