Movie premières are pretty intense. There’s lots of shouting and stuff beforehand, but then it’s beautiful and you’re left feeling weird, yet proud, yet weird. The highlight of my première, personally, was having the subject’s father come over afterwards and tell me in a calm voice, three or four times, that I’d “done a good thing,” and that I was a good person. Unfortunately, since those aren’t really things I ultimately believe about myself, although I’m working on ‘em, I then broke down in tears and needed a hug from my buddy Patrick and to go get chicken fried steak at the Roxy, so I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to everyone before I flew home. But thanks so much to all for coming out and supporting it. Now: Get mad about the movie, please. And actually hold your elected leaders accountable for delivering better mental health funding. I may join you in the struggle for it again in the near future but for the time being, I feel like I took a big existential shit and I need to recover. So I’m gonna head back to London and make some more great films with my excellent, inspiring new buddies at Brickwall. Hey, did I tell you how awesome Brickwall is? You wanna make films in London, and things? You need e-Learning help? You wanna communicate something? We’re ready to talk to you. Anyway back to the sold-out movie premièrrrre.
Local press has been positive (“a triumph,” and “an emotional bulldozer” are terms which so far in my life have only been used to describe having sexual intercourse with me, while to have something on which I was credited as the writer described as “infuriating, tragic, heartbreaking and incendiary in equal measures” is certainly validating), but we need strong national press and international distribution if the film is to make the impact it should. I was telling a bunch of people yesterday that perhaps the saddest thing about the movie is that it probably won’t change anything, actually. And that the next James Chasse is just around the corner, minding his mentally-ill business, just waiting for a lying police officer to come along and beat him to death, not be held accountable, and then continue his career with impunity. It’s not up to me whether that’s the truth, or not. It’s up to the people who watch the movie. And I’m really, really hoping that in the near future one of those people, dear reader, will be you. But I’m not necessarily holding my breath, either, because hey, A Good Day to Die Hard just came out. And actually even I would rather go stare at Bruce Willis’ ancient hot body and some naughty guns than watch a movie whose broad message seems to be that America is basically fucked, and the rest of the world not far behind it, when it comes to truly caring about our most vulnerable.
Meek inheriting the earth? Not so sure I buy that any longer. Shudder.
Still, enough cheerful thoughts! I’m off to get brunch and then head out to the airport. More pictures and some fun descriptions (a couple got engaged at the screening!) are on my Facebook album, which is here. And you can find out more about the film here. Or here. Patrick and I also made a little movie in reaction to the movie, afterwards, if you’re interested (and reader, I know you are):
Last thing: I’ve just been re-reading something I wrote in 2010 about the criminalization of mental illness in Oregon, here.