Saturday, April 12, 2008

12th April
I saw a film called "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
It was a beautifully made film; an inspiring human story... and anything else I say about it needs to be understood in that context.
Part of me was very moved; part of me was very cold.
One reason for wanting to watch it is that it's a film about a man paralysed following a stroke. The play I'm writing now is about a woman who has suffered a stroke.
Watching this film has helped me understand what I intend.
It could not be more different.
The main character in the film was suffering from a very rare and extreme condition.
My main character is suffering from one of the most common causes of death in the world.
His was the story of an individual: mine is the story of something general.
And my ultimate aim is to have the audience think about death.
Their own death.
Our own death.
And not necessarily as an evil, either...
The main character in the film was a man.
And the film's viewpoint was necessarily exclusively male.
In a strange kind of way, it was such a male fantasy.
He was horribly damaged; and he had a whole succession of beautiful women taking care of him.
I want not only to write it from a female perspective; but also to help the audience feel for everyone else , to fully understand them.
Because again, this is not about an individual experience: it is about a collective one.
I'm so grateful to this film; and my appreciation of it as a fine and beautiful piece of work is not affected, somehow, by the simultaneous realisation that its aesthetic is something I utterly reject.
But dear God, i can't help thinking, hard I make myself work. How difficult I make my life.


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