Christopher Reeve Returns to Mackinac (1994)
A Star for Christopher Reeve (1997)
Reviewed by Betsy Mahon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jo and Jim Addie have made several videos available as part of their Somewhere in Time Collectibles. Among them are 2 that should be of particular interest to Christopher Reeve fans.
The first entitled Christopher Reeve Returns to Mackinac (Tape 3 of the SIT series) was filmed at the fourth INSITE weekend in October 1994. This 2- hour video has footage of that weekend including a panel discussion, a costume promenade and scenes of Mackinac Island. This video also includes some rare footage of Chris, who had flown in from California where he was filming Village of the Damned. It features a question and answer session with Chris, who said that Somewhere in Time held a "prime place by the fireside of my heart". He thanked those who had rediscovered the film. In addition, he shared some of his views on acting and romance. Hauntingly, he was asked a question about horses and responded that, despite his allergies when filming Somewhere in Time, he had become a "serious lover of horses". He talked about riding with the Hungarian cavalry during the filming of Anna Karenina, about his current level of competition and added, "I don't know if that's of general interest".
The video also features Chris and Dana visiting the "Is It You" plaque placed on the rock where Elise McKenna and Richard Collier first found each other. There Chris answered more questions about the movie, the role of cable and video in its rediscovery and his future plans to direct. Finally, Jo conducted a personal interview with Chris, were he talked in more depth about Somewhere in Time and about how "reality just dropped away" while the movie was being filmed. He mentioned that it was a "big ego boost" to be so warmly welcomed back. Chris added that he would like to be reunited with Jane Seymour during a future INSITE weekend at Mackinac Island.
As some one who really became a Christopher Reeve fan after his accident, I had only seen tapes of Chris being interviewed by various television celebrities. I enjoyed seeing him in this relaxed setting and was impressed by his humility and good humor. I was struck by how much he "talked" with his hands and how expressive his hands are. He's really had to learn a different communication style since his accident!
More information about the creation of this video is available in The Producers, Jo and Jim Addie. They write: "We rented the professional camera and editing system, all in the preferred Hi-8 format. Every microphone stand used throughout the weekend had one of our own mics taped to it, so you are able to hear things that even people present could not hear, due to audience response that sometimes covered over the Grand Hotel PA system. This entire project is funded by us, and the sales of videos reimburses us the rather astounding costs... We shot almost 11 hours of footage on Mackinac, and it took us over 100 hours to assemble the finished work lasting 2 hours."
The second video of particular interest to Reeve fans is A Star for Christopher Reeve, filmed when Chris received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 14, 1997. This is a much longer version of the festivities than that shown on television. It covers the actual ceremony, as well as Chris's acceptance speech and the impromptu news conference he staged afterward. It also includes tributes from Jane Seymour ("There's not a day that goes by when Chris doesn't inspire me.") and Reeve's friend Glenn Close ("Superman is a myth. Chris is the most human of humans."), who starred in his directorial debut In the Gloaming, which was released at approximately the same time. The video also covers the reception, which followed on the former set of Cheers.
I found that this video gave me new insights into Chris's world: at one point, he has to ask for a drink of water, which Dana gives him; it is difficult for him to move his wheelchair in tight spaces and to be a part of everything that is going on around him. As a parent, I enjoyed watching Will squirm around and Dana's attempts to keep him contained.
The video also contains bonus footage of the 1997 SIT Weekend and various SIT regional celebrations, as well as Jo Addie's adventurous trip to the Round Island Lighthouse. More information on the latter is available at the Somewhere in Time Website.
About this video the Addies write: "It surely is full of precious moments from that exhilarating morning when we unveiled our permanent and public tribute to Christopher Reeve, his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was a project INSITE had begun before Chris was injured. We are proud of our fifth video endeavor-we really couldn't lose with such memorable footage to work with... it is not only a milestone in Chris' life and career thus far, it was also an historic day, and surely INSITE'S best day yet."
Please consider purchasing one or both of these videos. Both would augment the collections of Reeve fans. In addition, it would help compensate the Addie's for their fine work.
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