an excerpt from an email to filmmaker henry jaglom

Now that I have your attention, allow me to proceed with the cheesy fan mail schtick. You know, I’m not one for sending fan mail – having dabbled in “the business” myself, it just isn’t a big deal to me – but occasionally the need to express admiration for an individual becomes strong. If one has changed my life, touched my soul, what-have-you, I want to let them know.

I haven’t seen all of your films due to their being pretty hard to find in my wee New England city, but I have watched with fervor – and often repeatedly – those I have found.

I’m going to get right to the point and be as brief as possible, though lord knows I could go on and on. Your films have allowed me to identify with the people in them and with you to such an extent that it is apparent nowhere else in my life. I exaggerate not! Being an introverted loner with reclusive tendencies, as well as feeling completely and utterly alien and alone in this world, connecting with people on any level is a rare occasion and not to be taken lightly.

When it does happen, I am immediate to picking up on and tapping into it. Your films have literally allowed me to bond with and feel a part of humankind, for the first time on this level in my life. With each film watched, each interview read, my psyche is allowed one more glimpse into a world I can understand, to identify more with the full, rich potential of the human experience.

It is as though I have been stranded somewhere, lost in the darkness, for as long as I can remember, seeing no light save for a few teasing blinks and feeling so alone save for a few brushes on my skin of unknown human flesh. And then, one day, a door opens… just a crack, so at first I think it is an illusion like all the rest. But eventually, when I see that the door doesn’t shut immediately, I approach it and peer through… and enjoy the show. Venice/Venice. Déjà Vu. Babyfever. New Year’s Day. I watch each of them in stunned silence at first, and soon my soul is overwhelmed when I see my own potential for being human reflected in the eyes of the characters. I see the deep interactions between them, and yearn for such – to be able to spill my soul, without any inhibitions, and have someone do the same, right in front of me, TO me… but as much as I feel an emptiness inside that is just beginning to define itself, I am filled with hope, a sense of certainty that this sort of connection DOES exist, and that I COULD experience it…

I know what you’re thinking – I’m crazy, no? Either that or lying, surely! Perhaps it is the writer/poet in me that is causing me to be so elaborate, but that is honestly how I feel sometimes… and I want to thank you for that. For everything you’ve done for me – the hope you’ve given me, and even the envy – all that you’ve done without even meaning to, or knowing it, until now. And I look forward to this all sharpening in my mind as I watch more of your films.

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