Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Rush Pirates


I spent the weekend just passed looking after Aneirin and Lui by myself. By Sunday afternoon, after a series of excursions and games, I felt that a restful movie was in order.

The kids had been dressing up as pirates, so I promised to find them a pirate movie on Youtube. I was horrified, though, when the telly wouldn't respond to the commands of my remote control (I later discovered it was turned off at the wall).

Aneirin was unphased. 'I can make my own movies' he told me. 'I've been studying how.' He dragged a huge bedcloth from a closet and hung it from a high point in the lounge room, so that it resembled a movie screen, arranged the couches in the room so that they faced his screen, and filled the couches with an audience of teddy bears and dinosaurs. Then he made Lui and me sit down too, and announced the premiere of a film called The Rush Pirates.

Aneirin stepped behind the screen, so that we could see only a vague semblance of his shadow, and began to act out a drama between two characters, Good Pirate and Bad Pirate, playing first one character then the other. The two pirates argued about treasure, brandished swords and pistols at one another, and finally exchanged shots. The movie ended when Aneirin fell through the screen and sprawled over the floor. Lui and I applauded The Rush Pirates loudly, and the dinosaurs and bears offered positive reviews.

Aneirin announced that the movie would screen again in a couple of minutes, rushed to the kitchen, and returned with a bottle of tomato sauce. When he burst through the screen for a second time and fell on the floor, his shirt was covered in red liquid. 'Neirin's hurt Daddy', Lui said in alarm. 'Lui you silly' Aneirin muttered, coming to life. 'I'm just pretending. It's a movie.'

I was confused at first by Aneirin's insistence on acting out his movie on the far side of a screen, but then I remembered a few precedents for such a manoeuvre. Didn't the Balinese stage puppet dramas from behind screens? Didn't Pink Floyd sometimes perform behind a wall?

After the third performance of The Rush Pirates Aneirin took a break, and Lui went and sat behind the screen. Aneirin was unimpressed by his little brother's unmoving shadow. 'Lui's making a really boring movie Dad' he said. 'Nothing's happening.' 'It's just a slow movie, that's all' I replied. 'Not all movies are as exciting as The Rush Pirates. There was a guy called Andy Warhol, and he filmed his friend sleeping for hours and hours, and then showed his film to audiences. He called it Sleep.'

'What happened at the end of Andy Warthog's movie?' Aneirin asked. 'I don't know' I said. 'I've never actually watched it. I think that the man who has been sleeping wakes up, and that's the end'. 'That's so boring' Aneirin said. 'If I was in that movie I'd run at the man with a pirate sword and wake him up a whack.'

'I think I would prefer The Rush Pirates to Sleep' I said. 'Are you going to show your movie to Mum, when she comes home, and to Marie'. 'Oh no' Aneirin said. 'My movie's only for boys. It's way too violent for Mum and Marie.'

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]

17 Comments:

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Blogger Richard said...

Good story of your boys Scott. Children are creative! There is another one, I read about it, Roger Horrocks showed it once. It was Autopsy by Stan Brakhage. I liked a lot of Brakhage that I saw as well as Len Lye. Once though I went to a class who had 'graduated' and all the movies were like Brakhage. In theory they were good, but I couldn't sit through so many of them. I like Warhol though. He was an original thinker with some strange ideas. When his mother died he desparately tried to get his brother to refuse to tell anyone she had died. He somehow saw her death as impossible. I forget all the details now but it was also an original idea! But I think in some strange way he thought that death was something shameful. Or there was some other reason...Not sure.

Then there is 'Einstein on the Beach' where someone takes 10 minutes to walk 3 metres and so on...

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