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The Real Place (2009)

Cam Christiansen gives playwright John Murrell's imagination free rein, suspending the laws of time and space to create a visual accompaniment to his flights of poetic fancy.


Cam Christiansen


Blake Brooker


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Credited cast:
Denise Clarke Denise Clarke ... Sarah Bernhardt
Meika Gillies Meika Gillies
Micheal Green Micheal Green ... Walt Whitman
Maureen Hodgan Maureen Hodgan ... Opera Singer
John Murrell John Murrell ... Playwright
Ossian Victor Ossian Victor
Rasmus Victor Rasmus Victor
Stella Victor Stella Victor


In 2008, John Murrell (1945- ), playwright, librettist, and translator, received a lifetime achievement award from Canada's Governor General. To celebrate, this animated film dramatizes an interview with Murrell: he talks of he leaving home at 13, finding friends in books and writers and music, and seeking a real place for his characters from which he can create them fully before casting them out into the world. Murrell's reflections give way to actors speaking and singing his words. He concludes, "I have lived the luckiest life." Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Animation | Short

User Reviews

Interesting, Psychedelic-type Visuals
24 August 2010 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is a tribute to Alberta playwright John Murrell, who was originally from Texas but fled the country during the Viet Nam draft days. He wound up being very successful up north writing and having a love affair with a solitary existence and the joys of music as well as the written word.

He pays tribute here to other playwrights and poets, his favorite apparently being Emily Dickinson, and we get to hear some of his favorite musical pieces, such as Puccini's aria from Tosca.

Visually, I liked the '60s kind of look to this animated short. The psychedelic-type presentation might be a cliché for some folks, but not for me. The only thing this animated short did not do, at least for me, was tell me much about this man or make me feel anything for him (John Murrell). It's just void of that, which is a little strange since I believe it's supposed to be some kind of tribute to him.

However, a lot of people, like me, who bought the Blu-Ray DVD "Animation Express," are more interested in how it looks and on that, I'd say this short was winner. If I want information on Mr. Murell, I can look it up on the Internet (which I did). Otherwise, I thought the visuals made this five-minute animation fun to watch.

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Release Date:

16 January 2009 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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