Friday, November 11, 2011

'The Times' They Are A-Changin'

Actress Lily Rabe scrambles a ridge above the remote and scenic Illinois River in a scene from Christopher Munch's classic of sasquatch cinema, 'Letters From the Big Man.'

     Big news! Not only has the New York Times just published a review of a 'bigfoot movie,' but they reviewed the flick in absolutely glowing terms!  Editors gave a remarkable amount of 'ink' (space on the page) to the November 10th review of "Letters From the Big Man", a brand new film by Christopher Munch. The review, by Manohla Dargis, praises Christopher's eccentric bit of film-making that advances the previously wacky premise that humans can and do interact with the very same sasquatches that most Americans do not even take seriously.
     Of course, those of us who have been in the 'bigfoot biz' for a while know that credible accounts of 'habituation' between humans and sasquatches do indeed exist, despite the lack of concrete evidence.  Becasue of this lack of evidence, such claims are not even taken seriously most bigfoot researchers, who adhere to the decades-old dogma that while sasquatches do exist, they are wild apes incapable of higher thought, language, and culture. If most bigfoot researchers don't even buy it, you can forget about suggesting such ideas seriously to the general public through popular media, right?  Enter Christopher Munch.
     Now background for newbies: As the new century turned, I published a book that lent credence to this and several other previously unexplored ideas that existed only on the lunatic fringe of sasquatch research.  In "The Locals", I went way out on a limb and stated that claims of habituation, a mutually amicable relationship between a sasquatch and a human, were indeed factually-based.  Naturally, I was vilified by those who felt that I was besmirching the good name of sasquatch researchers everywhere by giving serious consideration to such lunacy. But the times were about to change, and "The Locals" helped change them.  My left-field take on the sasquatch phenomenon resonated with an increasing number of other field researchers who were also encountering events and witnesses of their own that did not jibe with the conventional thinking that prevailed in the insular word of 'sasquatch researchers.' Bigfoot devotees still favored a more conventional view that sasquatches were wild apes; a radical view in it's own rite when it was first pioneered by journalist John Green in the 1950's and later endorsed by scientist Grover Krantz in the 1970's..
     One day, after 'The Locals' has been out for a couple years and only about six copies had been sold, I got a call from an obscure independent film-maker named Christopher Munch.  He share with me his idea for a very different cinematic portrayal of a sasquatch.  Christopher seemed to be looking for reassurance that his desire to portray habituation between a human and a sasquatch actually has some possible basis in fact.  I assured him that, based on my dubious research, it did. Christopher journeyed up to Portland, we talked, and I showed him some local areas that might make good film locations. I vividly recall one particular meeting with Christopher and Kirk Sigurdsen, another local Portland writer and devotee of paranormal pursuits. Over dinner at the Stonecliff Inn in Carver, Oregon, Kirk and I regaled Christopher with so many stories of bizarre and remarkable interactions between humans and sasquatches that, by the time Christopher left the restaurant, he was more-confident than ever that his radical concept of sasquatch/human interaction was as valid and as it was cinematically ground-breaking.
     A couple years later, "Letters from the Big Man" was completed, and now it gone even farther: it has captured much-deserved attention on a pretty big stage.  It may not be evidence, but Chris' film is imagery that enables viewers to visualize habituation,in very vivid, literal terms.  In making this film, Christopher Munch has done the cinematic equivalent of building a bridge across the Grand Canyon. He has portrayed friendly human/sasquatch interaction, an idea seen until now as absurdly fantastic, as not just genuine, but touching and profound. An idea had been previously relegated to realm of the lunacy, even among already crazy sasquatch researchers, can now be discussed much more seriously.  
    Like many others who take sasquatch seriously, I'm thrilled to witness Christopher's recognition, not only for his sake, but for our own. Christopher has done all he can to earn much-needed credibility not just for me, but others like Janis Coy, Autumn Williams, and Mary Green  who championed this radical idea ten years ago.  I hope everyone who pursues this quirky endeavor called 'sasquatch research' gets to see this fine film. I was fortunate enough to witness its inception and to get to provide some encouragement when it was needed. In return, I got to view a copy of the film as it was being edited and again when it was completed. I loved it, but I am biased. Now, we learn that New York Times reviewer Manohla Dargis loves it, too.  This is more remarkable than it sounds.  It wasn't very many years ago that The Times, like all newspapers regularly lampooned the ridiculous notion that  the sasquatch even existed. They exploited the subject with shoddy journalism such as that one notorious piece by Seattle Times hack-reporter Bob Young.  In 2003, Young's bit of shoddy journalism set serious treatment of the sasquatch subject back an entire decade.  Now, after much heavy lifting by guys like Christopher and gals like Autumn Williams and now Manohla Dargis, we have battled back, and incredibly, even the ever-intransigent New York Times has significantly changed their tune.  Through the work of Christopher Much, Manohla Dargis and The New York Times has given movie-goers and readers reason to think again about the widely held view that bigfoot is nothing but a joke! Thank you, Christopher.
     To quote Bob Dylan, " 'The Times,' they are a changin' "
   Click here to view the NYT Review of 'Letters From the Big Man"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New York Times Goes Sasquatch

Brilliant make-up and costuming transforms Isaac Singleton into the best cinematic sasquatch ever portrayed.

    It's rare indeed that distinguished (and sometimes stuffy) publications like the New York Times will treat such fringe topics as the sasquatch with dignity and respect.  But that is precisely what they have done this Sunday in the Movies section of The Times.  The reason for the positive treatment is to recognize the cinematic accomplishment of the sasquatchs' best friend in Hollywood, Christopher Munch.
     As previously mentioned on this blog, Christopher has crafted the best and more factually correct cinematic presentation of the sasquatch phenomenon ever attempted in a fictional film. If you click on the link provided here you will be taken to the surprisingly lengthy treatment of the film and Christopher's utterly contemporary, even forward-thinking, view of the subject that he so capably presented in this landmark film.
     I hope everyone with an interest in the subject gets a chance to see this film someday. It is decidedly 'indie' and therefore, not an easy film to find in local movie houses. I suggest that interested souls appeal to the operators of your local theater to consider a screening of this fine flick. Credit also goes to reporter Dennis Lim for his courageous departure from the typical media skepticism and lampooning that the sasquatch topic usually gets, as well as the willingness of Dennis' editor, Manohla Dargis, who resisted the temptation to take the article in a more disdainful direction.  Also, Christopher tells me that Manohla Dargis is planning a review of "Letters from the Big Man" that will appear in The Times later this week.  Watch for that one folks. Meanwhile, click and enjoy one of the most positive presentations of the sasquatch subject you will EVER see in a major American daily newspaper. 
      Could the sasquatch subject finally be earning some much overdue credibility.  If so, we all owe a huge thanks to the work of the brilliant director, Christopher Munch. In case you missed the link to the Times piece above, here it is again:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/movies/letters-from-the-big-man-starring-lily-rabe.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
Director Chris Munch scouts film locations on the Clackamas