Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My umbrella

There is an sequence from a film that has been playing in my imagination over the past few days. It is from a short film I produced and directed in 2006. It is one of my favourite sequences. The story was about an umbrella that had been recklessly discarded by one person, only to wash up on a beach many miles away at the feet of someone else. The sequence involved our damaged hero (the umbrella) tumbling around on the beach at the will of the waves crashing into the sand. It was a complex and interesting sequence to film ... primarily because our hero was - as required - entirely at the will of the sea. Occasionally, a large wave would crash into the beach and he would tumble off camera. At one point, one of the crew had to wade, waist-deep, into the ocean to retrieve him ... but when we finally 'got the shot', it was perfect. I was so proud of my hero.

The other morning I was waiting to cross Chapel Street to my favourite coffee shop where, every morning, I buy two strong café lattés on my way to my office. This sequence played in my mind. Just once ... as clear as the water that had buffeted my damaged little hero. We had a cast of four umbrellas (the new one, the damaged one, and two as stand-bys). I remembered that we had painted our damaged one with gold paint (rust) and covered him with dirt. We had torn his fabric artfully. We had twisted his structure and snapped his thin wire strands ... poking one or two out through the fabric. Our hero had been through the adventure of his life ... from the quiet riverside location of his heart-breaking abandonment to the busy, over-populated, inner-city beachfront.

Uninterrupted water views. But still in peril. Ultimately at risk.

Until a kind, homeless stranger rescued him from the water and took him home to rest with the other members of his ramshackle collection of umbrellas, nestled together under the overpass.

It feels great to be back in Melbourne. Under the overpass. For now.


metal_petal said...

That's beautiful.

Glad to have you back in the blogosphere.

Snidley Whiplash said...

Thats it? Good grief. Me thinks you're a bit too comfortable down there in Melboring. You'll be shoving it gooks next. BEWARE THE BACKWARD STEP.

Ms Slack said...

Welcome home :-)

JD said...

I had a feeling you'd be back (to the blog) about now :-) ... I just love calling you up for a coffee ... or that after work debrief over a red in front of the fire - always my 'best man' xx

Snidley Whiplash said...

What, once a month now?
Surely the murder down the dodgy end of Flinders Lane has got your juices flowing.

Jana said...

Hail to a new quality blogger, especially when it's about arts as well. The more, the merrier. And I have only one, perfectly friendly remark (as a neighbour-Italian and as a waitress): although café really is café (or, to be specific, caffè), latte is not latté, as Italian language is nowhere nearly as fond of accents as French. I've noticed a trend on the street to substitute the terrible 'larday' with a more gently-sounding 'cafelatte' (which would, again, in Italian look more like caffelatte, as the accent is lost in a compound noun), which is commendable.

However, as a non-snob I find it a bit silly, this Anglophone tendency to give foreign names to everything even slightly foreign. I suggest we all follow the lead of an Italian tourist I've recently encountered and call it simply 'coffee-milk'. Or coffeemilk. Simple and easy. The French, after all, unscrupulously call it 'coffee with milk'.