Some of you who follow this blog (as ever, thanks for reading!) will know that Ribeye Films’ (the movie offshoot of Religion in the Balance) first documentary short “Atwood” screened recently at the Somewhat North of Boston Film Festival, and won “Best Short Documentary Over 20 Minutes”– a modest achievement, to be sure, but a nice start.
The aim of these films is to enflesh/incarnate abstract theological concepts through visual storytelling. That sounds grand, but in practice it means being grounded in dirt and ashes. In other words, the aim is to let the particular bespeak the universal– as Emerson put it, to hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.
The concept of redemption, for example. Here’s a working definition: the transformation of things with little or no value, into things of great value. Could there be any better place to begin exploring that idea, than at the town dump?
On a slow news day in our little town, my request to do some filming at the recycling center made the paper:
WILTON – Chris Owen of Wilton Center is planning to make a documentary and would like to film part of it at the Recycling Center.
“My project is a documentary on how things that are worthless can be transformed into something useful,” he told selectmen on Monday, Oct. 27. “There would be just me. I would be at the Center three to five times for an hour or two each time.”
Selectmen said they had no problem with the plan provided Owen coordinated his visits with Center Director Steve Elliott to be sure he was not interfering with the regular work and that he had all proper releases if he talked with or filmed workers.
Owen displayed the elaborate camera he would use, said he would use a cordless microphone, and would develop a simple release form.
He said he had no title yet. “That will develop as I go on,” he said. “That’s how documentaries work.”
Elliott said it could be worked out.
Selectman Chairman Bill Condra said, “I have no problem with photographing what should be the natural progression” in the disposal of waste materials.
The film will be shown at the Town Hall Theater when completed, Owen said. “I’m excited about that.”
Owen said it would be his second film. His first was accepted by and will be shown at the state film festival in Concord on Nov. 7 and 9.