Paul K. Haeder
It seems like a lifetime away and 50 cultures removed from the bubbling oil, but the editing and digital tweaking by filmmaker Marc Gauthier are turning an eye-opening trip to the Gulf in May into a vision for change. Plus, when you watch him shuttle through scenes and drop in music on the Mac, you come away with his invigorating passion and vision.
For weeks, he’s been in the Saranac, in the cubby hole on the fourth floor. At Community Minded TV, Gauthier has been wrangling for tips on how to piece together audio, film and graphics, and the outcome, which can now be seen on this site as a 10-minute trailer to the larger film, is amazing.
“Gulf Coast Blues – Oil in Our Veins” isn’t about all the technical crap the British Petroleum blowout has forced down the American viewers’ throats. It isn’t about the manipulation of science and the bungling of the various agencies, before, during and now 90 days after Deepwater Horizon blew up and killed 11 humans and destroyed an entire Gulf’s life. It isn’t about the posturing of suited politicians and fake Coast Guard warriors.
This project is about one man’s narrative intersecting with an entire region’s collective story. Marc’s film shows the frustration of trying to help and being turned away. His film shows the initial reaction of oil seeping onto the beaches of Grand Isle.
But it’s through his lens, as he paddles his sea kayak around booms and barrier islands, how we witness what compels a human to ditch his security (in Spokane) to find out how all his years working for the environment, learning how to “message” for the environment, all of that translates into getting down with the natives. And then turning it into the magic of filmic narrative.
What Spokane and the world get is a story of confrontation. Marc is at press conferences, asking questions of officials, listening to National Guardsmen voice frustration, hanging out with musicians, living a few weeks inside the grit and sweat that is the Gulf.
He comes back with a story of raw decay and rampant admonition. “Gulf Coast Blues – Oil in Our Veins” is spot-on when it comes to people, wildlife and a system of dirty energy extraction and exploitation crashing head-first into each other.
The back story he couldn’t get – the multi-millionaire effete class and faux cowboys in boardrooms or inside engineering centers making flippant remarks about the natives. They do it to the Cajuns and Gulf Coast natives. They do it to Nigerians. They do it to us, the ones with the addiction.
The story is about us, the protagonists, being stepped on, being fed the narcotic that is oil.
Gulf Coast Blues – the full-length film – will be showing here in Spokane. Soon. We’re talking about having it be part of Sustainable September. At the Spokane Falls Community College as part of their year-long theme. Maybe a Gulf Coast Blues Bash – the film, the food, the fret boarding of musicians, and the force of our own community opening up the dialogue.
Stay tuned for other news about “Gulf Coast Blues – Oil in Our Veins.” And if you haven’t read them the first time around, check out the “Dispatches from a Disaster” here, where Marc describes what he saw, heard, smelled, and felt, all for the first time. Take a look at photographs from Matthew White, New Orleans photographer. Listen to the KYRS interviews and hour-long shows on the oil disaster.
For now, watch the trailer to compel you to attend the premiere, to commit to watch the film, to support local artists and activists, and to help spread the word. BP as a multinational company operating around the world and what the oil extraction and oil defamation represent will be more of a feature of our time than we might even imagine 90 days after the oil bled into our memory.
Comments are highly regarded – so please post them here. Really, we want feedback. Use Marc’s trailer as a stepping stone to your own view on what Oil in Our Veins represents, as a trailer and an analogy to our futures.