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REDBURN From Man to Boy – His First Voyage – A Filmscript 1. The Secret Melville

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It is the summer of 1839. A 19-year-old boy sets out to be a man. He chooses the sea, or it chooses him, because it is a place where men who love as he does can escape society's pronouncements upon them. The boy unknowingly begins a classic hero's journey of self-discovery – travels 'there,' discovers his task is a deeply personal one, then returns 'home' to find home is not where he wants to be anymore.

Copyright © 2017 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.

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A filmscript needs a bit of getting used to, but once you do it's fun
.
With a mixture of adventure and sensualism -that had to be hidden in Melville's time- we see Redburn grow from a young man with rather romantic expectations into a young man with some life experience.

 

On his voyage he interacts with the people around him and in his open and still somewhat naive outlook learns about life.
The Greenlander seems to see him as his "chicken", but Redburn misses yet the ability to see through that, and thus hurts the Greenlander without intending to do so. Lavender seems like a friend but is not squaemish and does lend others his services as well. Jackson, who dislikes Redburn from the beginning, but also turns out to have a problem with the covert man-to-man relations he sees around him. In the challenge between the dark Jackson and the light Redburn, Jackson looses and pays with his lfe. Harry, who seems such a good friend in the beginning, betrays Redburn as well.

 

So when Redburn returns home he has not found what he was looking for, but has a lot more experience.

 

The vivid descriptions needed in a filmscript make, that while reading you tend to visualize more than with a "normal"story. Very well done and I'd like to see the movie ... as I think Melville would have liked to as well.

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On 08/31/2015 03:12 AM, J.HunterDunn said:

A filmscript needs a bit of getting used to, but once you do it's fun

.

With a mixture of adventure and sensualism -that had to be hidden in Melville's time- we see Redburn grow from a young man with rather romantic expectations into a young man with some life experience.

 

On his voyage he interacts with the people around him and in his open and still somewhat naive outlook learns about life.

The Greenlander seems to see him as his "chicken", but Redburn misses yet the ability to see through that, and thus hurts the Greenlander without intending to do so. Lavender seems like a friend but is not squaemish and does lend others his services as well. Jackson, who dislikes Redburn from the beginning, but also turns out to have a problem with the covert man-to-man relations he sees around him. In the challenge between the dark Jackson and the light Redburn, Jackson looses and pays with his lfe. Harry, who seems such a good friend in the beginning, betrays Redburn as well.

 

So when Redburn returns home he has not found what he was looking for, but has a lot more experience.

 

The vivid descriptions needed in a filmscript make, that while reading you tend to visualize more than with a "normal"story. Very well done and I'd like to see the movie ... as I think Melville would have liked to as well.

YEY! A new review; I can't tell you how happy that makes me! I'm simple folks, after all :D

 

You first start off with comments that this 'stuff' had to be hidden in Melville's time, but the truth is much more interesting. For the initiated Gay man of the time, the signs were all there to read without any problems. Even without knowing these, Melville was nearly as open about men-loving-men as I am in these screenplays. I know that may seem hard to believe, but remember, our author writing in the 1840s and '50s did not have to deal with any form of the criminalization of love between men. Tragically for both Gay men and women, that would all change horribly by the end of that century.

 

Take this book for example, almost no one could misconstrue what Harry Bolton's profession is, nor fail to understand his dealings with 'Lord Lovely' – they even meet at The Exchange, one England's best-recognized cruising grounds. In the same token, the song lyrics where the young man is saying that older men want to share his room, his bed and the night with him are verbatim from the book. The open, unaffected references to Blunt loving his shipmate who was killed in battle, and his tribute to that love by wearing the older man's clothes (even though they are too big for him) is also straight from the book. These are only three of many more examples.

 

With my task, I got lucky in the extreme. Redburn was the novel composed immediately before Moby-Dick, is one of Melville's finest. The musings on God speaking an evil, and an evil being done seems to be the immediate spark of the whaling adventure that followed, as the bible passage deals with Ahab, the king who lost favor with God.

 

In addition, Jackson is one of the rare Melvillian evil characters who is both understandable and purely bad. (Most of his villains, like Bembo from Omoo, are understandable and tragic – the reader is supposed to be able to forgive their actions through empathy.) There is no redemption for Jackson, after all, it is Jackson who throws himself from the ship, but we as readers (or as film watchers) are initiated enough to know that the rejection of salvation is totally his choice. And there we go; the main theme of Moby-Dick is also revealed in this book!

 

So thank you for making my day, and for 'getting it.' At the heart of The Secret Melville series is my tribute to that amazing man, sailor, and author who lived in vibrant world of adventure and sensualism. He was also fearless in the glorification of same-sex love.

 

Bravo to you!

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