Adventures of a Suburban Boyby John Boorman
John Boorman came of age as a filmmaker in the 1960s--the golden age of world cinema. Then as now, his celebrated films embrace the spirit of the era: challenging authority, questioning accepted morality, and examining the thin line between civilization and savagery. In Adventures of a Suburban Boy, Boorman delves deeply into these themes, applying his/i>… See more details below
John Boorman came of age as a filmmaker in the 1960s--the golden age of world cinema. Then as now, his celebrated films embrace the spirit of the era: challenging authority, questioning accepted morality, and examining the thin line between civilization and savagery. In Adventures of a Suburban Boy, Boorman delves deeply into these themes, applying his subversive sensibility to his life story as well as to some of the most important political and cultural events of the twentieth century. The result is a heady fusion of personal memoir and cinematic study, as a child of the London Blitz becomes the influential director known for films such as Point Blank, Excalibur, Hope and Glory, Deliverance, and The General--discussing the cultural role of the motion picture and the art of filmmaking along the way.
With a vividly depicted supporting cast that includes Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Burt Reynolds, and Cher, among others, this entertaining and witty tour through the life, times, and works of one of the cinema's great practitioners is not only essential for anyone seeking a fuller understanding of Boorman's incredible body of work, but is also indispensable resource for anyone who is fascinated by film's impact on our lives.
- Faber and Faber
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Adventures of a Suburban Boy
Light and ShadowIf you plant oaks you necessarily take a long view. As with children. Both are acts of faith in the future of a precarious planet. When I came to this simple Georgian house in the Wicklow Hills of Ireland some thirty-four years ago, the ancient oaks I inherited cast their spell on me. They rooted me to the place. Although I was drawn away to distant forests and wild rivers, making movies, I have returned to raise my children and tend my trees.
The great pioneer film director, D. W. Griffith, believed that film was the universal language promised in the Bible that would herald the Second Coming; and so it must have seemed in the glory days of the silent era. In the first twenty years of the last century, film swept the world, effortlessly crossing barriers of class, race and nation. A measure of the speed of this revolution was that scarcely five years after his arrival in Hollywood, Chaplin was the most famous man in the world, and probably the highest paid.In The Lost Girl, D. H. Lawrence describes Nottingham miners watching those early films: while they looked at the live music hall acts out of the corners of their eyes, embarrassed, uneasy, they stared at the movies, unblinking, mouths agape, like men in a trance, mesmerised.The power of film lies in its links to the unconscious, its closeness to the condition of dreaming. In my dreaming youth, like so many others, I was as entranced as those miners, coming to believe that film was the ultimate art form, that it could include everything and everybody, reconnect us to all that had been taken from us. I was born in a faceless, mindless London suburb amongst people who had lost their way in the world, who had forgotten who they were, and had fallen from grace.
In the Arthurian legend, the Grail was lost because men had sinned against nature. The world became a wasteland. The Fisher King's wound would not heal. Only by finding the Grail could wholeness, harmony and oneness be restored, and the King be healed, and grace restored.I have sought that lost grace in the film-making process, where the material things of the world - money, buildings, sets, plastic, metal, people - disappear into a camera and become nothing but light and shadow flickering on a wall: matter into spirit, the alchemists would say. Memories are even more shadowy and insubstantial ...© John Boorman, 2003
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