Thursday, November 19, 2009

kiwi creativity: mike riddell blogs the cinematic journey

I’ve been enjoying recently Mike Riddell’s blog: Interminable moon. It is a neat title, a play on words, the story of his journey to turn his fictional book: The Insatiable Moon, into a film. It’s been a 7 year journey, hence the apt title “interminable.”

At first the blog was simply a narrative of bureaucratic pain, the (losing) battle to secure funding. Mike, never known for taking no for an answer, simply decided to shoot the film himself. Now the blog is much more interesting, the daily journal of the filming in and around the streets of Ponsonby. Mike might have moved from text to screen, but he’s still a great writer and the blog is a delight, as well as a window into the sheer hard slog that is the creative process. I need that reminder: that creativity is 90% perspiration around 10% inspiration, a mix of skill and instinct, management and creativity.

Mike supervised my Masters, at Carey Baptist College, and my PhD, at University of Auckland. Both were the last tasks he would do at either place.

(In fact, every one of my post-graduate supervisors – Mike Riddell, Brian Smith, Gregory McCormick and John Drane – would leave the academy just as I finished my Masters/PhD’s. In my better moments, I’m sure this is coincidence, because it’s not all about me! Is it?)

So Mike calls me into his office at Carey College to tell me that I had better make my planned Masters thesis completion date, because the publication of the Insatiable Moon is the trigger which will see him leave Carey, leave Auckland, and move to Dunedin. Jump? Or push? Or a confluence of circumstances, including family and Rose’s career? Depends who you ask.

Which makes it interesting to then read the following Amazon review:

What makes this whole book more amazing (apart from a really, really good sex scene, covering six full pages) is that, skating right on the very edge of outright blasphemy, it was written by a Baptist Minister – and it hasn’t been decried by the Christian community. It’s accessible to believers and non- believers alike, and explores issues of faith, rather than poking fun at the concept.

Can Christians let people poke fun at them? (Tempted to include a sentence about insatiable “mooning” at Christians) Can we have art that gets us thinking? Where do artists best function in relation to the Christian community – inside or outside?

You, my reader, can ponder the heady questions. Today, I simply pen the following blessing:

May the moon rise above you Mike Riddell
and may the warm winds of Ponsonby blow upon your creative dreams,
May the cinematic gatekeepers rise and call your movie blessed
And the cash registers ring to re-fill your creative investments

Posted by steve at 12:12 PM

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