The first ever film festival held just to honor movies that feature horses in our lives, both animated and with live actors and horses, was held last weekend, Nov. 21st and 22nd. It was called the Equus Film Festival and was held in New York City using three different screens. I sure wish I could have been there!
Three of the films, "The Fork in the Road", "The Equestrian", and "Valiant" focus on Dressage. The first, "The Fork in the Road" was made to promote Para Dressage and the determination of injured eventer Gigi McIntosh as she strives to return to riding and competing now in dressage.
"The Equestrian" examines how the bond of trust between a horse and rider can be destroyed and rebuilt. See the trailer here:
The third, "Valiant" is about a completely blind dressage horse. That is especially poignant for me as my wonderful Kit that I have written about in previous posts was just determined to have developed total blindness in his left eye.
The Horsechannel.com made a listing of their 30 favorite horse movies. It is kind of fun to look at the list and see which ones you have seen. Click here for the list:
Now, pretend I am a movie critic! Here goes!
My comparison of National Velvet and International Velvet!
These two films were made thirty-four years apart and they are a classic example of how Hollywood has changed in that time. National Velvet was released in 1944. It starred young Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Angela Lansbury, to name a few. All three went on to have illustrious film carriers, as you know. The story is wholesome and touching. The filming in the English country side was beautiful. But I was impressed with the depiction of Velvet's family. The mother had given up fame as a swimmer to raise her children. Both she and her husband, though not wealthy, worked hard to take care of their family. Mom was at home for her kids. I loved that prayers were said at every meal.
Now, move forward (or perhaps backward) thirty-four years! Velvet is now a grown woman shacked up with her boyfriend who is, for some undisclosed reason, afraid of marriage and she puts up with it. Their niece, played poorly by Tatum O'Neil, comes to stay with them when her parents are killed. No prayers, no strong family. The only sacrifice made is when the author live-in (played by Christoper Plummer) starts writing trashy novels to supplement their income to pay for Sarah Brown's riding lessons. It is fun to note that the eventing competition in the U.S. was filmed with Pony Club Riders! See my post about Pony Club from August 2, 2014.
That being said, for an old eventer like myself, the horse scenes were great! (Except on the airplane when one of the competition horses being flown over the pond has to be shot! That made me cry!)) And the value of horses as the healing mechanism for a grieving girl is not only true to life but very touching.
So, what was your favorite horse movie?
And don't you think Behind the Mist, Mists of Darkness and The Rising Mist would make great movies???