Sprague Theobald, the local filmmaker and author you may remember as a co-host of Channel 10's old PM Magazine (also a jumping-off point for Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira), has produced a wonderful documentary which just premiered in New York City: The Other Side of the Ice.
The until-recently Newport resident's film — he has a book out, too — captures his 2009 trip through the Northwest Passage with a band of semi-novices, including his children and a film crew that doesn't always work together well; not a plus when the Arctic ice is about to close in on you.
Sprague sent Phillipe and Jorge an early release and we give it five stars for its brutal honesty about fear ("I'll never play outside my backyard again," Sprague told P&J), and the way relationships — familial and professional — can quickly fray in a crisis.
Sprague could have portrayed himself as a modern-day Roald Amundsen. Instead, the film focuses on the raw emotions unleashed by an ordeal endured by fewer than two dozen crews in all of history. (Of course, more could soon take the trip. The Northwest Passage has opened up to the lucky and adventurous in recent years, thanks to the climate change that GOP "researchers" and TV weathermen — regarded by climatologists as mentally challenged children — deny.)
Sprague informs us that The Other Side of the Ice will premiere locally at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport at some as yet unannounced date in June. But the film has been available on iTunes since March 26 and Sprague assures P&J that Netflix, Amazon, et al. will follow.
We urge you to see the documentary even prior to its Newport debut; it is compelling, raw, beautifully filmed, and makes you think, "I wouldn't do that for a million dollars."
And hey, any time you see the producer of a documentary essentially call himself a stupid asshole on camera, you know it's cinéma vérité.
A GOOD CAUSE
A lot of fine events seem to go under the radar here in the Biggest Little and part of the mission of Phillipe & Jorge (besides slugging down mass quantities of Pernod and grapefruit and engaging in the rituals of superior behavior) is shedding some light on said events.
Our friend Liz Jones informs your superior correspondents that the 4th annual Bowl-a-Thon for the Women's Health and Education Fund of Rhode Island (WHEF) will be held April 28 from 3-6 pm at Town Hall Lanes, 1463 Atwood Avenue in Johnston.
The WHEF provides financial assistance to low-income women for reproductive healthcare (including abortion) and presents educational programs on related issues. It's a volunteer-run organization and holds one major fundraiser each spring. The group needs bowlers and sponsors to help the cause, so check out the event website at bit.ly/whefbowl or send an email to Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just thought you'd like to know.
MORE OF LES
Jon Cooke informs P&J that the first issue of Comic Book Creator, a new magazine celebrating the history and heritage of the comic book, is slated for release in late April. Obviously, this is of great interest to pop culture mavens and comix aficionados. But the rest of us will take particular interest in the first part of a two-part remembrance of Les Daniels, the Providence-based comic book historian.