World premiere of new film on nature photographer
Steve Fesenmaier writes \"Mountain Memories has written an excellent review of Ray Schmitt\'s film Mountain Memories.
Steve states, \"No film that I have seen in a long time as successfully presents a man and his own wonderland, a microcosm in his own backyard. It has special poignancy since I watched the film the day after the first day-long commemoration of 9/11, a day that also used many stunning photographs and filmic scenes to convey both the beauty and tragedy of nature.\" A review by Steve Fesenmaier
Ray Schmitt has moved to a higher level with his new portrait of WV-native son Jim Clark. No film that I have seen in a long time as successfully presents a man and his own wonderland, a microcosm in his own backyard. It has special poignancy since I watched the film the day after the first day-long commemoration of 9/11, a day that also used many stunning photographs and filmic scenes to convey both the beauty and tragedy of nature. When Jim Clark discusses the horrors of mountaintop removal, I could almost visually see WV?s mountaintops being demolished just as the World Trade Center Towers were one year and one day ago.
Jim Clark was born in War, West Virginia where his mother still lives. He has lived in Alaska and photographed some of the most beautiful places in this country and in this world. He lost all of his work ? thousands of photographs and seven scripts for books in a total house fire in Texas. He eventually moved back to his homeland and has prospered, making a living as a professional outdoors photographer and helping young people enter the profession.
This film will have its world premiere at the Flooded Out Film Festival. I think that it will be the perfect companion piece to the devastation that Robert Gates? new film on the recent floods in Southern WV will surely show. I have not yet seen Gates? film even though I was supposed to last week. With 9/11 coming, and my brother dying from stomach cancer, I just did not want to watch more misery. I tried to watch one of the better documentaries made about Afghanistan that aired on PBS this week, but could only take 15 minutes of that country?s vast despair.
Ray has used a masterful guitar soundtrack to match the images of Clark. Just as the electronic music he used in his earlier portrait of Tom Pumroy in ?Twigman? was perfect, this acoustic sound was just as beautifully natural as Clark?s images. I hope that Ray will have a chance to make a film about Allen Toney, WV?s world-class electronic painter?. Toney even does his own music so he won?t have to create it.
Bravo to Ray and Jim ? and to Jim?s wife who has only a walk-on roll. She is like the people at OVEC who have actually saved many of the most beautiful places in the state and country. Hopefully the first Flooded Out Film Festival will be the last, and people who see this film and the others realize that they are like Osama bin Laden, demolishing the cathedrals of our age, committing true ecological terrorism against the people of our Blue Planet.