Reel Alternatives film fest opens with The Way
HUNTSVILLE - Reel Alternatives will screen The Way as part of their weekend film festival.
Reel Alternatives film fest opens with The Way.
THE PILGRIM: Oliver Shroer had a rare gift for inspiring young people to make music. Here he clowns around with an inspiring virtuoso in Santa Irene, Spain, part of the Camino walk.
The film tells the story of a father’s walk along the famed Camino de Santiago to honour his recently deceased son’s memory. As part of the evening’s event, Martina Schroer of the Concert Association of Huntsville will read from her brother’s journal, written in 2004 when he went on the pilgrimage. Oliver Schroer was a world-renowned fiddler/composer who died from leukemia at age 52 in 2008.
On Friday night, music from his CD Camino, which was composed and recorded in the ancient churches along the 1,000-kilometre trail, will be played before the movie.
In May 2004, Schroer started on his trek, an adventure of the soul, of music and of really sore feet. Over two months, with three companions, he walked the ancient pilgrim trail that meanders across France and Spain. In the footsteps of medieval pilgrims, Schroer composed and recorded hauntingly beautiful songs that his sister Martina said captured his soul.
Her love for her brother is obvious, and she beams when she talks about his life and his music. In particular Camino.
“It is Oli,” she said of the music he recorded on the trek.
“In my backpack, I carried my violin like a wooden chalice, like my own precious relic, carefully packed in its reliquary of socks and underwear and waiting to work a miracle. My pack also contained a portable recording studio,” wrote Schroer.
The journal Schroer posted during his walk can be read on his website at www.oliverschroer.com.
On Day 10 of the walk Schroer posted in his journal:
“The alternate name of this walk could be The Phenomenology of Pain. Every day, something else hurts terribly. The most critical thing is of course the feet and the knees. You could say, this is two months of showing your legs who is the boss (turns out they are!). In any case, we have got into a routine of getting up around 6 or 7 in the morning and walking about 20 kilometres or so before we find a pilgrims’ hostel (called a gite), and collapse for a wee rest,” he said.
Later in the post he talks about his first chance to play in one of the churches along the route, in the medieval town of Conques, France.
“After people started leaving, we decided to get my fiddle and the recording gear and to try to sneak in. Remarkably, the doors were open and no one was there It was 10 p.m. I set up the recording gear and I played for an hour in the candlelit church. The audience was my three travel companions and many dimly lit saints. It was pure magic. I was not just playing my violin in this church; I was playing the church itself with my violin. It felt like the largest instrument I had ever played. Playing a note was like sounding a gong. The sound bloomed out of the first attack, and then subsided only slowly. My violin filled that place remarkably.”
In 2006, Schroer brought his Camino music to Huntsville as part of a multimedia presentation. On Friday night, Martina will sell copies of the CD for $20, to support Reel Alternatives.
Several Huntsville women have also walked the Camino de Santiago, including Suzanne Riverin. She only walked the last 100 kilometers but yearns to return to do a complete six-week pilgrimage.
“I have always been interested in tracing the myths and rituals of past centuries and when I heard about the Camino something in my soul felt a tug. I suddenly desperately wanted to walk along a path shared by so many others, for so many years, and for so many reasons,” she said.
“There is something so freeing in knowing that every day you will wake up and simply walk for the day – just walk. Lovely!”
To download a brochure for the festival, go to www.reelalternativeshuntsville.ca. Tickets to either of the evening shows are $15 and afternoon films are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. A festival pass, good for all films, is available for $40. Tickets are available through the Algonquin Theatre box office, by calling 705-789-4975 or online at www.algonquintheatre.ca.
Club focusing on controversial books
Delve into forbidden literature at the Bracebridge Public Library.
The library’s May book club meeting is centred on banned or challenged books.
Tour the world without leaving town
Seeing the world is as easy as visiting the local public library.
“It’s armchair travelling,” said acting chief librarian Caralene Clement.
The Gravenhurst Public Library finished its spring travel series with a full house on April 30 viewing a presentation on Costa Rica. Because the series was so well attended, the library is planning a second set this fall.