Lost in the Shuffle is the temporary title of the upcoming documentary film about playing bridge. Here’s my pitch for including segments in that ACBL-sponsored film, on the world of golf and bridge and selected British accents. All three–golf, bridge, Britain–are essential to the misty Retro nostalgia for the ghost of “bridge past” the film needs to evoke to contrast with “bridge present. ” And then, of course, offer a vision for a “bridge future” to seek.
I have blogged before (#34) about the symbiotic relationship between playing bridge and playing golf. Then it was to urge ACBL’s marketing department to form a relationship with the country clubs of America to target young golfers to take up bridge–as their parents used to do. Read–or re-read–David Owen’s article, “Golf and the Second Greatest Game.” Premise? Bridge is just indoor golf. Here’s the source:
Then read another David Owen article from 2007 in the New Yorker , “Turning Tricks”– in which he writes so well about the history and decline of bridge. But as he points out therein despite the upper class origins of the game, it was at one point a populist passion in America–“Bridge, despite its rarefied pedigree was an ideal populist pastime for the Depression and the war years.”
We just had a depression but I don’t remember seeing even one lifestyle article connecting 2008 to 1929 vis a vis bridge even though one of the financial executives involved in that 2008 disaster (Cayne seems to me was the name) was actually playing bridge when his company collapsed. That’s what marketing departments are supposed to do–grab any excuse for a tie-in and get some free newspaper publicity. Would have made an ideal lifestyle article for the Wall Street Journal.
To include that British accent and bridge pedigree in the film, no better candidate than Alexander McCall Smith to narrate or provide a script or just to converse with. He’s the author of one of the best articles for a general literate audience about bridge I’ve ever read. And he knows how to get into the hugely influential lifestyle articles of major newspapers–his article was published in the Wall Street Journal–and to tell stories. Smith is an international publishing phenomenon, writing five — five!–ongoing mystery series with different settings that are wildly popular. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704500604574483341946253958.html
Both David Owen and Alexander McCall Smith are what I call “lovely” writers. Surely they must be equally entertaining to talk to. Ideally, both of them would suggest film footage of country clubs and British locations to tell their stories in Lost in the Shuffle, but just a well put-together set of conversations would do if film footage is not possible.