Sunday, October 29, 2006

Above and Beyond.

Since American football - or basketball, or baseball, or something - ate what I was originally going to watch tonight, I was channel-surfing when I stumbled across something almost unprecedented.

It was a movie, featuring actors speaking in what was unmistakeably a Newfoundland dialect.

No, no, no, I don't mean some cartoon "Shipping News" "B'y?" "B'y!" caricature of "Newfinese" which is what you always get in these movies. (Usually because they're filmed outside Newfoundland and the actors hired are not from Newfoundland.) I mean a genuine Newfoundland dialect, like I grew up with, can still speak, and would hear on the streets of St. John's today.

The source? This movie. It has everything - a true WWII storyline, airplanes, Newfoundland history. Even some NB history in the form of the depiction of Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, noted son of Bathurst, NB who went on to hold the critical posts of Minister of Information, Minister of Aircraft Production and Minister of Supply in the UK during the war. (Coincidentally, his heirs are currently trying to reclaim a number of valuable paintings which Lord B. donated to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, claiming they were loans, not gifts. I gather the old family fortune hasn't held up well throught the successive generations of horsey-set spenders-not-earners. The court case is making for daily must-read journalism in the local papers.)

I hadn't even heard that the movie was being made, but was hooked at first sight. Or maybe at first sound, when the young air traffic controller looked at the American soldiers arrayed below him and said, pityingly, "They must be dyin' with the flies."



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