Mr. Happy Man

Matt Morris, an award-winning filmmaker living in Winter Park, Florida, came across Johnny Barnes in the same way he has discovered all of his film subjects — by complete accident. One day, while flipping through images on Flickr, Morris stumbled upon a tourist’s photo of the 88-year-old Bermudian. He then read the caption attached to the photo and knew he had to make a film about Barnes. “Aside from the fact that I tend to make films about elderly folks,” Morris told us, “I’m fascinated with people who have chosen unique ways of living their lives and as a result are irrepressibly happy.” “I want to make films about them in part so that I can learn from them.” And so, Matt headed to Bermuda to capture “Mr. Happy Man” working his magic on Crow Lane each day.

In December, we featured a 2008 film by Mr. Morris — Pickin’ & Trimmin’, an elegant documentary that showcases the bluegrass music made in a down-home North Carolina barbershop. It’s not to be missed. Morris’ next film, Mark & Lorna, will take as its subject a lounge singing duo based out of Orlando, Florida.

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