The Spell of the Yukon

MOMENT-46

The National Film Board of Canada has a blog post at NFB.ca blog about how Russell came to narrate the documentary, The Spell of the Yukon. Listen to the narration here. Excerpt from the blog:

In 1993, New Zealand-born Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, then 29 years old, starred in an NFB-John Aaron co-production called For the Moment. While shooting the film in Manitoba, Crowe became acquainted with NFB producer/director Rita Roy. As Roy remembers it, she and Crowe bonded over a mutual appreciation for Robert Service’s poetry. In fact, Roy was, at the time, focused on making a biopic about the great Scottish-Canadian poet. “I think he [Crowe] would have been the perfect subject for a re-enactment!” says Roy.

The Robert Service biopic project never came to be, but instead, Roy set out to make The Spell of the Yukon (titled after one of Service’s best-known poems). In this short 43-minute documentary, Roy sets out to follow in the footsteps of the daring gold-seekers who crossed the Yukon’s treacherous geography in search of untold wealth. It was a famously deadly endeavour, and Roy’s own ancestors set out to conquer the hostile landscape generations ago. Roy wanted to pepper the film with Service’s poetry, and immediately thought of her old pal Russell Crowe and their mutual love for Service’s poems.

“He had the perfect voice!” exclaims Roy, describing Crowe’s deep, methodical tone as “incredibly rich.” She asked Crowe if he would agree to record the poems, and he said yes. “What kind of accent do you want?”, she remembers him asking. To give life to Service’s poems, Crowe hid his New Zealand accent in favour of a Scottish one, and the effect is mesmerizing.

 Thanks to Lily for pointing us to this blog!

 

In 1993, New Zealand-born Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, then 29 years old, starred in an NFB-John Aaron co-production called For the Moment. (Unfortunately, we don’t have the rights to be able to stream this film on NFB.ca). While shooting the film in Manitoba, Crowe became acquainted with NFB producer/director Rita Roy. As Roy remembers it, she and Crowe bonded over a mutual appreciation for Robert Service’s poetry. In fact, Roy was, at the time, focused on making a biopic about the great Scottish-Canadian poet. “I think he [Crowe] would have been the perfect subject for a re-enactment!” says Roy. – See more at: http://blog.nfb.ca/blog/2014/02/19/young-russell-crowe/#sthash.MgrBsMkj.dpufIn 1993, New Zealand-born Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, then 29 years old, starred in an NFB-John Aaron co-production called For the Moment. While shooting the film in Manitoba, Crowe became acquainted with NFB producer/director Rita Roy. As Roy remembers it, she and Crowe bonded over a mutual appreciation for Robert Service’s poetry. In fact, Roy was, at the time, focused on making a biopic about the great Scottish-Canadian poet. “I think he [Crowe] would have been the perfect subject for a re-enactment!” says Roy.The Robert Service biopic project never came to be, but instead, Roy set out to make The Spell of the Yukon (titled after one of Service’s best-known poems). In this short 43-minute documentary, Roy sets out to follow in the footsteps of the daring gold-seekers who crossed the Yukon’s treacherous geography in search of untold wealth. It was a famously deadly endeavour, and Roy’s own ancestors set out to conquer the hostile landscape generations ago. Roy wanted to pepper the film with Service’s poetry, and immediately thought of her old pal Russell Crowe and their mutual love for Service’s poems.

“He had the perfect voice!” exclaims Roy, describing Crowe’s deep, methodical tone as “incredibly rich.” She asked Crowe if he would agree to record the poems, and he said yes. “What kind of accent do you want?”, she remembers him asking. To give life to Service’s poems, Crowe hid his New Zealand accent in favour of a Scottish one, and the effect is mesmerizing.

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About Tamara & MM

Two fans of Russell Crowe dedicated to saving, archiving, and organizing as much available information about the life and career of this amazing man as is humanly possible. A woman's work is never done....
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