Friday, January 27, 2006

BASEBALL: Finally, a personal Holy Grail of sorts. Mirra and I went over to the Natural history Museum where Naomi had set up a screening of the Cutting films in the Northeast. I had heard of this since the early 1990s when I showed the Cutting films on his expedition to Tibet in the Tibet Film Festival.

Valrae thought it was just Assam, since the description of the 19030 silent film told merely of a British military expedition to the Naga Hills. I told her I'd still want to see it as I suspected it might have Manipur in it, Assam being the larger adminitrative term the British often used when referring to the area between India and Burma. And I was right. Half way through the film, Cutting and Teddy's son? brother? Kermit Roosevelt descend into the valley and shot scnes of boat races, wrestling, foot hockey, polo and a bunch of anthroplogical shots. Amazing stuff.

The film itself is a curiosity. There was a flawed and amateurish narrative about two Sema Naga boys. Charming but a bit embarrasing considering we sat under an original poster of Nanook of the North. Flaherty must have rolled his eyes if he saw the film then. And surely he rolled in his grave today.

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