Family of One

May 25, 2004

I’ve watched a few films lately about Family.

The first film I saw was called The Event. It’s about a young man dying of AIDS, who over the course of six or seven years has exhausted all possible treatments and finally resigns himself to a slow, painful and ultimately undignified death. He chooses dignity, and decides to end his life while he is still able to enjoy it. And plans a party, an ‘event’ if you will for the final act. The story is told through the narratives of his friends and family who helped him at the end, narratives focused through an inquest into his death conducted by a young District Attorney, whose own father chose differently at the end, or possibly had his choice taken away from him. The film itself was not afraid to tell a story in way that does not care about the art of film-making and is far more concerned about the characters it portrays. It takes time to just be. The ending, or the final understanding, is amongst the most powerful I have ever known.

The second was Pieces of April, a slightly more lighthearted look at family, and regrets, and acceptance, and forgiveness. The story is about a girl named April who invites her family over for Thanksgiving dinner. April is the Black Sheep of the Family (or should that be Black Ewe?), her mother is suffering from cancer and is trying to fix things up while she still has time, while at the same time dreading that April’s going to screw things up again. The story has April struggling to get things just right while having to deal with a broken stove and hence run around her apartment building looking for another stove in which to cook her turkey (does that sound somehow a little dirty to you?). At the same time her family tries everything they possibly can to not get to April’s on the six hour drive over. Funniest scenes in the movie are probably when the family stops to identify something they ran over: “It’s a squirrel, I think… or a very small badger?”, and when April tries to make mashed potato from raw potatoes. I couldn’t believe that anyone actually thinks that mashed potato is made that way. I really shouldn’t laugh at that, but I do make the best mashed potato this side of heaven so Nyah!

And here’s something Tim Buckley over at C.A.D. found…


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How pathetic must you be to actually pay for something like that? If you are this pathetic, the girls can be found here.


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