There has probably never been a more beautiful or more sublime 2.5 minutes on dog sledding than this wonderful film, titled ‘PULL.’
It is said that the mark of a true artist is the ability to communicate a message with the least amount of words or images. Goh Iromoto is a true artist.
In two minutes and thirty seconds he captures the essence, the spirit, of one man’s humble and insightful philosophy of life in the far north, life with his dogs, life with the natural world around him.
Burton Penner is the man who knows every one of his 43 dogs as only a man who loves and relies on his animals can. Penner is a guide, musher, trapper and accomplished artist who lives in one of those iconic log cabins in northern Ontario.
Penner’s thoughtful comments during the film reveal a man who sees with more than his eyes.
About his subject, Iromoto said, “You get a sense of him from the film, but he’s a very talented artist (painter) as well, and there was something about his way of life that seemed to fit the romantic ideal of living in the wild north.”
When asked, “Was there anything you couldn’t include in the film that you’ll continue to hold close to your memory?” Iromoto replied,
I do wish I was able to include elements from this one night with him. But I suppose I can always tell the story of how he had us help feed the 16 or more dogs we had with us. He cooked a stew over the wood-burning stove and I remember him filling it with a mix of things including frozen beaver meat that he had caught earlier in the year (it’s apparently great for the dogs’ energy and fur). I remember the dogs getting really excited at mealtime. Afterwards, we went around laying handfuls of hay on the snow for them to lie on. As we all fell asleep, you could occasionally hear the bark or howl of the dogs in the silent wintery night.
The film is good enough that even though Iromoto did not include that particular scene, we can imagine scenes just like it. That’s where the artist in Iromoto comes in, inviting us to fill in the spaces with our imaginations, using what he’s given us on the screen.
“PULL” has won several awards, including 2015 Best Video Category PDN Photo Annual Award, the 2015 Best Motion (Single) Applied Arts Photography & Illustration Award, and a Silver Medal in the 2015 Summit Creative Award Travel/Tourism/Nature Video Category.
If you have not yet seen Iromoto’s other brilliant wilderness film, “We Belong To It,” that we recently shared, you really must give it a viewing: Profound New Wilderness Film ‘We Belong To It’ is a Hit. It is quite outstanding.