Helen Betty Osborne, a Cree Aboriginal, was born in Norway House, Manitoba. In 1971, she joined a government programme in which families were paid to home Native students; she was sent to live with a Caucasian family, the Bensons, in The Pas, Manitoba, when she was 19-years-old. She attended Margaret Barbour Collegiate nearby to study to become a teacher and settled in within the community and made numerous friends. Sadly, her hopes of becoming a teacher were stolen from her on 13 November, 1971. She had spent the evening with her friends at a local cafe before deciding she would go downtown with her friends for a few drinks. At around midnight, her friends returned home without Helen. It’s unknown what happened to her between 12am and 2:30am, but at approximately 2:30am, Helen was abducted and brutally murdered - she had been raped, severely beaten and stabbed over 50 times with a screwdriver. Her naked body was discovered the following day by a local teenager. The case remained unsolved until 16 years later when four Caucasian men from the Pas, Dwayne Archie Johnston, James Robert Paul Houghton, Lee Scott Colgan and Norman Bernard Manger, were implicated on her brutal murder. Regardless of the evidence against them, only Johnston was convicted - Houghton was acquitted, Colgan received immunity for testifying against Houghton and Johnston, and Manger was never charged. Due to the circumstances surrounding her death and the shoddy investigation, the case became the subject of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry - they discovered that the injustice was the direct result of racism, sexism, and indifference.
This routine is so Mark. I love his style and I can’t believe this is only the second time he’s been back to choreograph a routine for the show. The musicality in this routine with the vogue vibe looked incredible, and the costuming was amazing. I also loved the mosaic lighting. It put the look of this routine right over the top.
All hail Queen Jasmine everybody! Woo I’m not even sure the dance started until she got pulled out on stage with the rainbow cape… She absolutely killed it and once she was there I had eyes only for her. I did also love Logan’s kick after the fan section. He nailed it and I actually loved both Lex and Logan in that part. Robert and Allison also stood out to me in the beginning of the routine and that last section where they all came together was super sharp and synchronized, and just looked down right amazing. It was my favorite part of the routine.
Now lets all take a minute and imagine if Robert Green were in this routine. I better see him doing this on tour.
The First Lost World: KING SOLOMON’S MINES (‘37) by Greg Ferrara
When H. Rider Haggard published King Solomon’s Mines in 1885, he started an entirely new genre of literature, that of the Lost World. Many tales by many different authors would follow, the most famous probably being Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World or Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Land That Time Forgot. Still, there’s something to being the first that sets you apart. And when the genre becomes big, as the Lost World genre did, it can make the initial outing look a bit creaky, as each successive hit adds something to the mix. And so, I find myself writing up KING SOLOMON’S MINES, the movie from 1937, the first cinematic adaptation of the work. Though many would follow, the first one set the tone for decades of fantastical adventure movies to come.
The first movie adaptation continued another tradition, that of Hollywood drastically changing the work it was adapting to suit the different needs of the cinema. And the different needs of an audience nearly fifty years after the original work had been published. A father/daughter team are introduced in the movie, Patsy O'Brien (Arthur Sinclair) and Kathy (Anna Lee). The two Irish transplants have been trying to get rich mining diamonds in Africa only to come up short. When they run out of money, Kathy convinces a hunter to let them travel with his wagon train. The hunter, it turns out, is Allan Quartermain (Cedric Hardwicke), the most celebrated hunter in all of Africa. He agrees to take them on and becomes fond of their company.
When they come across another wagon in trouble, they stop to help, only to find one man is carrying a map which he claims leads to King Solomon’s mines. He soon dies but his guide, Umbopa (Paul Robeson), is ready to continue the quest. O’Brien steals the map and heads out on his own. Kathy wants to follow, but Quartermain has been hired by two men, Sir Henry Curtis (John Loder) and Commander Good (Roland Young), as a big game hunting guide. When they all meet up, Kathy takes one of their wagons, leading to a pursuit and, eventually, all of them start searching for the mines.
Robert Stevenson, who would become one of Disney’s most successful live action directors, was still early in his career when he helmed this production, but after only five years in the business, his talent was fully formed. The film moves along at a brisk pace and even has some visual flourishes that stand out as among the best of the 1930s. The shots near the end, inside the mines, as the lava flows and erupts, seem incredibly innovative, calling to mind everything from Mount Doom in the LORD OF THE RINGS (’01, ’02, ’03) franchise to the heated fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin over the lava pit in STAR WARS: EPISODE III – THE REVENGE OF THE SITH (’05). There was even a point where I had visions of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (’84). And the scene of the group travelling across the desert is strikingly modern in its eerie use of music, signaling unease and disquiet with every new step.
Of course, Stevenson was also under strict studio orders, no doubt, to make sure Paul Robeson got at least two songs during the course of the movie. And indeed, he does, but even those are filmed in a way that integrates the songs into the movies such that they are unobtrusive and genuinely consistent with the story.
The biggest problems with KING SOLOMON’S MINES come with the dated ideas of noble savages and god-like white men. Given that the source material was penned in 1885 and the movie was made in 1937, there is remarkably little that is cringe-inducing in the movie. The character of Umbopa, who it turns out is royalty, is played excellently by Paul Robeson, and is in many ways the true star and protagonist of the story. Which leads to the second problem, Allan Quartermain. He is, ostensibly, the lead but is quite a dull character throughout. Of all the characters in the movie, the lead guide, spends almost the entire affair following others and reacting to their situation after the fact.
Other adventure movies in lost worlds would follow, and certainly some of them were better, but despite the passage of over 130 years since the publication of the novel, the first movie adaptation is still the best one we’ve got. Sometimes you get it right the first time.
The visuals in the beginning of this routine are amazing. It was actually my favorite part of the piece. I loved how they created the face on the basket and used the lights in their mouths. The arm’s beating on Robert before they all came out from behind him was really interesting also. And I thought it was really cool how the contestants all “bloomed” out of their skirts and threw the All-stars back.
An amazing return to the show for Wade Robson (along with Amanda Robson and Tony Testa!) I love and have missed his creepy quirkiness.
The rest of your life is a long time and whether you know it or not it’s being shaped right now. You can choose to blame your circumstances on fate or bad luck or bad choices or you can fight back. Things aren’t always going to be fair in the real world, that’s just the way it is but for the most part you get what you give. Let me ask you all a question. What’s worse not getting everything you wished for or getting it but finding out it’s not enough? The rest of your life is being shaped right now with the dreams you chase, the choices you make and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time and the rest of your life starts right now.