A film by Rémy Masséglia - 18 minutes
“The Marvels of Clarence Bicknell” is a short documentary, or biopic; the true story of Clarence Bicknell. He was born in 1842 in Herne Hill near London and died in 1918 in his summer house in Casterino, in the mountains near Tende. He left the church when he was 35 years old to become an out-of-the-ordinary botanist, artist, archaeologist, Esperantist and idealist in Bordighera on the Italian Riviera.
The 18 minute film, available with French, Italian, Esperanto and English soundtracks, shows Bicknell and his work in spectacular images of the landscape, the flora and his paintings. It is intended to be a pilot for a full-length documentary by an established TV broadcaster or production company and to be available to museums, interest groups and on the internet. Find the internet links on the home page of clarencebicknell.com .
Who originated the film?
Marcus Bicknell, a great grand-nephew of Bicknell, is the producer of the film and has commissioned the director and managed the concept, script, casting and finance. Susie his wife is assistant producer, costumes, continuity, note-taker and eye-on-the-ball expert. Marcus and his wife Susie have been students of Clarence Bicknell since the 1980s and look after much of the family collection of botanical water-colours, letters, books and illustrated albums. They also help run the international Clarence Bicknell Association and its team of researchers.
Who directed the film?
Marcus and Susie Bicknell met Rémy Masséglia in 2012 with the Countess Roberta d'Alberti who had engaged him on her putative "Wild Flowers" art-classes-to-perfume-company initiative. Rémy in the meantime has been forging a reputation for visually-exciting short videos on high mountain biking, dance, comic theatre and education. Rémy is based in Breil-sur-Roya, a village in the steep valley of the Roya river which runs from our French sites (Casterino and Val Fontanalba) to our Italian one (Bordighera). He knows well the Val Fontanalba, the adjoining Vallée des Merveilles where Bicknell also discovered thousands of pre-historic Rock engravings, the flora and fauna of the area, the park authorities and most of the locals. Rémy is director of the film but acts also as creative director, screen play editor and camera man.
Who plays the role of Clarence Bicknell in the film?
Marcus's cousin Renchi Bicknell plays the role of Clarence Bicknell. Renchi is a creative, spiritual and mild-spoken soul who not only looks like Clarence but has similar interests and instincts. Renchi painted a series of 365 pictures of flocking starlings on the marches of Glastonbury, one a day every day for a year, and a cycle of text and drawings of his circumnavigation of London's rural ring road, the M25. He has limited experience of acting but assimilates with Clarence so much that by taking on the role of Clarence in his mind he finds he can act the part convincingly. Six weeks earlier, he worked with Marcus on a day's filming in the Shropshire village of Stoke-upon-Tern where he was a priest in a high-Anglican-church sect the Societa Sancti Spiritus before coming to Italy; the experience guides Renchi in the Clarence role and highlights how effective the portrayal is even if Renchi is not speaking to camera.
Contact the producers at clarencebicknell.com - clarencebicknell.com