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Captain Webb

16 August 2015 12:20 PM, PDT

From tragedy to triumph. Screenwriter Jemma Kennedy writes about recallibrating Captain Webb.

In his play Educating Rita, Willy Russell famously articulates the difference between the tragedy and the merely tragic. Any event, such as a tree falling and killing a man, may be called tragic, but a real tragedy is one in which the hero is doomed by his fatal flaw. Character, not just circumstance, drives him inexorably to his doom.

I thought about this a lot when writing Captain Webb – the titular character was the first man to swim the English Channel in 1875. »

- Jemma Kennedy

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Among Mountains, Moonlight, and Movies

16 August 2015 12:18 PM, PDT

"The scene felt like a cross between Cinema Paradiso and National Geographic. It was one of the most uniquely satisfying moments in my life."

Photo: Meri Hyoky

A waxing moon hung over the Maloti mountains of Lesotho. I walked through the village, passing clusters of thatched roof huts and at one point lifting my legs over a stone corral that kept an array of mismatched livestock. I climbed a short distance up the mountain, where I found a place to sit next to a pair of young herd boys wrapped in blankets and wearing wellington boots. »

- Andrew Mudge

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Gangster whispering…

14 August 2015 2:59 AM, PDT

What does it take to direct Precinct Seven Five? Most of all, it takes the willingness to be a co-conspirator.

Someone asked my wife once what I did for a living – she said I was a gangster whisperer. They both laughed. Though the truth lies not far south. My subjects sell drugs. Me, I traffic in story.

Documentaries aren’t often thought to be a director’s medium. Particularly when they’re interview-driven films. But when a criminal unspools the secrets he’s hoarded all his life, what has happened off-screen is as important as what goes on in front of the camera. »

- Tiller Russell

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