it should have been too difficult to watch.
but it was mesmerizing.
the long shots of wide open spaces where there’s nothing to do, – then cut, devastatingly to close ups where there’s just too much to say but no words can possibly express what needs to be said…..
it always feel such an honor/honour/treat to see an arthouse film at the film forum and then stay for the Q & A with the director, star and crew
…..as we said to K_oC earlier this evening as twilight crept over chelsea’s rooftops
“isn’t this what people do in manhattan on a friday night in sweltering 80-degree heat? an arthouse movie with a Q&A with the director?”
“indeed it is”
and so that’s what we did.
we walked through the meatpacking district, downtown towards houston st and took a right turn, just after the deli that sells two dozen roses for ten bucks (and they throw in that strange flower-food that looks like powdered sugar with a sprinkle of epsom salts)……..
the line outside snaked down past the metal shutters on the garage, almost as far as the beauty school on the corner of Varick (opposite – shudder – the immigration department and the corner stores promising “passport photos” as if one would forget to have a whole stack of them ready before one’s interview with the immigration department)
we watched the film in quiet trepidation.
we knew the story a little from the poster.
a rock star (or failed rock star) – down on his luck – returns – to where – a somewhere-that’s-kinda-nowhere – and suddenly finds a need to see his five year old daughter – yes, there’s drinking and acting up/out and painful phone calls and driving-driving-aimlessly-driving-somewhere/anywhere – you can’t out-run certain feelings/actions/your-history – and then the meeting with her, the daughter, who, of course, is older than her years, and steady in her gaze and quietly disquieting.
we stayed for the Q&A after – which, being at the film forum, was full of Interesting Questions and the star, Paul Dano, was suitably thoughtful and discerning and humble and the director, So Yong Kim, was assertive and wonderful and full of clarity and then came the ultimate question:
Q. Why did you write this story?
A. Because the story of a stranger showing up and saying “I’m your father” was my story and I wanted to tell it.
we shrunk back a little in our seat at that point.
we almost wanted to ask our own question:
Q. Was it cathartic to write it and direct it and see it on screen rendered so bleak and beautiful and damaged and deep?
but we didn’t ask the question because it was Time to Go (it was late – even for a friday night hip crowd in downtown manhattan)
we really wanted to ask the question because – and this is not something we’d usually address in teamgloria – we really wanted to know if writing and directing it and seeing it was cathartic because – well, because –
it’s our story too.