Apr 02, 2019 | By Joanne Thomas
There are only a little over 100 days left until the long-awaited Summer Olympic games is set to begin, and the Active Team is primed to see what England has in store for one of the most exciting events of all—the Opening Ceremony. It comes as no surprise that the Brits have chosen to honor film during this historical marker and kickoff for the Games and we can’t wait to see it all go down!
The creative team in charge of this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Opening Ceremonies consists solely of British directors and producers—Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) and Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot), among them. Most excitingly, though, are the team’s plans to debut 10-minute, silent film entitled BOY, which stars the famed Londoner, Timothy Spall. The script for the short was written by Prasanna Puwanarajah — winner of the British Airways Great Britons Award — and directed by Justin Chadwick.
This film brings together themes associated with the passion of sport, and the power of memory. The father, played by Spall, has tragically lost his son — a cyclist– in a roadside accident that includes an unexplained collision between bike, tree and automobile. Throughout the film the devastated father attempts to honor and reconnect with the spirit of his late son in various ways but is not able to do so until, near the film’s close, he finally takes to the velodrome on his son’s bike. It is only through the motion of sport that the memory of his son fully reappears.
Richard E. Grant, actor, and one of the judges who chose Puwanarajah’s script as a contender said, “the beauty about BOY is that millions of people from all over the world will understand it, because there are no barriers with silent films.” Furthermore, the uplifting and heartbreaking story reminds us that sports, and the Olympics for that matter, have much more meaning beyond blood, sweat and competition. Just as the father was able to recover the spirit of his son for a moment on the track, so too do the Olympics give diverse cultures, of different mindsets, languages and ideologies an arena to connect with each other in a greater way. – Devon Walsh
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