Saturday, January 30, 2010


Windrider Forum this morning was buzzing with excitement when we welcomed Mark Ruffalo [director and supporting character: Father Joe] and Christopher Thornton [screenwriter/main character: Dean] to discuss their film Sympathy for Delicious. I hadn’t seen their film up until this point so I was really interested to hear about it before seeing it. The general consensus was that it was very well done and with a great story line. Since I had no idea really what the film was about or experienced it for myself I couldn’t connect with what everyone was saying at the forum. But there were a few quotes that were said that really stuck out to me:

“The ‘F’ word right next to a healing [service], I loved that!” ~Craig Detweiller [CD, our prof. describing the film’s two extremes of secular and religious]

“….from the sacred to the profane.” ~Mark Ruffalo [MR]

“Faith is believing in something for the sake of believing it.” ~MR

“[this film] grew out of the worst part of our lives.” ~Christopher Thornton [CT]

“[the film] doesn’t question the miraculous but rather the motives behind it.” ~CD

“[talking about the ending of the film] The garment was my idea, the water was Mark’s and the wind was God.” ~CT

This last quote was really cool to hear from a filmmaker who necessarily wasn’t spiritual at all even and yet he still acknowledged that there is something bigger then himself controlling the elements.

The quote from CT about how the film came from the “worst part of our [CT’s and MR’s] lives” was such a heavy and personal story and I was honored/blessed that they were able and willing to share it with us. At twenty-five CT was in a rock-climbing accident and ended up paralyzed and in a wheelchair, MR had brain cancer and over came it and then his brother was shot in the head in Beverly Hills in December of ’08 one month before they started shooting Sympathy for Delicious. And from these experiences CT wrote this amazing film and MR brought so much depth to his character and others. [more about the movie later on]

They could only stay for forty minutes since of time crunch im assuming for interviews or more screenings. But the thing that really impressed me was how kind and genuine they were. They actually were humans and not movie stars if you know what I mean.

So once they left class resumed as normal. To be honest – a lot of the times I either don’t get half of what CD is saying cause he uses really did theological words or its just not really interesting. BUT today I figured out why I couldn’t explain why I liked and felt connected to Obselidia or more like I found an explanation for it with this definition given by Peter Rollins in his book The Fidelity of Betrayals: epistemological incomprehension – not knowing why something affects oneself. So when I watched Obselidia is had an epistemological incomprehension =]

“Instead of being limited by the poverty of absence we are short-circuited by the excess of presence [of God].” ~Peter Rollin [out of his book How (Not) to Speak of God]

So there was a film I wanted to see real bad called Skateland but ended up not being scheduled for it since we only got two tickets. Well, at the screening of Life2.0 last night Alex was sitting next to a lady named Sherry who had heard of Taylor and wanted to sell two tickets to Skateland. A received a mass text and responded immediately saying how I really wanted them. So Alex got Sherry’s number and gave it to me so we could meet up today and I could buy them from her. So I gave her a ring and we decided to meet up at 130 at a café on main street. Of course, me with my crappy memory, forgot what café it was so I called her again asking for the name. We end up finding out that we are going to the same movie 3 Backyards so we decided to meet up in the lines. Well we found each other but then I lost her when she went into the theatre since she went before me. Funny thing is I called her to see where she was and she was sitting two seats down from me. Anyways – I bought the two tickets for tomorrow at midnight and we then got into a great conversation about the films we have seen etc. She would be a kick butt grandma.

Due to having 3 Backyards at 1115 me and a few other left class early to arrive at time to get good seats. It was the only movie so far that I wished to have back that time. I rather have taken a nap. It was three separate stories about people in a suburban neighborhood and how they never intersect with one another. To me, the film had no point and went nowhere. That is until the director explained it in the Q&A. A film needs to be able to stand by itself without any explanation to be understood. The director said that it was all about connections within each of the individuals’ story. Even after his explanation I couldn’t completely see where he was coming from. The other thing that was distracting was the soundtrack. It didn’t fit what was being shown on the screen. For example: the intro was showing all things nature like flowers, bees, and sunshine but the music was setting a different mood sounding more on the dramatic/eerie side which would seem to be the opposite of what was trying to be portrayed. I think the only redeeming quality in this film was that it had Kathryn Erbe from Law&Order: Criminal Intent as one of the main characters.

A small lunch stop came next on main street with Brent before our next film A Film Unfinished in the Egyptian theatre! This was the film that I put as number one when we had to rate our top documentaries that we wanted to see. Its about a Nazi propaganda film on the Warsaw Ghetto that was discovered and this director showed the majority of the film and then interviewed one of the men who actually took the footage and also showed the propaganda film to Warsaw ghetto survivors. The reason I wanted to see this so badly was because I did a yearlong project on the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and ever since have been interested in the subject. Sadly I dozed on and off for the first half of the film because I was so tired but then I ate something and was awake for the rest of it [the power of food is a mystery]. The film was very disturbing. You saw actual footage of mass graves and people starving to death, only skin and bones. The most disturbing part for me was seeing a body fall off a cart. The body was so flimsy and frail that it looked so grotesque and unnatural [as it should look]. The other part was when Jewish workers were burying the dead in mass graves and to get them in the grave they would literally throw them down a wooden slide. The interview with the man who took the footage was really well done. Mostly close ups with brilliant lighting which made him look a bit sinister and yet regretful or sad at the same time. You could really tell that this man regretted what he had done even though he didn’t know what he was filming it for. The narrative voices were phenomenal too. Different voices for the different diary entries and then the director narrated all the other material. One quote that really hit hard was said by a woman who had survived the ghetto and was watching the propaganda footage, she said as she covered her face and began to weep, “Im human again. Im not immune anymore. In thankful I can cry again.”

After A Film Unfinished we decided to go wait-listing for Sympathy for Delicious since it had such good reviews from many people plus it just looked like a great story. So me and brent met alex klaver and josh at the raquet theatre where it was being screened to get in line for wait list numbers. Alex and klaver were there before us and got numbers 4/5 while me and brent got 14/15. Josh came a bit later and got a number somewhere in the mid twenties. Since we had an hour and a half to kill we went to starbucks and quiznos to grab a bite to eat or for me I just got a coffee. Got back in line with forty minutes to spare. Ale and klaver actually bought tickets off someone so they gave us their numbers and we gave our numbers to some people behind us. We were praying and hoping that there would be some seats open….at least five so we could get in and justify the waiting around for three hours. Thankfully we did get in and the film was fantastic. One of my top five for sure.

Sympathy for Delicious was about Dean who is a paralyzed DJ who ends up having the gift of healing. Throughout the story his priest, Father Joe, encourages him to use his gifts to heal those around him, in Skid Row, an area overtaken with the homeless and sick, which is where he lives ass well. Dean ends up joining a band, after Father Joe uses him for the benefit of collecting donations for the healings, to be the scratch artist and uses his gift of healing as a performance and to get the band famous. Whats so interesting is the fact that Dean has this amazing gift of healing and can heal everyone but himself. The one person who wants it most. To me it seems that in the beginning Dean is somewhat ashamed or embarrassed of his gift and yet totally switches his approach by selling out with this band to make some cash. As Dean searches for why he cannot heal himself or be healed at the few healing services he attended in the beginning of the film another priest says such a great line, “What your soul needs may not be what you want.” There are so many other great things about Sympathy for Delicious such as the soundtrack which was fantastic. It went so well with everything.

Mark Ruffalo, Christopher Thornton, Wednesday Standley [the first assistant director] and another chick who I have no idea what part she had all were there for Q&A afterwards. Someone asked if this film was a religious film and CT responded with this, “Its not a religious movie it just happen to have religious characters in it.” I thought this was really interesting because the film opens with Dean in a healing service and MR’s character is a priest.

We all waited around outside after Q&A to see if we could get a chance to talk to MR and CT which luckily we did! They really surprised me with how nice and genuine they were towards us. Normally celebrities are jerks and don’t care about people and it was really quite refreshing to see a filmmaker genuinely interested in what we were doing and wanted to do later on. So for all you Mark Ruffalo fans out there – I got to chit chat and shake his hand! Haha =P MR was so cool – he asked us if we were filmmakers and we said we were trying to laughing a little about it but then he said, “You either are a filmmaker or not.” He then put his hand on josh’s shoulder and said to us, “Starting today, you are filmmakers.” It was very encouraging and just a cool moment.

Got on the bus and started to head back to wherever when Alex got a call from the director of Kavi [a short film we saw from the Angelus Student Film Festival] and wanted to know if we wanted to hang out somewhere on main street for a bit. So we all headed to the Red Banjo [a small restaurant] and ate some food, drank Cherry Coke [they put actual cherry sauce in normal Coke to make it] and talked film. It was great to be able to sit around a table with a successful and young director with some of his friends and just talk about film and life. Very fun and very eye-opening.

We headed back to the condo around midnight and got in twenty minutes later. I of course instantly sat down to start blogging and four hours later here I am finally finishing up. You are probably wondering why it has taken me four hours to write about my day and I shall answer….

Me, ryan gates, and Julia all started at the kitchen table with plans to be completed. Ryan was writing a paper and me and Julia were blogging. Well lets just say with the combination of ice cream, YouTube videos of funny falls/grannies punting children and making air bags go off, time passing by making which made us more slap happy and with that emerging stupid words and even dumber quotes which resulted with much laughter it is obvious that work was put off.

Well now im done and im going to bed.

No comments: