Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bill Mason and Ken Buck: "Waterwalker"

I have been reading Ken Buck's, 'Bill Mason Wilderness Artist, From Heart to Hand.' The book tells of Bill's journey in life from his youth in Winnipeg and on through his career as one of Canada's most celebrated cinemetographers.

I chanced upon a section of the book dedicated to 'Waterwalker,' which was of Bill's films. With that in mind, I did a bit of online searching on You Tube, where I found an edited version.

Interestingly, the highlights reveal that Ken was the cinematographer and the music was written and prepared by the singer Bruce Cockburn and Hugh Marsh. Bill Mason was the the editor and producer.

Waterwalker followed Bill's internationally acclaimed, 'Paddle to the Sea', and 'Cry of the Wild'.

Paddle to the Sea was nominated for a 1968 Oscar and lost out to Chris Chapman's 'A Place to Stand'. But, following that, it went on to take the nature and environment award at the Valence International Film Festival, in 1989, in France.

"Bill is on a wilderness painting trip in Waterwalker. There is one scene which always elicits a collecttive gasp of dismay from the audience. Bill is paintng the falls with his palette knife to apply oil on paper in an unpredictable technique and that he would often give up to start a new painting, he sits back to look at it for a minute, evaluating it. He then picks it up, crumples it and puts it in the fire, obviously unsatisfied with the results. Most people in the audience would happily have hung it on their walls, just as it was."
pg. 192

The above video is an abbreviated form of the original film. If you check this link, it will take you to the NFB site where you will see the 84 minute film without cuts.

The NFB, also provides a separate web page devoted to this film. It lists the credits and a description of the film. Click here to be taken to the webpage

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