Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Suited Son's Sunflower Sutra; or How(l) Allen Ginsberg is my son

My son, Ryan, created this fantastic short film realization of Ginsberg's "Sunflower Sutra." He also wrote and performed the music and appears as the bearded Allen Ginsberg. A friend of his is Kerouac.

In order to film it, he went to a number of extraordinary, otherworldly locations in Hamilton, where we live. The north-east side of the city (by the lake) is dominated by steel factories, but also amazing piles of scrap metal, fields of bricks, 1950s futuristic industrial tanks, pipes, and their combinations. Many sea-green buildings. Cover-all covered unshaven cigarette smoking hard-hat-wearing husky-voiced security guards, some of whom asked him to leave. He also found a number of train-related locations. There are some major routes, both intercity and industrial that cross the city.

This industrial view of Hamilton is what the city is famous for. What doesn't appear, is all the woodlands, waterfalls, and fields which are equally present. I'm amazed that, though I lived here for 18 years, I'd never been deep into the "dark satanic mills" territory. It held a strange and awesome beauty and seemed like another culture within my city. It was like I'd discovered a metal Mayan civilization just across the road.

Ryan has created a great little film. It'll be appearing in the annual Westmount Secondary School Film Festival on May 29th.


In other news, that piece about David W. McFadden, Hamilton, and the Griffin Prize that I sent to the Hamilton Spectator and whined about how they didn't publish it, was published in yesterday's paper. This is the second Saturday in a row that they've published something about this important book. The squeaky writer (me) gets the print oil.


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