16. March 2015 · Comments Off on Share The Luck of Ginger Coffey · Categories: Feature Films, Film and Stuff, Film-related, Ottawa

BlairMarch 31st finds the Lost Dominion Screening Collective presenting “The Luck Of Ginger Coffey” at the Bytowne Cinema at 9:15pm.  This is an excellent opportunity to see a great film by a truly unique Ottawa film maker – Budge Crawley.  Based on a novel by Brian Moore, directed by Irvin Kershner and starring Robert Shaw and Mary Ure it was Crawley Films first “Hollywood” film by a studio that typified (if not founded) the Canadian independent film scene. It’s a great story, very well acted by Shaw and Ure and typifies a “Canadian” perspective of life’s challenges in a way that is honest and yet still entertaining.  Go see it – it’s always great to see a movie made for grown-ups.  A great mood setter is Ottawa Indie Fest’s Canadian Indie Film Night gathering at the Lunenburg Pub at 7:00pm on March 31st.

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Frank Radford “Budge” Crawley (source: Seigel Productions)

My own exposure to Crawley Films as an Ottawa based institution was unusual to say the least.  I have wanted to make films my whole life (getting there) but as a teenager I a) had no money for film/camera/everything else and b) thought Norman McLaren was a genius (safe argument there).  My solution was to cycle over to Crawley where I somehow obtained exposed 16mm film, took it back and removed the emulsion and was left with clear film stock.  That was mounted on sheets of plywood (a gazillion finishing nails) and I proceed to animate little stories frame by frame.  So that was fun..  Like many Canadians though it was “The Man Who Skied Down Everest” that put them on the map for me.  Still remember the skill under which it was put together and how I learned that documentaries could be as exciting as any narrative experience.

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Crawley Films, Fairmont Ave., Ottawa (source: Lost Ottawa)

Budge Crawley never took the easy way (CBC or NFB) because he and his life and creative partner Judith Crawley wanted to make the films and productions they wanted to without interference.  The fact that they managed to do this for pretty much their entire working lives is extraordinary and inspirational for all of us.  If you have a chance to something they made jump on it for Crawley Films represents the art of the possible and should be celebrated for that fact.

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Vintage poster for The Luck of Ginger Coffey displayed at the Bytowne Cinema where it screens on March 31/2015  (source: Bytowne Cinema)

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