The Sure Thing - Karen Newton April 07, 2008
At the end of the year, people will make Top Ten Lists. It may only be April, but I guarantee
that you can already put the James River Film Festival performance of Nanook of the North
accompanied by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra Saturday night at the Firehouse Theater
on any such list...Best integration of audio and visual? Oh, yes. Most unlikely pairing?
That too. Most unexpectedly riveting experience? Without a doubt. The pairing was inspired.
Take the very first full-length documentary (and silent at that!) and have it scored by rva's
exceedingly talented gourd orchestra. Result: the sounds of blowing snow, the ice-crusted waves
of Hudson Bay, dogs fighting and a walrus howling in death...and that's not even a fraction of the
gourd-produced sounds the audience was treated to. Robert Flaherty's documentary look at the lives
of Nanook and his nomadic family was already pretty fascinating. It became nothing short of awe-inspiring
with the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra's sublime accompaniment. Hats off to Mike Jones and James Parrish
of the Richmond Moving Image Co-op for making this happen in Richmond. It will take a hell of a lot
to produce a more inspired evening of entertainment in 2008. My top ten list for the year has its first sure thing.