Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

So there's this bar that just opened up on Queens Boulevard, just off the 46th street stop, and when I walk by it, I can't help but look at it and think of this movie:

This is, of course, the movie based on the book, that unless you are French and were reading books in the 90's you were unfamiliar with until Julian Schnabel decided to up and direct the film adaptation.

So anyway, it's an autobiography; a story told from the point of view of a gentleman, a former successful magazine editor who was inexplicably and suddenly impaired by a stroke. He suffered from what is referred to as "locked-in-syndrome", meaning the man was imprisoned inside his own body. He could see, and hear, but that was it. He couldn't talk, couldn't move, couldn't eat, etc.

So he figured out a way to communicate via blinking; a nurse would hold up the alphabet, or recite it, and he'd blink when she hit a letter he wanted. They'd spell out words this way.

And the man wrote a book. And then he died.

So Julian Schnabel made this movie. And it's a fantastic movie. Lots of excellent filmmaking here, kids. The shot where you're seeing the protagonist's eye being sewn shut from the point of view of his own fucking eye is pretty astounding. If not gross. I have an eye thing. Maybe it's just me. I kind of felt like barfing, or digging my own hands into my own eye, but it was still all in all a great shot.

The thing that blows me away is that I kept hearing reviews prior to my viewing this soul crusher of a movie was how "life affirming" it was. And something something about the human spirit.

Yeah, it's life affirming, like most things that you look at and say, "Wow, I am so glad that didn't happen to me". I'm glad a lot of things didn't happen to me! It affirms my life when bad things happen to other people and not to me. Sometimes I even giggle a little bit, that's how much my life gets affirmed. Like if you get kicked in the balls-- look, that's hilarious. And I'm glad that (or the female equivalent) didn't happen to me. And I'm extra glad I didn't have a stroke and get locked-in-syndrome, because God knows I procrastinate enough, and without the use of my hands I'd absolutely never get anything done. This blog alone took me 8 years to type.

So no, I won't be going to that bar. I mean, I know what a diving bell is, but all I correlate the name with is the most depressing French movie I've seen. Besides that one where Meg Ryan runs off to France and meets Kevin Kline and he's French and an ass and of course they fall in love and like, get a vineyard or something. That movie is in english but I sure was depressed I watched that shit.

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