CM . . . .
Volume VI Number 8 . . . . December 10, 1999
As the sub-title suggests, this is a quirky and whimsical perspective of Canada's oldest city. The
video begins with a view of the city shrouded in mist while a forecast of rain, drizzle and fog
(affectionately known as RDF) is heard. Director Rosemary House walks around downtown St.
John's with six well-known artists who share their reminiscences of growing up in the city. We sit
in a tower of the Basilica, with a splendid view of old St. John's that few residents have ever seen,
and converse with Andy Jones (of Codco fame) about his Catholic upbringing. Mary Walsh
(This Hour Has 22 Minutes) shows us her old neighborhood and recalls some of the odd street
characters that inhabited it. Folksinger Anita Best describes moving to St. John's from the
outports and the discrimination she faced, while writers Ed Riche and Des Walsh focus on St.
John's residents as survivors of the harsh economic and marine environments. All the artists feel
the living history of the city, especially actor Bryan Hennessey who perceives the cobblestones
beneath the pavement, and all of them have been moved creatively by its enduring spirit. Thus,
rather than taking a linear historical approach, Ms House meanders through the memories of those
who have developed careers portraying Newfoundland culture.
Alison Mews is the Director of the Curriculum Materials Centre at the Memorial University of
Newfoundland in St. John's, NF.
Alison Mews is the Director of the Curriculum Materials Centre at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, NF.
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