When I first read “Arthur” I was struck by its strong cinematic nature. It’s a very visual script with many powerful images that stuck with me long after I put the script down. It’s a bold short film to be sure, with its images of King Arthur and gothic architecture, and these play well with the issues of dominance and darkness that inhabit this story.
Short films are expensive business cards – they announce that you are here, that you are serious, and they show what you can do. For this reason, there are thousands made each year, and to stand out a short film must be unique. It must have what I call a “Wa-Wa” at the end, a surprise, in order to be memorable. “Arthur” has this and it’s why I have chosen this film over so many others to do. It has great potential to be beautiful and rich; it deals with a heavy and parental subject in a very short amount of time; it deals with innocence versus darkness and it has a Hero we root for who wins. The ending definitely possesses a “Wa-Wa” and led me to decide this is a film worth doing and if I am to do it, then to do it first rate.
It’s also not a straight linear plot, which interested me, and it’s very ambiguous. Massimo Vignelli, the great graphic designer said that Americans define ambiguous as only one meaning, but the Italian’s define ambiguous as multiple meanings at once, and I felt that “Arthur” had that element. What is going on? What was going to happen? Why did he do it? Why does the Mother cover for him at the end? Those elements all intrigued me.
I thought the story had really great heart as well, which is what myth is all about. It’s about moving people to change. I was compelled by the story of this young boy and what he was willing to do to save his sister.
As Barbara Kingsolver said, “Storytelling is as old as our need to remember where the water is, where the best food grows, where we find our courage for the hunt. It’s as persistent as our desire to teach our children how to live in this place that we have known longer than they have. Our greatest and smallest explanations for ourselves grow from place, as surely as carrots grow in the dirt.”
Film is the literature of our time, and this is great literature, if you will. It’s the story of an underdog who overcomes almost certain odds of defeat to save the innocent, and it’s inspiring. That is what great stories do: they inspire us to change, inspire us to be who we are supposed to be, inspire us to be the great person that lies within, to reveal, ultimately, our true inner nature. Why support any movie, if not for that reason… to teach us how to live.
I hope you will choose to join us on this magical journey.