You want to tell stories because it shapes perceptions and implodes the world.
Cinema, journalism, documentary — everyone wants to have a shot at defining the landscape with their opinion, and some are pretty good at it.
Sam Mendes ( James Bond), one of them, is tipped to win an Oscar for 1917.
Explaining the film’s simple premise Mendes says a young soldier has to get a message to a unit set against a Hitchcockian drama clock.
That tracking shot too. There’s been a symphony of the one-takes, each a bit more elaborate than predecessors. Stylised yes, but a bit like a Tarkovsky flick they force a meditative viewing, laying down unforgettable memories.
Mendes had me thinking about an incident that happened in 1981, which goes where few film have and would be shot as non sequence set off memory lapses.
In 1981, a sun hazy day, a group of military cadets were seconded to marshal a football match. During the match, fans got wind of a coup d’état.
Pandemonium ensue. Military officers roll up handing out sub machine guns to cadets. Then it’s a race against time.
The boys must help put down the coup, but need to get back to school urgently to urge a lock down, and prevent any possible fatalities.
What happens in that time changes innocent 13 and 14 year-olds into unwitting soldiers. They’re made to believe they’re defending the state, but actually are defending themselves.
I know because I was there hounded along the streets as a foreign invading force. This is a true story. It’s about coming of age, how life is like a delicate feather. One of the boys would be shot in the head and was in intensive care.
I’d call the film, 1981. Some time back many who remembered that day sat together and reminisced. “Crazy!” we chimed. “You couldn’t make it up”. Now would anyone want to watch it?