The Arena Project: From spectacle to spectacular
Remember some years ago when a movie was made in Rossland? ‘Miracle’, it was called, about the famous US versus Russia hockey game at the 1980 Olympics. The real game was played at Lake Placid in New York State. I can’t imagine why the film-maker chose Rossland since it has no resemblance to Lake Placid whatsoever. I don’t recall if they even used our arena; I do remember they plastered artificial snow all over downtown. Imagine, fake snow in the Mountain Kingdom!
The movie, hockey, the arena and all the goings on there lately made me think we should make another movie here. ‘Miracle 2’ wouldn’t work – although we can only hope.
Maybe a Spy Mystery: undercover operator gains trust of organization, engages in illicit trading, cashes in for hundreds of thousands of dollars, escapes just as the authorities are closing in, and then, incredibly, re-appears in a new guise working for a different agency in the same city. Maybe a bit far-fetched; who would believe a story like that?
How about a good old Spaghetti Western? Old West mining town, citizens up in arms over high taxes and mysterious expenses going into the pockets of high rolling gambler, sheriff narrowly avoids lynching party, saved by ex-marshal who controls angry mob by force of personality. Outrage and anger still seethes beneath the surface, egged on by passionate editorials in local paper, fuelled by allegations of a former deputy obsessed with truth and righteousness, fanned by a veil of obfuscation at city hall; how will all this end? A gun fight at the OK Store? Still a bit over the top perhaps.
What about a Comedy then? Oh, come on now; how could any of this fascinating saga be even remotely amusing?
The fantasy genre is popular these days, let’s try that. Tiny troubled town struggling to find its niche in the world sends envoys up to the high sacred mountain to consult with the Holy Oracle on how to find the Right Path. A long and arduous journey for the party of pilgrims, but at length they arrive at the sacred cave. Oracles don’t usually have a lot to say, and this one is no exception: “Discover what can better be, Beyond the bounds that we can see.” But how shall we do that, they ask. “The wisdom of the wisest man, Is naught ‘gainst that of everyone”, replies the Oracle, hobbling back into her cave They depart back down the mountain scratching their heads. Good set-up for a sequel and might work for the NFB, but likely not Oscar material.
Aha! Historical Drama, now there’s a possibility. It looks like ‘Lincoln’ is going to grab all the Academy Awards this year, with all the drama of civil war, leadership and assassination. Could be right down our street.
Graham Kenyon is a Rossland-based writer.