Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cosmic America Joins Forces with Wardance Pictures for The Reenactors

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

Yesterday I had lunch with Nick and Megan from Wardance Pictures - we went to El Coyote, which as you know by one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. They make a mean taco and the scratch margarita is the perfect way to kick off the afternoon.

But on to the subject at hand. Nick and Megan are the producers of a documentary (currently in the shooting stages) called The Reenactors - a character driven film that, as the producers say, will get to the heart of what makes these guys tick.

Huzzah my friends - you have taken up quite a challenge. One might think that such an endeavor would be easy - just follow around some guys who dress up like Civil War soldiers on the weekends and see what happens. But I would suggest that The Reenactors is a rather ambitious project. How will we really get to know the essence of reenacting (or reenactors)? Is there a common thread that bonds these guys together? These are the questions I will be asking as I watch this film (due out sometime in 2013). And I will be paying particularly close attention because I have signed on as the historical adviser.

The problem with the portrayal of Civil War reenacting in both popular media and the academic world is that they are often dismissed as being cut from one cloth. Sensationalist History Channel clips are good for ratings, I suppose, and scholars like Glenn Lafantasie - who think that reenactors are "foolish" can certainly kick up a fuss and get a good discussion going.

But should Civil War reenactors be dismissed, written off as foolish, or pigeonholed as wingnuts? Doing so would seem to me to be irresponsible reporting, bad scholarship, or whatever you want to call it. So if the producers of The Reenactors can get beyond that, as they have stated are their intentions, then they will have a success on their hands.

Bon chance!


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