Ok. I decided in a previous post, that I would try and make sense of the “bird” which appears within the “gospel of us”. My reasons for this are explained in that post.
My first step was to engage with the author of the piece “Owen Sheers”, who fully indulged my inquisitive concerns and who was also confused about the bird and confirmed that it was not part of the original script. He felt I should address this with the filmmaker
Armed with that I felt I needed to formulate the correct question so I might get the right answer. He was very helpful and did respond:
@DaveMcKean: @notonlyforgirls See(d) planted by Strangers story,he looks like a blackbird in his raggedy black coat,liked jackdaw image-collecting followers
The (d) is added by me in retrospect based on the context of the answer. However I thought he was referring to another text “planted by strangers” so, unable to locate this I asked again…
The reply came:
@DaveMcKean: @notonlyforgirls Stranger told a story on the day involving meeting blackbird made of nothing. Everything I added originated in the play.
This was clearly the opposite of what Owen thought was the situation and a further discussion with him led him to suggest that the bird did not fit with the overall metaphoric coherence of the play.
I then wrote a very long post – see “avian ambiguity” below, as 140 character tweets were clearly inadequate for my questions. I then put this back to both Owen and Dave and the response from both was that it seemed to be all very reasonable:
@DaveMcKean: @notonlyforgirls Read blog, all fine by me. I liked the connection between Michael listening to the birds, the first time he truly LISTENS,and then becoming a bird (jackdaw) collecting his followers in the Strangers story. He and the Stranger share identities
Owen doesn’t feel it came from the play, because Stranger (Nigel) improv’d his story and Michael improv’d his found footage.
This does explain the origins of the story and I think that I was right in some of my assertions in my previous post ( a story picked up by Dave on the day ). However, I am now going to have to make sure I get the DVD so I can listen to the directors commentary! I would love to engage with the stranger and ask him why he felt it was something he needed to bring to the piece !