The Narrator and the Film

The Narrator and the Film

A friend mentions there is a lot of narration in The Blinding Sea.

Quite right … this was my intention.

The challenge is to bring viewers through one hour and forty-eight minutes of original content, with a complex story-line, scenes, characters, changes of culture and paradigm, interviews and oral traditions, references to the written record, occasionally shifting back and forth from reality (as actually experienced) and the dreamworld (as imagined)….

Another friend points out the film creates the “feeling of really being there.”

I wanted viewers to take away new knowledge, to come to a new understanding.

The only way to tie it all together is to fuse visual narrative, the spoken word, sound effects and original music.  There are 105 different musical pieces in the film, although some of them are repeated a few times for thematic purposes.

While making the film, I had three cinema gods in mind.

First, Robert Flaherty, who directed the first-ever documentary Nanook of the North – I show some scenes from this film, here and there;

Second, Alfred Hitchcock, who directed many films, and who surprisingly visited me last year in a long dream, providing abundant advice about how to craft … and complete … the film;

And third, Orson Welles who directed, and acted in, The Lady from Shanghai. Welles did a lot of narration in this latter film noir, playing Michael O’Hara with an Irish accent he must have picked up during his years as a budding young actor at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.

The Blinding Sea is a documentary in the creative non-fiction mode, and draws inspiration from Flaherty (who fictionalized Nanook) as well as Hitchcock and Welles – both masters of fiction films, who made a few documentaries as well.

The feature image at the top of this blog shows a public domain photograph courtesy of Wikipedia. The photo was published in 1946 without a copyright notice in the Ellensburg Daily Record. It shows from left to right: Errol Flynn, Nora Eddington, Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles celebrate Hayworth’s 28th birthday on board the two-masted schooner Zaca, which figures prominently in the film.

The Blinding Sea at the Toronto Independent Film Festival

August 13, 2020

Storytelling Structures

August 13, 2020

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