Friday, January 7, 2011
FACE TO FACE WITH INSPIRATION
Many of us have had experiences in which films move us emotionally, so much so that we leave the theater as if we had been actively involved in our own personal two hour story and not sitting passively in a darkened theater for that time. Even fewer of us have had experiences were walk out of the theater a different person than when we had walked in, literally changed by a story that we identified with so immediately and deeply that it's as if the film was a transformative ball of energy, pulling us through whatever psychologically damaged state we are in at the moment due to life's random unfair acts. Even fewer still are the ones lucky enough to meet the source of those life-altering experiences. What would you do if you met a person who was directly responsible for getting you through the single worst moment of your life? What would you say? Would you even have the guts to say anything at all?
My friend Katie was lucky enough to have such an encounter. She recently attended a screening of Darren Aronofky's The Wrestler, with the director in attendance. This was a particularly exciting evening for her because, you see, Aronofsky is Katie's favorite filmmaker, responsible for her favorite movie - his 2006 masterpiece The Fountain. While the Q & A with the director was a thrill in and of itself, what happened after the event was even more special for my friend.
Katie has a blog titled "A Spoonful O'ISMS", and she has written about her experience there, and since she's a much better writer and storyteller than I am, I'll refer you there to get the rest what happened. I pass it along to you because I think it's an inspiring reminder that not only can a film be a profoundly moving and life-affecting experience but that, should we get the chance, we also need to express our thanks to those who have provoked us to have these experiences. Filmmakers are paying attention, and they (well, not all, but the good ones) make movies in the hopes of getting reactions from people like myself, my friend, and you.
Katie got a chance that most people will never get, and my first reaction was that of jealousy. (I, too, am a huge Darren Aronofsky fan). After reading her blog, though, that jealous turned into happiness - I was happy not only that she got to experience such a wonderful moment, however fleeting, but I was also happy to be reminded of why I love film and the reason I spend so much time thinking about it, watching it, talking about it, and writing about it. (Okay, writing about it MUCH LESS than thinking, watching, or talking about it.)
So take a few minutes and read Katie's blog post "Perpetually Having a Moment", and then think about what film has helped you through your own personal moment, and what you would say to the person who created it.