Film: Milton Raposo’s “Frozen Music” and “Fabric”


Jessie Moniz Hardy (The Royal Gazette) writes about Bermudan filmmaker Milton Raposo and his new short film Frozen Music—on the once popular nightclub Clayhouse Inn—which will be screened next week, along with clips from Fabric, an “ongoing labor of love” about the history of the Bermuda’s Portuguese heritage.

A collapsing stage, an old cigarette machine and a few bits of rotting furniture were mostly all that was left inside the old Clayhouse Inn. None of it fazed filmmaker Milton Raposo. The music lover thought the once popular nightclub was the perfect subject for a documentary. It had been sitting derelict since a fire in 2002, but was once the hub of the Bermuda music scene.

“With permission from the building owners, I went there to make a short film, Frozen Music,” he said. “They did warn me to be careful. When I went there, I thought, if only these walls could talk. “Stevie Wonder played there, so did Gladys Knight and a lot of other famous people.” The North Shore, Devonshire club was a great social equaliser over the decades it was in operation, he added.

“You could have the governor and an electrician sitting together to watch a performance. Music is that thing that crosses all kinds of boundaries.”

[. . .] The public will get the chance to sample Frozen Music and snippets from some of Mr Raposo’s other films as part of the Historical Heartbeats Lecture Series next week.

[. . .] Mr Raposo will also show part of Fabric, his documentary on the history of Portuguese people here, at Tuesday’s lecture in St George’s. He’s been working on the film for five years. “Recently, I’ve gone back to working on Fabric. To be honest, I’ve had a hard time finding experts to talk about Portuguese history.” But he said he had the attention of the Portuguese government.

[. . .] Mr Raposo’s parents immigrated from the Azores in the 1960s. While his family were always proud of their heritage, he didn’t really grow up knowing much about Portugal. “I used to think all the Portuguese did was farm,” he said. “When I got older, I started to wonder what the Portuguese did before they came to Bermuda. What is my history? “When I started making this film I decided to go right back to the Middle Ages. I’m surprised at how much we have done as a people. For instance, I didn’t know that the Portuguese empire was one of the longest existing in Europe. That really surprised me.”

He said in days gone by many people of Portuguese heritage in Bermuda were ashamed of their background, but that’s changing. “Nowadays younger people fly the flag so much it’s almost in your face. Not that there is anything wrong with that, they are just very in tune with the fact that they are Portuguese.” [. . .]

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