‘Atlantic’ Spotlights ‘Mr. Happy Man’

February 26, 2012

The film “Mr. Happy Man” — the story of 88-year-old Johnny Barnes, who spends each morning wishing Bermuda’s commuters well — is spotlighted at “The Atlantic” magazine’s on-line site along with its director Matt Morris.

The magazine’s film critic Jason Sondhi selected “Mr. Happy Man” as his “Short of the Week”, saying: “What’s fascinating about the film to me is that the narrative arc occurred within myself rather than within the film … through the sheer relentless optimism and good-feeling this film exudes, my cynicism fades, until I feel like I genuinely care about Johnny and his wellbeing like everyone else in Bermuda.”

Since been posted online earlier this month, “Mr. Happy Man” has drawn more than 100,000 viewers.

In a brief interview with “The Atlantic”, Mr. Morris said he stumbled upon Mr. Barnes’ story while browsing the photo sharing website Flickr.

“I came across a photo someone had taken of Johnny while on vacation in Bermuda and the caption underneath the photo explained his morning ritual of waving and blowing kisses to people, shouting ‘Good morning!’ and ‘I love you!’ and I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Once I found out how dedicated he was to this pursuit of sharing love and happiness, I knew I had to make a film about him.

“Johnny is turning 89 this summer and he’s as healthy as ever, still to be found every morning at Crow Lane from four to ten a.m

“I call him on the phone every now and again to chat about his mornings at the roundabout and get news on how his garden is growing! I’ve got a Facebook page that I like to keep updated with my conversations with Johnny.”

The film won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the AFI/Discovery Silverdocs, the Best Documentary Short Film at the Sidewalk Motion Picture Festival, an Honorable Mention at the Nashville Film Festival, and an Ideal Award at the Adventure Film Festival.

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  1. FREDDY G says:

    LOVE YOU TOO MR. BARNES !