SUSANNAH PATRICE MORSE




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A study of the creative process of Susan Cooper, author of the award-winning fantasy sequence The Dark Is Rising. Named for the ancient word of magic and learning central to her books, Gramarye projects the path of Cooper's literary imagination, from idea to printed word, across the haunted landscapes, legends and histories of Britain. Highly experimental in form and filmed on a 16mm Bolex, the film unfolds in intuitive layers of sound and image as a vision of the artistic process itself, an impressionistic response to one of the most frequent questions an author receives: "Where do your ideas come from?"



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From my winter studio, a peek at the opening snows of Gramarye and the forest where The Dark Is Rising began. Like any imaginative journey, it unfolds in its own time . . . So dim the lights, take a breath, and follow Susan Cooper through the trees:

"One snowy day I was cross-country skiing with my husband in Massachusetts, where we live. . . . tramping along in silence, looking at the snowdrifts, seeing small trees sticking up out of the snow and thinking they looked like the antlers of deerand then for no good reason at all, I suddenly knew that I was going to write a book, set for the most part in thick snow like this, about a small boy who woke up one birthday morning and found he was able to work magic." Susan Cooper, "Seeing Around Corners" (Newbery Acceptance Speech), 1976