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Based upon the novel of the same name, For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down was a made-for-TV movie that aired on the CBC in 1994. The film chronicles one man’s desperate bid for redemption as he struggles against a brutally violent history and uncertain future.

Dangerous, charismatic ex-con Jerry Bines (played by CKR) attempts to overcome his past misdeeds and provide hope for his leukaemia-stricken son in the form of a bone marrow transplant. However, time runs out when escaped murderer Gary Percy Rils returns and tries to extract a toll for Jerry’s old sins. The film traces a single Christmas in Jerry's life as he prepares to deal with Rils and tries to protect his young son and his estranged wife. He is also interviewed by the ambitious, cold-hearted Vera, a psychologist who is writing a book on patterns of inherited male violence.

The film is an exploration of violence, redemption and forgiveness, and it looks at how a man like Jerry - complex and violent, yet gentle and loving - can be so deeply, tragically misunderstood by his community.



The IMDB page: For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down, 1996

Written by David Adams Richards, based upon his novel of the same name. Directed by Norma Bailey.

Year: 1996
Runtime: 1hr 25min
Country: Canada
IMDB rating: 6.8/10 (44 votes)
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Keywords: Based on book

Cast / Characters:

Callum Keith Rennie
Brooke Johnson
Niklas Konowal
Brent Stait
Michael Hogan
Nancy Beatty
Paul Jarrett
Kelli Fox
Maggie Huculak
Jonathon Whittaker

Jerry Bines
Loretta
Willie
Gary Percy Rils
Alvin
Franny
Ralphie
Adele
Vera
Nevin




Awards:

6 nominations, 3 wins.

Blizard Awards
Best Art Direction (won) - Andrew Deskin (production designer), Deanne Rohde (art director), Mark Andrew Webb (set decorator)

Gemini Awards
Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series (won) - David Adams Richards
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series (nominated) - Callum Keith Rennie
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series (nominated) - Brent Stait
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series (nominated) - Brooke Johnson

Writer’s Guild of Canada
WGA Award (won) - David Adams Richards


IMDB User Comments
4 user comments.

One example:
There are a lot of themes in my own life that are reflected in this film: abuse, violence, rejection, illness, sacrifice, fear, and death. But at the core, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy about accepting what you believe to be your destiny. From the moment the opening credits begin, both the audience and Jerry know what the ending will bring. And we travel alongside him to that end.

The movie isn't perfect, and you may disagree with the decisions that are made within it, but there's just something about it, weighing heavy on your heart, and yet ultimately, leaving you with a feeling of peace.


You can find all the comments here.



Callum Quotient: 90%. As the movie’s leading man, Callum has plenty of screen time. He also narrates much of the film.



Pictures:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.




Quotes:
  • "There once was an old deer. It had lost its strength, this old buck, and kept only one doe who had a small fawn. But winter was coming on, and the hunter kept coming." - Jerry

  • Jerry: "[Willie]'s been asking me stuff, about the planets and stuff, how many there are. I was gonna ask you about that. I don't know much about those kind of things."
    Ralphie: "No, of course you do."
    Jerry: "No, I don't. When you were in school, I was in Kingsclear [Penitentiary]. I was kicked around, fucked around, thrown in the hole. I didn't learn much."





  • Trivia:

    • The original novel For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down (published in 1993) is the third in author David Adams Richards' interconnected Miramichi trilogy. It follows Nights Below Station Street (1988) and Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace (1990). Jerry Bines, the protagonist of For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down, also appears in the earlier novels.

    • The FTWHtWD novel was set in a small, improverished community along the Miramichi River in northern New Brunswick. The movie was filmed in Selkirk and Winnipeg, Manitoba, for about $3million (Cnd), and most of the principle cast were from Western and Central Canada, rather than the Maritimes where the novels are set. As a result, there is some confusion about the location of the film. Most assume it takes place in northern Ontario. Ironically, the screenwriter and author of the novel is critical of the tendency in Canadian culture to focus on Ontario-set stories, television shows and feature films, while eclipsing the western, northern and eastern areas of the country.




    Interesting scenes:

    • Jerry's interviews with Vera about his past and his father. In these sequences Vera clearly has an agenda: she wants Jerry to admit that he was abused by his dad, and that he, in turn, abuses his son. Jerry's recollections of the past are confused and fragmented but he is adamant that his father loved him, and that he loves his son Willie.

    • Jerry decides to befriends Ralphie Peters, husband to his cousin Adele. Jerry admires Ralphie because "he's been to the university" and it's suggested in the film that Jerry cannot read.

    • Jerry plays pool in a local bar. There is a lot of leaning and intent staring.

    • Jerry sets his hunting camp on fire, but returns for a picture of Willie and Loretta.

    • After destroying his winter hunting cabin so Gary Percy Rils can't use it as a hiding place, Jerry is badly injured but checks himself out of the hospital, and then goes to buy a Christmas present for his son Willie. He asks the clerk's advice on a suitable children's book for Willie, and then nearly collapses in pain.

    • Sensing that Rils is getting closer, Jerry pleads with his son's doctor to perform the bone-marrow transplant early. When his request is refused and the operation is delayed until after Christmas, he explodes in the hospital waiting room and we finally see the violence that lurks just below the surface.

    • Jerry tells his son the story of the deer and the hunter.




    Do I want to show this to my parents / friends / co-workers?
    Poll #1202239 forthosewhohuntthewoundeddown

    Overall Rating

    very good
    10(55.6%)
    good
    6(33.3%)
    middle
    2(11.1%)
    bad
    0(0.0%)
    very bad
    0(0.0%)

    Violence

    no violence
    0(0.0%)
    almost no violence
    0(0.0%)
    some violence
    4(23.5%)
    a lot of violence
    6(35.3%)
    LOTS of violence
    7(41.2%)

    Humor

    lots
    0(0.0%)
    quite a lot
    0(0.0%)
    some
    1(5.6%)
    little
    14(77.8%)
    none
    3(16.7%)

    Sexual Content

    lots
    0(0.0%)
    quite a lot
    0(0.0%)
    some
    0(0.0%)
    little
    12(70.6%)
    none
    5(29.4%)

    Sexual Violence

    none
    8(50.0%)
    little
    8(50.0%)
    some
    0(0.0%)
    quite a lot
    0(0.0%)
    lots
    0(0.0%)




    Jerry Bines
    Poll #1202240 jerrybines

    Jerry Bines

    very good guy
    0(0.0%)
    good guy
    10(58.8%)
    normal guy
    1(5.9%)
    pretty bad guy
    3(17.6%)
    serial killer
    0(0.0%)

    How Many People Does He Kill?

    0
    1(7.7%)
    1
    11(84.6%)
    3
    1(7.7%)
    10
    0(0.0%)
    100
    0(0.0%)

    Craziness

    not crazy
    1(5.9%)
    almost not crazy
    4(23.5%)
    a little crazy
    8(47.1%)
    more than a little crazy
    4(23.5%)
    totally nuts
    0(0.0%)

    Hotness

    very very hot
    12(63.2%)
    pretty hot
    6(31.6%)
    kind of hot
    1(5.3%)
    not really hot
    0(0.0%)
    not at all hot
    0(0.0%)

    Queerness

    very very gay
    0(0.0%)
    pretty gay
    0(0.0%)
    bent
    2(11.1%)
    maybe, maybe not
    5(27.8%)
    no
    10(55.6%)




    Does he die?
    You really want to know? Are you sure? Really sure? Well, then. (highlight to read)

    ::Dead. Definitely dead. Knife in the back and everything. Blood even comes out of his mouth!::




    Articles/Interviews

    Bringing Novel to TV Didn't Work, Says Actor
    The Spectator (Hamilton, Ont.)
    Dec 14, 1996

    Vividly drawn heroes and rich backwoods imagery from the wilds of the Miramichi drive the novels of award-winning New Brunswick author David Adams Richards. But can that be successfully translated into a TV movie of the week?

    Not according to Callum Keith Rennie, the hot Canadian actor who stars in For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down. The film version of Richards' popular 1993 book airs tomorrow at 8 p.m. on CBC.

    "It's hard for me to talk about this one because it didn't work out the way I wanted it to," confesses Rennie.

    He says much of the humour and character development from a book he loved failed to make the transition to the screen.

    Sounding like the bad-boy character he creates in this film and in Hard Core Logo, Bruce McDonald's recent punk-road movie, Rennie says the problem with Canadian TV is that actors are not given any respect -- and so he has no respect for Canadian TV.

    "You're brought in and you stand on the X like a Canadian actor, and you say: 'Excuse me, I'm having trouble with this script because it doesn't work.'

    "And they go: 'Why are you being difficult?' And you go: 'OK, I'll make my money and you shoot your f.....g thing and it won't work!"'

    For the CBC film, Rennie, 36, breathes broody life into the role of Jerry Bines, a charismatic but volatile outlaw.

    Bines is trying to live down a past that includes a killing (in self-defence), theft and an alcoholic, abusive father. Gentle on the surface but with inherited violence simmering just below, he sees hope for redemption by providing life-giving bone marrow to his leukemia-stricken son. But time is running out because an escaped killer is coming to town to exact revenge for ancient sins. And like the old buck in a backwoods tale he spins for his kid, Bines soon must stop running and turn to face his hunter for an inevitably violent and tragic confrontation.

    "They tried to tell a hero tale, which is a very hard thing in Canada because we don't know how to myth-make," says Rennie.

    He thinks the final product is so bogged down in dark atmospherics that viewers won't care what happens to the characters. He also has a problem with the hastiness of a process in which an actor is hired three days before rehearsal and only a week before shooting begins, whatever the condition of the script.

    But if Rennie had difficulty, director Norma Bailey was not aware of it.

    "He brought a lot to this film that I never saw, which is the wonderful thing that wonderful actors can do for you," she says.

    Bailey concedes some compromises were necessary. For example, a story originally set in Richards' Miramichi was shot in Manitoba (and appears to take place in Northern Ontario) to get around the problem of training actors to speak a regional dialect. But Bailey feels that wasn't a major problem, and even Richards didn't insist on authenticity of locale.

    She also claims to be in synch with the author's view of his characters and their world.

    "David believes that people who do very small things in life are the real heroes, and I think that runs through all his work."

    But even Bailey agrees that not everyone in the TV viewing audience will embrace characters that often resemble the evil twins of those blue-collar hosers, the Mackenzie brothers. And she denies a setting of muddy snow, ramshackle towns and rust-pitted pickup trucks is relentlessly wretched.

    "I guess once you get involved with these people and begin to love them too, you don't see them as desperate and bleak."


    From here.



    Those Who Hunt Wounded Down Proves Riveting TV
    by Robert Reid, The Record (Kitchener, Ont)
    Dec 14, 1996

    Award-winning writer David Adams Richards is no stranger to television.

    His poignant Christmas drama Small Gifts, which co-starred Kitchener actor Jeremy Ratchford, earned the New Brunswick writer a 1996 Gemini Award and a 1995 Gold Medal in the New York Festivals Competition.

    The latest work of Richards to hit the small screen is a two- hour CBC-TV movie (premiering Sunday, 8 p.m. on Channel 5, Cable 5) based on the Governor General's Award-winning novel For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down.

    Adapted by Richards, who has written four screenplays in addition to eight novels, a collection of short stories, two stage plays and two books of poetry, the movie is directed by Norma Bailey, an award- winning documentary and feature film director.

    Starring Callum Keith Rennie, a young Canadian actor worth keeping an eye on, the film revolves around Jerry Bines, a petty thief and ex-con living on the margins. Raised on a forced diet of neglect and abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, Bines, who himself is no stranger to violence, has nothing but deep love for his own young son, who is suffering from leukemia.

    Events turn mean when convicted murderer Gary Percy Rils, a former accomplice of Bines, escapes from prison and returns to town bent on revenge.

    Lean like the book

    The movie masterfully recreates the lean tautness of the novel, with its blend of raw grit tempered by a compassionate lyricism Richards reserves for his down-and-outers. The sense of inevitability leading to violent confrontation is gut-wrenching.

    Filmed in Manitoba, the movie loses nothing for not taking place in Richards' home turf in New Brunswick. However, those familiar with Richards' work might regret the change in locale.

    The acting is uniformly excellent beginning with Rennie as the volatile, yet charismatic, Bines. Bines is dogged by a complex personality and Rennie conveys that sense of troubled complexity -- a high-octane mix of violence and tenderness -- with considerable skill. His portrait of a tormented, misunderstood soul is deeply affecting.

    Similarly, Brent Stait is chilling as Rils, an unredeemably malevolent animal who preys on everyone he encounters.

    Effective cast

    The supporting cast is equally strong and effective, featuring Brooke Johnson as Bines' ex-wife Loretta, Kelli Fox as Bines' cousin Adele and Jonathan Whittaker as the failed academic-turned-lush Nevin White.

    Veterans Michael Hogan as Alvin and Nancy Beatty as Franny add depth to the cast, which includes an auspicious debut by six-year- old Niklas Konowal as Bines' son Willie.

    The only characterization I might quibble with is Maggie Huculak as Vera, a self-serving social worker who in her own way hunts Bines down with the same tenacity as Rils. Huculak could have given her character more of a calculating edge.

    A tragic, yet ultimately inspiring drama of love, sacrifice and redemption, For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down makes for riveting, rewarding television.


    Found here.



    A Great Canadian Story
    by Greg Quill, Toronto Star
    Dec 15, 1996

    If ever there was proof that a national public broadcaster is a necessary component of our cultural mix and society, it's in the made-for CBC-TV movie For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down (airing tonight at 8 on Channel 5).

    This is a movie, a Christmas movie no private broadcaster would have dared make.

    It's about an inarticulate loser, Jerry Bines (Callum Keith Rennie), raised on violence in a remote and sorely poor part of New Brunswick; a man incapable of self-expression, who finds himself at Christmas back home with a woman who loves him, and a young, angelic boy who's dying of leukemia and desperately needs a bone-marrow transplant to survive.

    Don't get me wrong; there's no sentimentality here. David Adams Richards' acclaimed novel, and the screenplay he wrote himself, pull no punches.

    This is a grim, bleak movie, set very deliberately at Christmas in a place where ancient passions and moral arguments are played out by characters who might otherwise be doodling with chess or Scrabble by the fireplace.

    It's deliberately discomfiting, and director Norma Bailey keeps raising the tension, hauling in the horror inch by inch, until finally, as in any great parable about the mystery of a redeemable outlaw the past and the present close in.

    Bines is a hood. He accepts violence as part of his life. But he yearns for something better.

    What's bearing down on him, like a demon in the dark, is a man named Gary Rils, a former partner-in-crime who took part of Bines' rap, spent time in jail, then escaped.

    He wants compensation: money, a way out, revenge.

    Bines knows he's the ultimate prey, and he takes precautions.

    Trouble is, Bines, having grown up in the bush, knows the hunted are pretty well lost. He also knows that in order to keep his son alive, he has to survive.

    Can he?

    Well, that's what drives For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down to its bloody conclusion.

    This is clearly a religious parable, as potent in its way as anything in any Catholic text. You sin, you suffer . . . all you can hope for is that your children will be redeemed by some remarkable act of faith.

    Rennie is an outstanding actor. With little else than eye movements, suspicious smiles, slight grimaces, muttered dialogue, he gives Bines a personality we know intimately.

    He's a new actor in a new screen drama made (by Credo Entertainment) by a crew of new, but clearly not inexperienced, filmmakers who convinced CBC-TV bosses of their vision, then realized it.

    Great story, about and for Canadians. Great actors, no American stars, and a public network willing . . . or maybe pushed . . . to go to the wall.


    Found here.



    Interview with David Adams Richards, author of the original novel and the screenplay adaptation.

    Q: Can the novel you just wrote For those Who Hunt The Wounded Down and the movie, which recently was made and shown on television, be easily compared or are they both very unlike?

    A: Well, you see the problem is they are both different art forms. A novel art form deals with the narrator who is writing it and it has a narrative voice which directs the action in the novel. When you deal with a script and write a movie, you're dealing with characters that you have to move to their action. You can't use a narrator. You have to use the voice of a character and their dialogue. It is a different kind of art and, therefore, they are different things and can only be compared as far as storyline is concerned. Once you put them into a movie, then you have your actors who interpret the characters. Each actor brings her or his own character to it. You have the director that has her or his vision about what they want on the screen. You have the producer who gets the money together, and if they only have so much money then there are things you can't do. For the last movie we made, we had three million dollars to make it. Sounds like a lot of money but for a movie, it is not a lot of money. If we had had ten million dollars we probably could have been able to make a more sophisticated movie. So you have to deal with what you have in a movie. They are comparable in the sense that they are the same characters and you are trying to do the same things but they are different mediums. They are different kinds of art forms, so in that way they are very different.

    Found here



    King Ray the 2nd: an Interview with Callum Keith Rennie [excerpt]
    Jen Johnson, The Compulsive Reader

    What makes Callum so intriguing though is his contradictory public and private persona. In all of his roles, he is a ball of soft light, not overt, but fiery enough that you can't take your eyes off him. As Ray ("Due South"), or Craig ("Last Night"), or even his beaten-down Jerry ("For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down") there is an all encompassing bravery that leads his audience to believe that he fears absolutely nothing. Yet, in person he seems almost shy. And, much to my surprise, this fiercely gentle actor gets starstruck. "I've only been starstruck twice," said Callum. "Once on a plane, I asked Bobby Hull for his autograph. And the other on one of Christopher Walken's film sets. The director brought me over to meet him, and I mumbled something, and it all ended very quickly."

    Found here




    Links

    slidellra has written a FtWHtWD story called The Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace, and malnpudl made a podfic recording of the story. Both are beautiful.

    slidellra and omphale23 have written FTWHtWD snippets for ds_snippets, which you can find over here.

    meresy made a series of screencaps from the TV movie and split them up into a couple separate posts in her LiveJournal. These caps can be found here, and there is also a .zip file of the images available.

    ETA: More links!

    Our fearless mod cregalis has put up some picspam here, here and here, and she made an audio clip of the story Jerry tells his son about the deer and the hunter. You can download the clip here.

    C also found an article here that provides a bit more context for Callum's negative assessment of the film. (I'd provide the fulltext but my subscription for the Toronto Star expired).

    karabou made some beautiful high-quality icons from the movie, which you can find over here.

    slidellra also sent zabira a Valentines Day card with an extra-special Jerry Bines snippet. You can read her transcription of the snippet here. Additionally (slidellra writes all of the FTWHtWD fic, okay?) she composed a slightly more upbeat snippet for Jerry here.

    I'm sure there is much more fanfic and meta about this amazing film out there, and if anyone has any links please feel free to post them in the comments. I’ll make sure to add them to the post.




    Availability

    The movie is not commercially available, unfortunately.




    Final Thoughts

    I think this film offers one of Callum's best performances. He brings a remarkable tenderness and complexity to the role of Jerry, and he worked hard to evoke the same broken, doomed-but-determined sensibility that infused the character in the novel. Callum's comments about the book-to-screen translation in the article cited above ("They tried to tell a hero tale, which is a very hard thing in Canada because we don't know how to myth-make,") surprised me. As a fan of Richards' writing for a number of years, I thought the film did a terrific job of capturing impossibility of heroism in Jerry. There's a memorable line in the story Jerry tells his son about the deer and the hunter: "and the buck kept the doe and the fawn alive for another hour, another night." Heroism isn't possible when your only goal is to prolong the inevitable. Survival is the goal, and it's survival, not heroism, that is bred into the Canadian soul.

    Callum is on the money when he says Canadians "don't know how to myth-make." After all, we're not a nation raised on campfire stories about our own heroics. We hear about brave Americans and Englishmen instead, and we gain our identity from the margins, from what we are not. Jerry does the same: his identity is determined by what his community believes to be true, what opportunists like Vera and thugs like Rils incorrectly identify in him. Even his cousin Adele, who "used to put her arm about him," believes he's "no good." That assessment seems to wound Jerry deeply, and it often feel like every action he takes in the film is deliberately performed to protect his small family and to find an appropriate end to his own struggle. He makes no effort to explain himself or alter the way others perceive him, which is perhaps the biggest tragedy.

    The film, like the novel, is about the search for quiet, personal redemption. It is bleak, but Callum's performance is authentic and heart-breaking, and the shocking violence of the last few minutes seems to set poor Jerry free. In a small, sad way, Jerry locates his happy ending. I did regret that Richards wasn't able to retain the final image that concluded the novel (it beautifully crystallized the themes of martyrdom, sacrifice and final, blissful peace) but the violence of the film's conclusion is the only ending that would have been even remotely appropriate. For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down is a film stripped of sentimentality but deeply infused with compassion, and I found that it's this performance, along with his role as Billy Talent, that constitute the most haunting and unforgettable in Callum's screen career.

    You can download this film for personal viewing at the usual place, and if it touches you as deeply as it has me, I'd recommend seeking out the original novel as well. Both are wonderful.

    On a final note, many thanks to the lovely and talented meresy for shameless use of her picspam, and to zabira for helping me track down the articles and references used in this post. You two rock the casbah.

Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
zabira
Jun. 9th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
OH, jerry! i love the fact that, even with numerous reservations about the project, callum STILL gave such a beautiful, nuanced performance, one that makes me sob like a child each and every time.

fabulous post, nos!!!

&hearts

ETA: i'm not sure if you want to include this, but sli sent me a jerry bines valentine's day snippet: here.

Edited at 2008-06-09 08:45 pm (UTC)
nos4a2no9
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yes, thank you very much for the link! I shall add it post-haste! (And really, slidellra should get some kind of special award for all her contributions to the FTWHtWD fanfic library. I think it's, like, 99% her, with some assistance from omphale23.)

And the movie is definitely sob-worthy. And yet I still find it cheerier than Flower and Garnet or Men With Guns. Oh Callum. Always with the tragic.

Edited at 2008-06-09 09:18 pm (UTC)
meresy
Jun. 9th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
This post is made of awesome. I second Z: oh, Jerry! indeed.

I didn't know/remember that Callum wasn't pleased with it. He did such a great job. I cared what happened to the characters. But then again I'm a sap.

\nos/
nos4a2no9
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
You are a sap, it's true :-) But I think his assessment of the film was kind of hash. It's an excellent translation of the novel! And wow, it's a made for TV movie. I just can't get past that. It's so violent and bleak and sad and the CBC aired it for us. (Our country is messed up sometimes, Meres, but look how ballsy our cultural producers can be!)

And thank you SO much for putting that picspam together! I took shameless advantage, as you can see. \meres/
(no subject) - meresy - Jun. 9th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
brigantine
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Urgh, I have this, but I haven't dared watch it yet, 'cause ow, the ending! (see Zabira's comment about sobbing like a child, OMG!!) I'm just not mentally equipped for that right now.

Unless awesome fangirls I can figure out how to make a NotDead!Jerry and then give him a nice crossover. I'm thinking Gus Knickel, but since I haven't even seen the movie yet, I have no idea whether that'll work. *looks shifty*
nos4a2no9
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Awww, Brig, you should watch it! It's good, and it's really sad and bleak and tragic but in a watchable way. (I mean, seriously. Made for TV).

I, um, kinda wrote a Jerry/Fraser fic? Or started one? And I just *handwaved* the whole issue of the ending. The pairing works shockingly well. So Gus/Jerry would DEFINITELY work. Maritimes shenanigans FTW!
(no subject) - brigantine - Jun. 9th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nos4a2no9 - Jun. 11th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
hurry_sundown
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
*smishes you*

Excellent post, missy.
nos4a2no9
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
*smishes you back* Thank you kindly, m'dear!
brigantine
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Oh poo, I'd meant to add this:

Callum is on the money when he says Canadians "don't know how to myth-make." After all, we're not a nation raised on campfire stories about our own heroics.

I wonder why that is? Canadians and Americans share similar early cultural roots; the Native, and the British/European, so I wonder why our settlers created a frontier mythology, like Paul Bunyan, and Davy Crockett, but Canadian settlers didn't? Lord knows, they faced similar challenges, as far as landscape goes - even more so, given the extreme weather up north. You'd think there'd be campfire heroics all over the place.

So curious, I am!
nos4a2no9
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's a puzzle! I think we did try to myth-make, but we don't have the cultural engine necessary to widely disseminate the stories. And our media producers aren't exactly interested in making movies about Sam Steele, y'know?

There's a graduate thesis in this. I can just smell it.
(no subject) - zabira - Jun. 10th, 2008 09:02 am (UTC) - Expand
neu111
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
That's a terrific post for a terrific movie and a terrific book!

For me both book and movie and book were like a punch in the gut. It's like characters are just alluded to but somehow, you get them, the misery, bad luck, lack of education, lack of money, and even for those who have education and money, twisted feelings, misunderstandings, everybody's so closed in themselves, it hurts. And sparks of love thrown in the mix, again just alluded to, bringing hope and more pain together... I wonder how Callum would have played Jerry, given what he wished for - his performance here is stunning as it is. Jerry wants so hard to make things good and everything's so fucked up in advance. He's been hurt so much before, keeps being hurt all the time, no happy ending's expected, ever. Well, except the one you mention maybe, but still!

Great choice of articles, and your thoughts about the movie are great too. Make me want to re-read the book and re-watch the movie to better appreciate them (tough job!). And read the books before too. Thank you!

The poll was difficult. Good guy, bad guy? And he killed someone but a long time ago. Oops, wait, I forgot the one in there! But he had to, didn't he?

Oh! and c_regalis made several picspams here, here, here and one about the hunter story.
nos4a2no9
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Thank you so much for the links, and for your insightful and intelligent response. You're exactly right about the book and the film: we just get these little sketches, but we know these characters and their hopes and dreams and histories and futures. The inevitable (and inevitably tragic) ending is so, so sad for poor Jerry. He definitely doesn't fit easily into a poll ticky-box. But thank you for making the attempt :-)
c_regalis
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
This is a wonderful post! \c/ I love it a lot. JUST LIKE THE MOVIE. Sometimes I have the suspicion that it is mostly the huge Callum Quotient that makes me love it so much, but, well. No. Though it helps. But there's also Michael Hogan! Who's always awesome. And totally is Colonel Tigh in BSG. And Brooke Johnson, who played Loretta, was as the child care lady in Due South in They Eat Horses, Don't They? And David Brown, who played Officer Petrie was also Louis Riel LaFresne in My Life As A Dog. And Rils is played by Brent Stait, who is also Vic Hester in Mountie On The Bounty. *beams* I love Canadian movies, I really do. Most of them.

Also, there is this article (or at least part of it) here. It seems explain a bit about CKR's remarks in the first article you posted.

Okay, off to do the polls.
nos4a2no9
Jun. 11th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC)
Heee! C, remind me to never, ever play a game of Canadian Bingo with you ;-) And the movie is excellent, and not just because of the Callum quotient. (Although, wow. That's a lot of Callum, and he is so, so good in this). Thanks for the link to the article! I included it in the original post in case people are curious and want to access the fulltext.
(no subject) - neu111 - Jun. 11th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
karabou
Jun. 9th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
I don't know if it counts, but I made some icons from the movie here. :)
nos4a2no9
Jun. 11th, 2008 02:26 am (UTC)
Ooh! Great! Thank you so much - I'll add the link to the post.
callumvixen
Jun. 10th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
WONDERFUL AMAZING writeup. Thank you!!!! Very insightful final thoughts too.

One of my fave scenes is when Jerry gives Vera the tiny Christmas present. He is just SO sweet and messed-up and intimidating and protecting all at once.

And yah I sob like a little baby at the end. I love love love this film but the end is SO HARD TO WATCH. *cries* OH JERRY! *CLINGS TIGHT*
nos4a2no9
Jun. 11th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
Oh yes! That is a VERY good scene! I hate Vera with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, of course, but CKR was brilliant in that bit, and you're right: poor Jerry is a contradiction in every possible way, and yet he's still so compelling. *hugs him*

The ending! *sobs* Why do we hurt ourselves like that, CV? WHY?
scriggle
Jun. 10th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
A most awesome post, Nos. A couple of those articles are new to me. One of these days I may even get around to watching this.
callumvixen
Jun. 10th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
One of these days I may even get around to watching this.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of all people! You! Scriggle! DOOOOO EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!
(no subject) - scriggle - Jun. 10th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nos4a2no9 - Jun. 11th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC) - Expand
hyzenthlay26
Jun. 10th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
Urgh. FTWHTWD just gutted me as much as I genuinely enjoyed it, and in this, it's similar to another beloved film of mine, The Sweet Hereafter, which I felt so rent apart by that I couldn't watch it again for about eight months and then I couldn't stop watching it for several more. I've not yet got to that point with this one.

Thank you for such a detailed and insightful write-up, though, especially your very interesting closing thoughts (and the additional context you add to Callum's assertion about myth-making). I really want to read the trilogy now.
nos4a2no9
Jun. 11th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
Wow, H, you and I NEED to watch movies together. The Sweet Hereafter is one of my all-time favourite movies, too. It is absolutely rewatchable, and I understand about how it makes you feel gutted and yet COMPELLED to watch it again and again.

I hope you check out the novels! They're brilliant and heart-wrenching and if you are as much a sucker for angst as I am (which you are, I think) you'll love 'em!
slidellra
Jun. 10th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
YAY NOS! Wonderful, wonderful post. Also, JERRY.

There's one more wee thingie I wrote, the full snippet that I cut off in the letter to Z.
nos4a2no9
Jun. 11th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Yay! Thanks, S! You are the cottage industry of FTWHtWD fic! *smishes you*
cysefin
Jun. 10th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Incredible article Nos! I had a bit of trouble with the poll on a count of the fact that while the movie was once played in it's entirety on my pc screen... I couldn't stand to watch a lot of it because of the hurty. Had to take many breaks and sort of lost the story... one day I shall be strong enough... especially if there were a group of others... maybe on a Saturday night sometime... Sis?

Anyway, incredible insight and thank you for sharing your thoughts.
j_s_cavalcante
Jun. 10th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Excellent post. Very thinky. I don't have time to give it the thought it deserves, either. But I am utterly fascinated by the discussion of myth-making and Canada. Actually, I think Fraser may be part of the solution to that problem.

I agree Callum was quite simply brilliant in the role. Maybe he wasn't satisfied with it because he could see so much more that he wanted to do, and he wasn't allowed. That's intensely frustrating to an artist. It happens to all of us, but when you're being limited not by your own skills or imagination, but by someone else, especially some suit in an office...that's got to be pretty damned hard to take. Lucky for us, Callum's version of phoning it in is still damned outstanding. :)

The image I retain most strongly from that film was the last image we see--the Pietà.

(It's "fawn," though, Nos. A "faun" is a satyr.
Though I do like bedtime stories about satyrs a lot more than bedtime stories about baby deer.
Just saying. :)
leonandra
Jun. 10th, 2008 11:29 am (UTC)
When I first saw the movie, I hated it because it was so bleak and hopeless. You knew from the start it would end badly and there was nothing anybody could do to prevent it. It was like a self-full-filing prophecy.

Filling in the polls was hard. Jerry doesn't really fit in there. He is a good guy, because he tries to do good, but uses violence to do so because that is the only way he knows how to achieve things, which makes him not such a good guy, especially with his past.

He is trapped in his upbringing and environment and although he wants to move past his past and be a good guy he doesn't know how to do that without help. Neither does he know how to ask for that help or even communicate that he needs help. He is painfully aware of his limits and turns to the only educated people he knows (Ralphie and Vera) for help. Unfortunately, Vera is as limited as him in her outlook and can't see beyond her preformed opinion of him. Ralphie is more help, but he doesn't understand Jerry either and his attempts are blocked by Loretta, who probably understands Jerry the most. Loretta has moved past her upbringing, but her way of doing so is to distance herself to anything and anyone, including Jerry, that is linking her to it. I think, Loretta is the only person, who is in a position to really help Jerry, but she is too afraid of losing her own hard-earned escape from the past in order to do so.

I think the most painful thing in the movie is to see that Jerry is self-aware enough to recognize his limitations, but not educated and articulate enough to make himself understood and actually get the help he needs to move past his trappings.

Sorry, about rambling on like that. It seems, I got a lot to say about Jerry. My point is that he is complicated and doesn't really fit in your poll categories as he is a good guy and a bad guy, a little crazy, but also not crazy.
leonandra
Jun. 10th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Aaaand I can't get the names straight......I was talking about Adele, his cousin, who understands him best, not Loretta.
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