CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 21. . . .June 13, 2008
If there is one thing that Heads Up! shows, it's that hockey is not a game about winning and losing. Writer/director Adamm Liley follows seven hockey players and traces their dreams, fears and hopes for the future. All of the players are moving from Atom to Peewee, a move which means that they are also entering the world of body checking. The outlook of the players ranges from Nick, who dreams of becoming a professional hockey player and a doctor, to Mitchell, who practices his autograph for the day he becomes a famous hockey player. Liley follows the players from tryouts in September to the Nova Scotia Provincial Championships in April. Because Heads Up! is a documentary, it may be slow for some child viewers; however, it includes very useful information and footage, especially for hockey players who are making the transition from Atom to Peewee.
Heads Up! does not use a narrator, and so the voices of the 10 and 11-year-old hockey players, their parents and coaches set the tone for the program. The film makes use of a variety of contexts from which to conduct the interviews. The players have their own private time with a camera, and in these more personal segments, they express their feelings about tryouts, a game or hockey in general. Filming is also done in locker rooms with peer-to-peer interviews recorded after games. Some players also talk about hockey with their parents or are filmed playing with their friends and siblings. Most of these segments are filled with scuffles and typical family dynamics, an approach which makes the film feel like a true representation of the actual feelings and experiences of the participants. The different contexts for interviews created a well rounded picture of what body checking in hockey means to the children playing hockey and to hockey in general.
Brianne Grant is a student in the Master of Arts in Children's Literature at the University of British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.