Monday, May 24, 2010

MOVIE: "Trumbo"

Thanks, you two.

Tonight, completely by coincidence, I stumbled upon "Trumbo" at NetFlix. Although I have rudimentary knowledge of the effects of HUAC, I cannot retain names well, so knew nothing of the ordeals of Dalton Trumbo and his family.

I just heard reading of a letter he composed to school personnel about the persecutions of his daughters by school mates, encouraged by the PTA and the Bluebirds (a girls' scouting group). Now, Trumbo is a brilliant writer, granted. But the pathos, the moral authority, the articulate and disciplined outrage of his words to those heathens. . . . well, needless to say, I wished Trumbo were alive, that he was my daddy, and that those words had been written to defend and protect me.

So, without permission, I will be recording that particular letter and keeping it in my personal archives, to give me strength when I actually begin to believe the torch-and pitchfork-wielding monsters who've tried, so clumsily, to destroy me this past year. I need to hear those words again and again, until my tired, traumatized and damaged brain can begin to accept them as my reality. You should listen to that letter. It appears apx. 1:10 into the film. I don't know the actor's name who reads it, but you'd swear it had happened to his own child.

I am watching from two to as many as six films a day, restoring my memory and my spirits, analyzing storytelling and editing techniques, validating reality for myself as best I can and trying to have images and sounds in my head that can help me heal.

At first, I felt guilty: lying around all day, watching films, doing the minimum of labor necessary to sustain my and my animals' basic survival needs.

Now, I see how deprived I've been of intellectual, spiritual, moral, ethical, creative and playful stimulation in the past, three years.

A person like me can't live in that much denial of self for that long without sustaining some damage to my ability to imagine. I am "cramming" my way back to my own humanity by watching films. I can retain moving images as memories far better than I can written or even spoken word.

And I am learning what works, and does not work, in the art of story telling. I even read NetFlix's viewers' reviews of particular films, just to see what the unwashed masses' reactions are.

It won't be much longer, I think, before I find a way to tell my truth without the self pity (not actually a negative thing or sign of weakness; go look it up) that I find necessary right now in my recovery process.

I will be back. I'll post the audio on PRX and write you with links. If you have comments, criticisms or suggestions, I welcome them.

Whether I find a paying market or not doesn't matter. I have GOT to tell my story and I have got to make it available to be heard.

I'll find a way.

Thank you. Thank you.

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