Christopher Plummer is an awesome Canadian actor. (He’s still beautiful, too.)
When I was a kid, we didn’t go to the movies very often; it was expensive for a family with a huge mess of kids. Nevertheless, one of the rare films I saw in a theatre was The Sound of Music, with Christopher Plummer playing Captain Von Trapp.
When I was in college, my friend John and I watched Christopher Plummer play a manipulative jerk, over and over again, in the video tape of Somewhere In Time. This was when video was new, and we had to rent the machine and the tape every time we had a depression party.
When my sister Lynda, my brother-in-law Jim and I were the only people in the Georgetown Cineplex theatre for a matinee performance of The Silent Partner, it was like having our own Hollywood screening room. I was blown away by Christopher Plummer’s performance as the baddest sociopath I’d ever seen in the decidedly creepy movie thriller.
A couple of years ago I took my child to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival to see Christopher Plummer play Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra. It cost a lot, but it was a fabulous production, and well worth it.
I would very much have liked to have taken a photograph of Christopher Plummer there, but as a law-abiding rule following mother, I didn’t. If I had broken the rules, I might have a photograph of Mr. Plummer that I would own copyright to so I could legally post it here. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival prohibits the audience from taking photographs at its productions.
But the audience isn’t even allowed to take photographs inside the empty theatre, so I couldn’t even get a picture of my family sitting in our seats. Personally, I would never use a flash and risk ruining the experience for others, although I have to say, there have been camera flashes in the audience for every production I have ever seen there. Still, I could probably have managed a fairly reasonable photo without a flash because my digital camera is pretty good. But I follow the rules. I think that the idea is that we are only allowed to purchase photos and memorabilia from the Festival, and thus financially support this great Canadian venue.
But even if I were to purchase a photograph from the Festival Store, I would not own the copyright on it, and so could not publish it here. This bothers me.
Although I’m a writer, I’m a visual thinker, and I take photographs of everything. This is my life. Since discovering blogging, I frequently share my photographs online. (always with a Creative Commons license…. CC #by-sa here)
But, you see, Canada’s copyright laws are restrictive enough now, even before the government passes Bill C-11, the so called “Copyright Modernization Act” (that will do anything but). But I try very hard to scrupulously adhere to copyright law, since I am both a parent (and modelling is the best way to teach children… after all, they learn by copying) and an advocate for copyright reform that will help, not hinder, culture. [I’ve written about copyright extensively in my Wordpress personal Blog]
Because the Stratford Shakespeare Festival prevents me from taking photographs, I don’t often get to their productions anymore. Which is a little bit sad. But I digress.
I really wish I would be able to post a photograph of Christopher Plummer here, but, as I say, I dare not infringe copyright. (This is known as a “chilling effect.”) Even so, I want to thank Mr. Plummer for the fabulous work he has shared with me over the years.
Happy Birthday Christopher Plummer!