I recently went over to my Grandma’s house with my Mom to take a picture for Page 117 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. I don’t usually explain what the directions for the page before I unleash the picture on the world, but I’m going to explain the theme first this time.
The directions for Page 117 are “Freeze the frame exactly 57 minutes and 32 seconds into your favorite film. Take a picture inspired by what you see.”
I don’t have a favorite film 100%, but I do have at least a handful that I would say are in the conversation. There A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, KING KONG (1933), PSYCHO (1960), MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, and INHERIT THE WIND.
I actually went through all of these movies before deciding on INHERIT THE WIND. I know INHERIT THE WIND, so l’ll explain a big of it.
INHERIT THE WIND was directed by Stanley Kramer. Stanley Kramer was an underrated director who also directed THE DEFIANT ONES, ON THE BEACH, JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG, IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, and GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER.
It is a dramatized telling of the Scopes Monkey Trial. The trial in Tennessee in 1925 where John Scopes was put on trial for teaching evolution.
INHERIT THE WIND stars Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond, a dramatized version of Clarence Darrow, who was probably the greatest legal mind in our history. Darrow was Scopes’ defense attorney. Frederic March plays Matthew Harrison Brady, a dramatized version of William Jennings Bryan, who ran for president 3 times, and assisted the prosecutors. Gene Kelly played E.K. Hornbeck, a dramaitzed version of H.L. Mencken, who was a brilliant journalist that covered the trial.
The scene that happens right before the scene that is unfolding at 57 minute 32 second mark of the movie is a “prayer meeting” in the park where the local Pastor (who is also the father of the defendant’s girlfriend) preaches damnation for the defendant and his defenders. Brown is the pastor. Rachel is his daughter:
Do we call down hellfire on the man who has sinned against
(Deliberately shattering the rhythm, to go into a frenzied
prayer , hands clasped together and lifted heavenward)
O Lord of the Tempest and the Thunder! O Lord of Right-
eousness and Wrath! We pray that Thou wilt make a sign
unto us! Strike down this sinner, as Thou didst Thine enemies
of old, in the days of the Pharaohs! (All lean forward, almost
expecting the heavens to open with a thunderbolt . rachel is
white. Brady shifts uncomfortably in his chair; this is pretty
strong stuff, even for him) Let him feel the terror of Thy
sword! For all eternity, let his soul writhe in anguish and
No! (She rushes to the platform) No, Father. Don’t pray
to destroy Bertl
Lord, we call down the same curse on those who ask grace
for this sinner— though they be blood of my blood, and flesh
of my flesh!
Brady stops him from going on and preaches a more forgiving brand of Christianity:
(Rising, grasping brown’s arm)
Reverend Brown, I know it is the great zeal of your faith
which makes you utter this prayer! But it is possible to be overzealous, to destroy that which you hope to save— so that
nothing is left but emptiness, (brown turns) Remember the
wisdom of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs— ( Softly ) “He
that troubleth his own house . . . shall inherit the wind.”
(braby leads brown to a chair, then turns to the townspeople)
The Bible also tells us that God forgives His children. And
we, the Children of God, should forgive each other, (rachel
slips off) My good friends, return to your homes. The bless-
ings of the Lord be with you all.
After this scene Brady and Drummond (who are old friends) are sitting on the front porch of the boarding house where they are both staying. They are discussing the prayer meeting. Drummond describes it as gilded. Glossy on the outside and hollow on the inside he compared it to a toy he wanted as a child:
There used to be a mutuality
of understanding and…
admiration between us, Henry.
Why is it, my old friend, that you’ve…
you’ve moved so far away from me
Well, all motion is relative, Matt.
Maybe it’s you who have
moved away by standing still.
If progress means abandoning God
abandoning the faith of our fathers…
I saw a demonstration of that faith tonight.
it’s a pretty deadly instrument, I’d say.
What you saw was a reflection
of the violence and hate
in the world around them,
Henry… your world
But they’re driven to it
because their faith was challenged.
These are simple people, Henry, poor people.
they work hard
and they need to believe in something…
They’re seeking for something
more perfect than what they have
Window shopping for heaven.
why do you want to take it
away from them, Henry
it’s all they have…
like a golden chalice of hope.
Like my golden dancer.
She stood in the big side window
in the general store in Wakeman, Ohio.
I’d stand out on the street
and say to myself,
“if I had golden dancer, I’d have
everything in the world I ever wanted. ”
I was about 7 years old at the time
and a great judge of rocking horses.
Golden dancer had a bright-red mane,
and she was gold all over with purple spots.
And when the sun hit her stirrups,
She was a dazzling sight to behold.
But she was a week’s wages for my father,
So golden dancer and I
always had a big plate-glass window
It couldn’t have been Christmas.
It must have been my birthday.
I woke in the morning,
and there was golden dancer
at the foot of my bed.
Mom had skimped on the groceries,
and my father had worked nights for a month.
I jumped into the saddle,
and I started to rock…
and it broke.
Split in 2. The wood was rotten.
The whole thing was put together
with spit and sealing wax.
All shine and no substance,
And that’s how I feel about that
demonstration I saw tonight, Matt…
All glitter and glamour.
You say you’re giving the people hope
I think you’re stealing their hope.
Oh no, Henry…
As long as the prerequisite
for that shining paradise
is ignorance, bigotry, and hate…
I say, “the hell with it. “
It is this scene of two old friends sitting on a front porch that inspired me to take this picture:
Page 117 – Freeze the frame exactly 57 minutes and 32 seconds into your favorite film. Take a picture inspired by what you see.
I did take a few more pictures that I like, but only one can be physically adhered into the physical PHOTO JOURNAL. Here are a few alternates:
This leaves only the following images left to capture before finally closing the book on THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:
Page 18 – Shoot the other half of this picture by Jason Evans. – This is a profoundly stupid page, but I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and do it at some point.
Page 28 – Recreate a famous photograph without looking it up.
Page 64 – Head out with a fellow photographer and play a game of photography dare.
PAGE 66-67 – Make a sequence of four pictures inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (or another celebrity).
PAGE 101 – Find an object, close your eyes and compose your shot using touch rather than vision.
Page 106-107 – Email one of your pictures to your photography hero and ask them what they hate about it.
PAGE 121 – Show us that photography is a form of magic.
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.
This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is RED!
A RED photo is any picture that centers around a subject that is RED.
Happy photo harvesting!