A shout-out (as opposed to a shootout) today for The Future Stone. This is a film awaiting production that stars one Damo Suzuki, the Japanese music legend of Can and many solo works. The film has been written by Cameron Lee – he’ll also direct – a 21 year old from Chorley of Lancashire (that’s near Manchester, for non-British readers).
What’s it all about? Well, it’s a: “mysterious drama with supernatural themes exploring one man pushed to the edge.” Suzuki is, unfortunately, suffering from cancer at the moment and has taken a break from his global tour in order to complete the project. Thusly, let’s take a closer look, as this one has filming locations that are pretty close to our cold, calculating hearts.
The Future Stone
The story follows a middle class man who lives contentedly in the North West of England. After he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, he heads out into the wider world to clear a number of items off his bucket list. His journey takes him to the Scottish islands of Jura and Islay, whereupon he discovers numerous myths and legends – this includes a prescient stone.
For Suzuki, this clearly provides him with a chance to challenge his condition and find some inner perspective. His family has a history of suicide and one of the most prominent themes behind the production is its strong anti-suicide message. Director Cameron Lee is aware this is a big challenge – it’s a topic rarely considered in classic or modern film – but it’s a bold move and the type of innovative, thoughtful approach to filmmaking we need in the modern industry. He’s noted:
"Stylistically a major influence for ‘The Future Stone’ is the works of Abbas Kiarostami; slow and meandering but never giving recourse to aesthetic over story, mood and atmosphere. I aim to create a film which will stick with the viewer long after it’s finished due to its bold cinematic images and deeply affecting story. Of course cinema should entertain but I believe that it is the job of certain works to push further than something being just enjoyable."
We certainly agree with that! If you’d like find out more, you can visit the IndieGoGo profile on the following link to discover what’s going on, the filming locations, who’s involved, and even contribute to the project: The Future Stone. It’s an impressive production and has a big, cult music star on board! So, we wish all involved the very best with this ‘un.
The Future Stone’s lead is Damo Suzuki. The 68 year old is from Japan, but has spent much of his life on the road. A music legend, he’s famed for his three album run in the early 1970s with equally legendary experimental band Can. We’ve previously reviewed those records on this very merry blog:
They remain outstanding – landmark achievements; music 50 years ahead of its time and still capable of making most modern bands sound a bit rubbish. Suzuki joined the Can after Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit heard him busking in Munich. He performed live for them that same night, fitting in perfectly with the band’s experimental, spontaneous, and compositional style.
He’s since set up the Damo Suzuki Network and tours the world performing with musicians. He’s also a top bloke! We had the pleasure of having a brief discussion with him in London back in 2006, plus got a sweaty hug from the man after he embraced everyone at the end of the gig, so we’ve got a lot of love for this super-talented individual. Here’s wishing him a full recovery – we’re sure his contribution to the project will be excellent.
Another mention here, but for Rivington. Our esteemed editor, Mr. Wapojif, grew up in this area during the 1980s and 1990s. Unfortunately, the place has been ravaged by fires during July. An unusually long heatwave in Greater Manchester (it usually just rains here perpetually) meant Winter Hill became the centre of attention for the national press for a brief period, as fire fighters took on the blaze.
Rivington Pike is a notable point, with a tower at the top. This was built by one John Andrews from the local Rivington Hall, who threw the thing up circa 1733 – it’s visible from all of the surrounding towns and villages, such as Adlington, Chorley, and Horwich. Fun fact right there, oui?
It’s also a beautiful natural spot, is Rivington (known as Rivvy, to local sorts) – a perfect place to do some shooting for a film. It’s a particular honour to know Suzuki sensei will be in the area. Winter Hill dominates the skyline, with a giant mast standing like a giant middle finger to the rest of the North West – nowhere else can possibly match the majesty of the area in Lancashire.
Now, we’ve been up to the giant mast you see above (it’s not almost like that, it’s just the recent fires depicted there). Not for a long while – the last time we were there will have been the late ’90s, actually, but you get up to it and it sways quite dramatically in the wind. It’s mildly unnerving, but the thing acts as a transmitter in the area so folks can watch Coronation Street.
If you ever want to visit England, though, and London isn’t quite your thing, then take a trek to the glory of Rivington. It’s near to Manchester and Liverpool, so you can scout around and take in two of the North’s big hitters in one foul swoop. Thanking you kindly.