Pachyderm Love

How many filmmakers come from a background as a game warden in an African national park as well as being a passionate advocate for wildlife protection? Simon Trevor is a unique case. After moving from England to Africa with his family in 1946, he got the filmmaking bug at 15 when he received his first 8mm film camera. After leaving his position as game warden at the Tsavo National Park in 1959, he focused solely on filmmaking that raised awareness of the plight facing Africa’s wildlife, especially elephants. He worked as cinematographer for the popular BBC series On Safari (1957-1965) featuring Armand and Michaela Denis, pioneers in the field of wildlife television documentation, and later assisted Sydney Pollack and Michael Apted as a second unit cameraman on their films Out of Africa (1985) and Gorillas in the Mist (1988). Trevor’s own work is not as well known but deserves to be and a good place to start is his 1971 debut documentary The African Elephant, which was retitled King Elephant in some markets. 

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Kiddie Matinees That Weren’t for Kids

Back in the fifties and sixties it wasn’t uncommon for neighborhood theatres – at least in the South – to run a series of kiddie matinees on Saturday mornings, usually during the early part of summer when school ended. The neighborhood kids would pile into a car and some parent would drop them off at the theatre and come pick them up two hours later, after which you’d go to the pool or play softball or hang out at a friend’s house. Some of my earliest movie memories are from this time. Of course, the ones that really stand out are the ones that weren’t actually for kiddies.    

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