For the Moment is a 1993 film written and directed by Aaron Kim Johnston and starring Russell Crowe and Christianne Hirt. The plot revolves around airmen training in rural Manitoba, Canada, with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The main focus of the story is the wartime romance between Russell Crowe’s character and a local girl.
Johnson was inspired to write the screenplay based on the stories of his father who was an instructor and bomber pilot in the war, and his mother’s experiences as a young woman on the home front.
With principal photography taking place over August–September 1992, one of the first jobs for the production was to scout possible locations. The film was shot at former Royal Canadian Air Force stations in Manitoba used during the War, including Brandon Airport and Rivers itself.
Although there isn’t much flying in the movie, it gives a good sense of the locations. It’s possible to watch clips and match them against images from the bases. The brightly painted barracks at Rivers still feature on the town’s website. It probably falls under the category of a ‘romance’ more than anything else, but the beautiful scenery and the yellow Harvards and Ansons offer an emotive glimpse into Earle’s world.
Watch the trailer.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I have trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr
John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) was an American aviator and poet during World War II. He was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States officially entered the war. He is most famous for his poem “High Flight”.
Magee enclosed the poem on the back of a letter to his parents.
Magee was killed at the age of 19, while flying Spitfire VZ-H, serial number AD-291.
Part of the official letter to his parents read: “Your son’s funeral took place at Scopwick Cemetery, near Digby Aerodrome, at 2:30 P.M. on Saturday, 13 December 1941, the service being conducted by Flight Lieutenant S. K. Belton, the Canadian padre of this Station. He was accorded full Service Honours, the coffin being carried by pilots of his own Squadron.”