Friday, November 21, 2014

The Revenant (2015)

Leonardo Dicaprio

I read with interest of your current filming of “The Revenant” and I was struck with the similarity to the family story of my great Uncle Jim Christie, also barely surviving a grizzly mauling in the Yukon. From there he enlisted in the First World War but he said nothing ever compared to surviving that grizzly attack. From the cited article below, his superior officer described Uncle Christie this way:

“His long life alone in the mountains made him the most observant man I have ever known. He saw everything and said nothing. He could put his hand on the ground in No Man’s Land and tell whether a man had walked there one hour ago, two hours ago, three hours ago. It was uncanny, and he was never wrong. He would lie out in the open behind our trenches, day after day ... and get his sight on some part of the enemy trench and wait for someone to put his head up. If he did not put it up today, he would be there tomorrow, and sure enough some German would come to that spot, and Christie would get him. This happened year after year. I have never known anyone outside an Indian who had the patience of Christie. He would concentrate hour after hour on one spot ... Christie could do it for two days.”

The difference between Christie and your Glass character of course, is that Glass did not have the support of his comrades, and Glass is driven chiefly by revenge.

It gives me great pleasure to consider how my Great Uncle, for all his adventure, lived through a silver retirement in good cheer. After the Great War he married the spinster who knitted his socks for him and other boys on the front. She had slipped in a small note in his sock. Their correspondence led to love and marriage, and ultimately gentle retirement on Salt Spring Island.

Best of success in this undertaking, and may you channel the heart of the great adventurers who haunt our hinterlands still.