In concluding Chapter One of “Sculpting in Time,” Tarkovsky makes a subtle gambit to interest readers with their wits about them. He offers a conclusion that does not follow from anything discussed in the chapter. In what might seem a mere throwaway line, Tarkovsky reveals a second purpose of his book. Since no intelligent person who spends 15 years composing a book litters it with careless chatter, we can assume this is the book’s primary purpose.
Tonight, Tom Swanky appeared on Gorilla Radio. Host Chris Cook interviewed Tom about his book, “The True Story of Canada’s ‘War’ of Extermination on the Pacific.” If you live in the Victoria area, Tom will be appearing at the Anarchist Book Fair on Saturday September 8th.
The whole Introduction, written last, is constructed around audience reaction to Mirror as expressed in letters to the director. Although the final movie would be quite different, when he began writing the book, he already had the idea for Mirror in mind. The pride of place Tarkovsky assigns to Mirror encourages the provisional judgment that it contains the true introduction to his methods and insight.
On Aug. 18, 1862, taking advantage of the Cowichan having fled “in the wildest state of alarm” as smallpox swept through the fertile land coveted by settlers, Governor James Douglas invaded Cowichan territory with gunboats, men at arms, surveyors and 100 settlers. Douglas had been trying since 1852 to subjugate the Cowichan so that he could give their land to speculators who would, in turn, flip it to settlers wishing to farm
Tarkovsky directed only eleven movies. At least two, Solaris and Mirror, have been acclaimed as movie masterpieces. He also created or co-wrote some 23 movie scenarios or screenplays. Beyond this, all in all, the challenge of creating stories suited to becoming movies seems to have dominated his whole adult working life.
It was my honor yesterday to meet Cecil Planedin. Cecil identifies himself as a Doukhobor wood-block printer. Doukhobors have hands on experience with religious persecution in Canada, with promises to minority communities made and broken, and with enforced assimilation. Like me, he was amazed to learn that a one acre mass grave of several hundred northern native smallpox victims in Victoria could go without being generally known.
This is the annual B.C. Day holiday weekend. However, before Canadians can celebrate B.C. Day with a good conscience, we have work to do. 150 years ago this year, perhaps 100,000 B.C. natives all died within a few months. Among some indigenous Peoples, such as the Haida, Tsilhqot’in, St’at’imc and others, the death toll was as high as 80 percent or more of their whole number. By way of comparison, the death toll at Hiroshima and Nagasaki is commonly estimated at less than 40 percent of those cities.
August 2 is the 150th anniversary of Victoria’s incorporation. In the weeks before, all natives had been expelled from Victoria and their houses burned. The colonial regime of James Douglas had decided natives would be allowed to remain in the European settlement only if a settler certified that they had employment.
The last three months have been busy! I’ve published 2 books, The Great Darkening project has made the news and I’ve created some exciting treats to share with everyone on ShawnSwanky.com. Let me bring everyone up to speed.