James Pond, founder and editor of PROGRAM MAGAZINE, the “bible” of the illustrated lecture world, wrote a special editorial after seeing Line’s color motion picture, SHEEP, STARS, AND SOLITUDE, the basis for this book.
We Bow to Line
If PROGRAM had Hollywood Oscars to hand out, it would
give an award to Francis R. Line for his motion picture epic, “Sheep, Stars, and Solitude.” Forgive the use of the adjective “epic.” But this is an epic in every sense of the word. Not only would PROGRAM make this award, so would his fellow lecturers in the motion-picture field. When Francis Line was recently in New York his conferes went from one lecture of his to another, to drink in while they could the fragile quality of this film of loveliness. They talked about it for days after Line had gone, trying to analyze why this film was in a class by itself. They analyzed it to the nth degree, and then finally concluded that it was great because it had an idea. One might almost say a soul.
What is it about? Just what the title says. Sheep, Stars, and Solitude. It is the story in moving color of the migration of herds of sheep from the desert regions of Arizona, where summer heat would be unendurable, to cool mountain regions where lush meadows await them.
But what an ordeal for the sheep. And their patient shepherds who must walk with them. The trek takes forty days and forty nights, which reminds us of another Shepherd and an agony of forty days. The sheep must cross waterless desert areas, climb almost impassable mountains, break trail through trackless scrub and brush. Their feet get injured. Their souls grow weary. But the shepherds nurse them along.
Francis Line’s filming of the journey is perfection. Every inch is beauty. Every foot carries a heart-beat. With a dash of welcome humor.
Pictures like this restore the soul. No praise too high, no award too great, for the man who has produced this, the perfect film.