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Patrick Kelly

Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: Just viewed Reclaiming the Blade         Reply with quote

I just finished watching my newly arrived copy of Reclaiming the Blade by Galatia Films. Overall I'm pretty impressed by this effort. The film provides a very well-balanced view of the sword and its place in both medieval/renaissance and modern cultures. There were only a few minor comments that caused me to grit my teeth. These primarily came from actors, SCAdians and modern sport fencers and were so minor that I quickly forgot about them. All in all they didn't stand out in the totality of the film and didn't harm its message.

If you've ordered this expecting a hardcore how-to of western martial arts or a visual thesis on arms and armor you'll be disappointed. Reclaiming the Blade is really more about how the sword has influenced and still influences modern culture, both through its history and mythology. The film does an excellent job of explaining how and why the western martial traditions involving the sword where discarded and forgotten, only to be rediscovered in the here and now.

One thing I would advise anyone viewing this film to do is to forget about your own interests and perceptions and to think outside of your own personal box. I say this because there are certain areas covered, such as a featurette of the New York Jedi Association, that can be easily dismissed and ridiculed by an historian or martial artist. Things like the New York Jedi are important for inclusion into this film because they're an excellent example of how the image and mythology of the sword still permeates our modern society. I was a bit saddened watching the film by knowing that several of its participants are no longer with us, like Hank Reinhardt and Paul Champagne, but at least their input will remain on film for years to come. I especially like the feature on the second disk involving the forging of a blade. Not because it told me anything I didn't know, but rather because it gave me a more detailed view of Jake Pownings work, something I love and have long admired.

In the end this film isn't for us because we drank the Kool Aid a long time ago. It's really a project for the masses and an excellent film to show anyone who asks why these things our important to us, why we enjoy them and why we think they're just plain cool.

Kudos to Galatia Films.
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Brian K.
Industry Professional

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 717

PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ditto. I watched it this evening as well, and while I feel there some things I wished were part of the documentary because of my own interests, overall it was quite enjoyable to view so many different aspects of the worldwide interest.
Brian Kunz
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Tony Brass

Joined: 15 Oct 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will order any film that depicts the works of Jake Powning. In my opinion there should be a category at the Academy Awards, "the following are the nominees for film with the most Jake Powning works..."

OK maybe not, but I am also a big fan.
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Julien M

Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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Posts: 1,053

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2009 2:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Tony,

There is a short (20 mm or so) promotionnal video depicting Jake's work out there on the internet, was wondering if you had seen it. Other than that, he oftens travel to forge gatherings and he's a very nice and approachable fellow too (met him in London last year).


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