The classic soaring movie The Sun Ship Game is finally out on DVD and my copy arrived from Tom Knauff’s Knauff & Grove Soaring Supplies. This is a great movie about gliding – not a documentary, but a feature film by Robert Drew, made in the 1970s, of the comps in the runup to 1969 Nationals in Marfa Texas, including footage of that competition. The film focuses on two quite different competitors, George Moffat and Gleb Derujinsky and has some lovely footage of flying, as well as briefings etc at the comps. Some highlights for me include:
- Gleb smoking in the cockpit of his glider during a race (and checking he has his cigarettes with him before launch)
- George Moffat lengthening the wingspan of his glider by sawing the wingtips off with a handheld saw!
- Several landouts and crashes where pieces of gliders (particularly canopies) fly everywhere – attitudes to safety were chillingly different back then
- Plenty of footage of beautiful old gliders, including Libelles, fast becoming my favourite type
The title of this post refers to a typically late-sixties impenetrable and vaguely creepy poem by Richard Brautigan called Horse Child Breakfast, which George Moffat (English lecturer) reads to a class at the beginning of the film. The poem, if you want to check it out, along with others by Brautigan, can be found here: http://shalandar.com/richard-brautigan/pill-versus-springhill-mine-disaster.html - if you work out what a Horse Child Breakfast is, let me know.
Anyway, I’m glad I have a copy to replace the bad version I had downloaded from the net and I look forward to watching it (though I doubt whether my wife will be able to stay awake during it – she fell asleep in the first 10 minutes when I played it before).