The film world has seen its share of golf movies come and go: Tin Cup, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Greatest Game Ever Played, A Gentleman’s Game, and Martin and Lewis’ The Caddy (1953) might be some recognizable titles. And no, we’re not forgetting the ever-quoted Caddyshack (I & II) and Happy Gilmore. Take the time to do a quick search and you’ll find many more out there, including some how-to documentaries and raunchier fare making obvious and unfortunate use of ‘balls’ and ‘tees.’
A new independent film — Golf in the Kingdom — exploring the philosophy and spirituality of the sport, has been adapted for the screen from Humanist Michael Murphy‘s (founder of the Esalen Institute and father of the Human Potential Movement) renowned 1971 novel of the same name. Golf in the Kingdom premieres this Friday, July 29, in New York City with nationwide release set for the fall. The film caught our attention a few months ago as we started publicizing our Lowell screening of Touch the Sound, which showcased the inspiring percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, an award winning musician and motivational speaker who is profoundly deaf. We’re so pleased to announce that amidst her many other projects, Ms. Glennie has composed Golf in the Kingdom‘s original score alongside Ian Dean. We may not be golf fans, but this nugget alone will lure us into the theater.
But for those who ARE fans of the game, the release of this independent film will be welcome news. Golf in the Kingdom prides itself on being created in the true spirit of the independent film, with 100% backing from private investors, a shoestring budget, and a grassroots self-distribution plan. But it’s Murphy’s best-selling novel on the Human Potential, still considered a golfer’s literary companion and cult classic, that inspired the filmmakers and remarkable cast (including David O’Hara, Julian Sands, Malcolm McDowell, Frances Fisher, and Joanne Whalley) to come together and honor a book that explores the human condition by following the spiritual journey of a young golf player based on Michael Murphy himself. Have we teased you enough? Penguin Books, the publisher of “Golf in the Kingdom,” sure hopes so. They’ve already re-released the novel with a new forward, new artwork, and if all goes well, a new boost in sales. Three cheers for summer reading time!
We hope you’ll keep tabs on this seemingly remarkable indie film as the months tick by. As for the LFC, our recent brush with the illustrious Malcolm McDowell at the Maine International Film Festival, AND Suzz’s 2010 up-close-and-personal convo with her 80’s heart-throb Julian Sands, are two more reasons for us to give Golf and the Kingdom a good swing.