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If you've ever been curious about the fabled Maine log drives of historical lore, this film will satisfy your curiosity. See real lumberjacks, deep in the Maine woods, and delicately balancing on spinning logs in the Machias River, while breaking up log jams that could kill a man. (Yes. That's where the term, log jam comes from.) This shows legendary woodsman skill and daring. Even today, with all the modern equipment available, logging is still one of THE most dangerous of all occupations. Then to the mills for ripping and planing. And finally being loaded on last of their kind sailing ships. You'll think you're watching a film from the 1800's. Amazing! A precious piece of history, expertly narrated by Tim Sample.
This short film is an important historical document, describing the methods and mentality of resource exploitation in the forests of the northeastern United States. Although filmed ca. 1930, many of the methods are more typical of the lumber booms of the late nineteenth century. The abrupt editing and naive narration (this is essentially a home movie) lend the film a credibility above most of the shallow newsreels and scripted documentaries of the time. And much of the footage is quite funny - these are real lumberjacks mugging in front of an intrusive camera with minimal coaching. If you have a low tolerance for flickering old black-and-white movies, this one is not for you. But if you can get over the quirks of the medium and place yourself beside the characters in the snowy woods of Maine, this is a fascinating personal experience.
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