JAWS, Lifeboat, Titanic, A Night To Remember, The Hunt For Red October, The Old Man and the Sea, Treasure Island, The Abyss, Mutiny On The Bounty (1935 and 1962), Crimson Tide, Pirates of the Caribbean, Captains Courageous, Moby Dick, Swiss Family Robinson, Open Water, The Perfect Storm, The Deep, All Is Lost, Shipwrecked, Cast Away, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. . .
I l-o-v-e movies with great chase scenes. In The French Connection, the chase is between a cop in a car and a thug on a train. In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it's men, horses, trains, and the wide open west. In A View to a Kill and North By Northwest, the characters chase each other on famous landmarks, and also in North by Northwest, a plane chases a man just to keep things interesting. No talk of chase scenes would be complete without mention of Bullitt, where no matter how cool the car or the cop is, they are no match for San Francisco which presents its own twisty challenges. But when a chase scene takes place on the sea, the tension is immense because of the added unpredictable element of water. Not too many places to hide out there and you can't go that fast, particularly if you're under sail. It's one big chase scene - no matter if a ship is powered by oars, steam or nuclear engines. The chase begins once the character goes aboard, whether that chase is for a fish, a jewel, an enemy, a true love, a way back home, or a better life.
So what has this to do with quilting? This is Oscar season and I've taken to re-watching several of my favorite movies while doing some serious morning, afternoon and evening quilting, while a ridiculous amount of snow falls. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) is a breathtaking movie and one of my personal top ten. It's a chase between the HMS Surprise of the British Royal Navy and the Acheron, a French warship. From what I understand, this is a fairly accurate description of British navy life around 1805. To think that boys as young as 13 sailed on these ships as part of their military education is beyond me. Thankfully, we now have high school.
While the movie has several scenes deserving of in-depth analysis, there is one which has always stayed with me. The crew has had a rough time passing through the 'roaring forties' of the Atlantic Ocean. The 'forties' refer to the latitude where east and west air currents meet, making for a wicked, constant wind and it's usually freezing. The seas are so rough that some of the men wish for it all to end permanently rather than continue the voyage. When they realize they have made it through safely, indicated by a beam that switches direction in the captain's dining room, everybody celebrates wildly and rightfully so. Of course, few of them can actually stand up, but being in the Royal Navy, they rally.
When I made it to the half-way point of my quilt, when I switched my own direction, I didn't exactly celebrate with a swig of rum and start singing shanties. Next time I just might. I made some tea and yahooed quietly. I made it to the far side of the frame.
I know - it's a stretch. It's my personal daily chase scene, just me and my trusty needle and thread, skimming across the cotton landscape.